Pleas from state governments for aid from Washington are an opportunity for President Trump and Senate Republicans to ask for some reforms in return, I wrote in a recent column. Please read the column in full at the New York Sun ("Art of the Bailout Means Conditions on New York Aid"), Newsmax ("Trump Should Demand Reforms From States Seeking Virus Aid"), and the New Boston Post ("Democratic-Tilting States' Request for Bailout Is Opening for Reform.") The column also generated a nice pickup in a Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial ("Under cover of virus, Dems seek to bail out states"), which concluded:
President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "could use their newfound financial leverage to demand policy reforms that would diminish the long-term structural dysfunctionality" of states such as Illinois, columnist Ira Stoll suggested this week. That could include tying pension reform to the aid.
"When New York and Illinois start asking Washington for a bailout," Mr. Stoll notes, "what they're really doing is asking taxpayers who live in better-managed states" to pay the bill for their "gold-plated contracts with public employee unions."
Mr. Stoll is spot on. If Democrats insist that federal taxpayers ride to the rescue of state and local governments, the president and congressional Republicans mustn't go along absent assurances of financial reforms that put these jurisdictions on a more sustainable trajectory.