Wis. Gov. Scott Walker sticks it to Illinois

In prepared remarks at the Conservative Political Action meeting in Washington, D.C., Walker compared what was happening in his state with Illinois:

Contrast that with my neighbor to the south. There is no greater example of the failed policies we are running against than the mess we see in Illinois.

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.

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.

Recently, Moody’s downgraded Illinois’ bond rating to the lowest in the nation.  The Pew Center says Illinois’ pension system is the worst-funded in the country.  And their unemployment rate is 9.8%.

He's right, you know. Everyone in Illinois should be embarrassed that Wisconsin--basically a suburb of Illinois--should be able to show us up so badly. Thanks again, Democratic voters of Illinois.


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  • Illinois may have raised individual state income tax rate by 67% when they raised the rate from 3% to 5%. But even the 5% rate is way lower than most people in Wisconsin pay. Wisconsin residents pay much higher individual state income tax rates than those in Illinois do. That is what is making Walker look good, not anything he has done.
    Individual state income tax rates:
    Illinois: 5% (after being 3% for 20 years)
    -- 6.15 percent on taxable income between $10,071 and $20,130.
    -- 6.5 percent on taxable income between $20,131 and $151,000.
    -- 6.75 percent on taxable income between $151,001 and $221,660.
    -- 7.75 percent on taxable income of $221,661 and above.

  • And neither is Wisconsin in better financial shape than Illinois because Wisconsin spends less:
    Total state expenditures per capita

    Illinois: $3599
    Wisconsin: $6798

    Walker is made to look good not because he has led Wisconsin in spending less - but because Wisconsin has much higher individual income tax rates than Illinois - and generates a lot more revenue per capita.

  • happy401 can not be serious. Your tax argument is true, although Wisconsin income taxes actually begin at 4.6% and not the 6.15% that you have listed. Also, you forget to mention that Illinois has a corporate income tax a full three percentage points higher than Wisconsin, when you include the Personal Property Replacement Tax levied on all companies in Illinois. But, the greatest difference between the two states, and the reason why Illinois is losing people and jobs since the recent tax increases, is that there has been no reduction in expenditures in Illinois. Illinois has a $6 billion backlog of bills owed to schools, local businesses, hospitals, and non-profits. On top of that, Illinois continues a structural deficit that is carried over every fiscal year and has an unfunded pension liability totaling $600billion. In short, if Illinois were a business, and not a sovereign state, it would have been declared bankrupt a long time ago.

    Wisconsin does have a backlog of bills, it has addressed its structural deficit, and its unfunded pension liability is a fraction of Illinois' $600 billion amount. This is what has allowed Wisonsin to prosper and Illinois to fail- raising taxes without addressing spending issues is not a way to instill confidence in business and residents.

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