Brooklyn hasn't paid all of its payroll taxes for years, but apparently that didn't particularly bother Nathaniel O'Bannon III, who became mayor in 2005. It was only after the IRS told him that he could be personally liable for the unpaid taxes that he resigned. The Brooklyn treasurer and city attorney also are quitting.
Our state and our nation would be better off if every elected official had as much skin in the game as the Brooklyn officials, or at least acted as if the tax dollars they spend were their own money.
If Illinois lawmakers had to take personal financial responsibility for their decisions, they would have made regular contributions toward state employee pensions and would have spent only what the state could afford. If federal lawmakers took personal financial responsibility for their decisions, the United States might not be $16 trillion in debt.
O'Bannon told residents of Brooklyn to not give up, that the city will live on. But it's time to face reality. Brooklyn, population 749, cannot afford to continue operating as an independent city. It needs to pool its meager resources with a nearby community or exist as an unincorporated area of St. Clair County.