SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The idea of paying it forward is simple.

I do something that costs me, so the people who follow me have an easier time of things; whether it’s paying for someone else’s coffee, cleaning up a junk-riddled creek or cutting government spending to make sure a city doesn’t collapse.

Which is why Bloomington alderman Rob Fazzini’s plan to borrow $40 million to pay for pensions — and the borrowing itself — has raised so many questions.