Opinion | The Alternative to a Bailout for Fiscally Mismanaged States

The Covid-19 pandemic and shutdowns have created a challenging situation for many states—especially those that didn’t prepare. Illinois has a rainy-day fund that would keep the state running for about 15 minutes. Many governors now seek a federal bailout, but borrowing trillions more will only make matters worse for taxpayers, who eventually must pay off the debt.

Every state provides the same basic services, but some do it at much lower cost, which allows them to have lower taxes. Under law nearly every state must at least…