The Wall Street Journal compared states in The Great Lakes region—Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio and after reviewing the results asked “What’s The Matter With Illinois?”.
“If the states are laboratories of democracy, then a great comparative policy experiment is taking place in America’s Great Lakes region. Democrats in Illinois have been pursuing their blue-state model of higher taxes and union-dominated government. Neighboring states since 2010 have gone for lower taxes and union reform.”
Some of the information the WSJ gleaned is hardly breaking news to most Illinois residents; highest corporation tax, sales tax and property tax in the region; highest unemployment in the region and a couple of new-to-me eye-popping facts:
**1/3 personal income growth in Illinois in ’13 was from “transfer receipts”, i.e. food stamps, worker comp, disability, welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. These payments increased 5.2% while wages only grew 1%
**Last year $7 billion was spent on K-12 education while $7.5 billion was spent on pensions.
There is something seriously out of whack in the State O’ Illinois.
In 2010 in the Great Lakes region, voters in all but Illinois realized something had to change so they elected more reformers/Republicans. Illinois passed on change and reform that year. 2014 is a second chance to put the brakes on out-of-control mid-century blue-state model of government by electing a new governor.
But will the voters take it?