Democratic Illinois Governor Pat Quinn just raised income taxes by 66 percent. In response, Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker made clear that neighboring Wisconsin is, to quote RedState, a "sanctuary state" for Illinois businesses.
The Wall Street Journal ran an article titled, "Wisconsin 1, Illinois 0."
Mr. Walker is painting that gulf as big as the Grand Canyon, this week blitzing the Chicago media markets to let suffering Illinois businesses know that while their governor, Pat Quinn, levies a 50% increase in corporate income taxes, Wisconsin is working to enact the total elimination of corporate income taxes for two years for firms that migrate. The "Escape to Wisconsin" line comes from an old tourism campaign, but Mr. Walker thinks it sums up the business choice perfectly. "We're going to send out that line to every employer in the state of Illinois," he tells me.
On January 19, Gov. Quinn issued an op-ed in The Chicago Tribune, calling Illinois "the economic engine of the Midwest." According to Quinn, not only did the enormous tax increase do no harm to the Illinois economy, it strengthened the state:
"...our efforts to stabilize and reform our budget only strengthen our competitiveness in the global economy."
Quinn wants you to know that The New York Times defends him:
As The New York Times editorialized last weekend, criticism of Illinois' recent tax and budget reforms "... makes great political theater. But businesses and voters in Illinois, and around the country, should take a closer look at the facts and figures, including their own."
In time, one of the following will be decreasing in Illinois: taxes, or prosperity.
Connect with Benjamin Hodge at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, The Kansas Progress, and LibertyLinked. Hodge is President of the State and Local Reform Group of Kansas. He served as one of seven at-large trustees at Johnson County Community College from 2005-’09, a member of the Kansas House from 2007-’08, a delegate to the Kansas Republican Party from 2009-’10, and was founder of the Overland Park Republican Party in 2011. His public policy record is recognized by Americans for Prosperity, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters,the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, the NRA, Kansans for Life, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).