In Monday's edition there were two stories that we believe strengthen our arguments about how governments need to face tough economic times.
The first talked about government now facing what private business already has survived -- revenue losses forcing cuts, innovation and reinvention. The second talked about Illinois' 10 library systems being forced to merge.
As a result of the 10 library systems being molded into three, $4 million was saved last year. Also, local library patrons will soon be able to borrow their choice of 10 million titles from 450 libraries.
The libraries had no choice. Forcing other units of government -- from local streetlight districts to schools to the federal government -- to also act can offer taxpayers' savings and make government run better.
Illinois leads the nation in units of government with nearly 8,500, according to the state comptroller. There's plenty of room for mergers.
Let's start with eliminating township government and merging those function with our county governments. Let's look at combining school districts: Madison County gets by with 13 school districts while St. Clair County has 27.
We're not fans of fiscal cliffs and their "slash and burn" tactics to rein in federal spending, but we recognize the need for government to be compelled to act. Smart reactions by government leaders can give taxpayers more for less, as Illinois' library systems have shown.