…For Illinois businesses, that is: the new Governor is doing everything that he can to encourage a mass corporate exodus to Wisconsin, short of actually calling out the local National Guard to provide covering fire for the refugee columns. This is less of an exaggeration than you might think: the official slogan that Governor Walker is using is “Escape to Wisconsin.” They’re kind of serious about it, too: the Lt. Governor is going around and calling companies worried about the proposed Amazon* tax that’s about to destroy the business model of thousands of individuals and corporations in Illinois.
One thing that’s kind of entertaining about this situation – well, there are many things that are entertaining about this situation – is watching folks attempt to push back on this by arguing that taxes are still technically higher in Wisconsin than they are in Illinois. Indeed: the Democrats took the Governorship in 2002, the state Senate in 2006, and the state Assembly in 2008 – and then they promptly hiked taxes like they were, well, Democrats. Which is a major reason why the state government flipped so overwhelmingly Republican in November – and why the lightning push to cut business taxes and regulation in January has Democratic screams of outrage for counterpoint. I’m sure that Governor Walker would love to wave a magic wand and retroactively erase the bad business decisions of the Wisconsin Democratic party in an instant, but unfortunately this is the real world, where magic wands are not particularly known for working. Believe me: if they did then the Democratic party would have invested in that technology years ago: it’s precisely the hardware that they need to make their economic policies work.
In the meantime, he and the Wisconsin GOP will happily take advantage of the Democratic-controlled Illinois state government’s desire to squeeze yet a drop or two more of blood from the stone. And they’re not the only ones: most of the states surrounding Illinois are either disassociating themselves from the mindset that has possessed that unhappy state’s ruling elites, or else were never particularly enamored of the mindset in the first place. Bad news for the citizenry of Illinois, of course – but then, they keep electing these people. At what point do you throw up your hands, intone “Karma. It’s what’s for dinner” – and go help people that want to be helped?
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Something to remember: Amazon.com will still be a highly profitable company if its affiliate program (note: I am a member of said program) goes away. And the company definitely likes to play hardball with state governments on this topic.