As I've noted before, Republicans had a great deal of fun back in early 2011 taunting Illinois for (surprisingly) electing a Democratic governor, Pat Quinn. The theory was that Quinn's tax increases, designed to close a huge budget gap, would lead to a business exodus to Gov. Scott Walker's Wisconsin conservative utopia.
"Years ago Wisconsin had a tourism advertising campaign targeted to Illinois with the motto, `Escape to Wisconsin,'" Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said in a statement. "Today we renew that call to Illinois businesses, `Escape to Wisconsin.' You are welcome here."At CPAC this year, Walker continued that theme:
Last year, Governor Quinn proudly proclaimed that they were not going to do things like Wisconsin. Clearly, they did not. Their actions only made matters worse.In reality, turns out that Wisconsin was the only state in the entire country to lose jobs in 2011, while Illinois had better than average growth. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia also predicted strong economic growth in Illinois, while placing Wisconsin last in its forecast:
They raised taxes by 67% on individuals and 46% on businesses. That might explain why they dropped 40 spots during the past five years on the same poll that showed Wisconsin up 17 spots in one year alone.
Illinois ranked third while Wisconsin placed 42nd in the most recent Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States index, which includes personal income, tax revenue and employment. Illinois gained 32,000 jobs in the 12 months ending in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found. Wisconsin, where Walker promised to create 250,000 jobs with the help of business-tax breaks, lost 16,900.It's conservative mantra that tax increases kill jobs, but reality, as always, contradicts their ideology.
Quinn is certainly having fun at Walker's expense:
Quinn was ready for the cross-border critique from Wisconsin, whose state’s employment fell more than any other. Quinn scheduled a news conference less than hour after Walker spoke to announce that LaFarge SA (LG), the Paris-based building materials maker, would move its North American headquarters to Illinois.Walker was elected on a promise to create 250,000 new jobs in his state. Turns out that slashing spending, attacking unions and eliminating workplace pay protections for women ain't doing the trick.
“They have the worst job record in the whole country, dead last,” Quinn, 63, said of Wisconsin. “We certainly don’t want to follow his prescriptions when it comes to economic growth.”