Worse still, what if Louisiana had a far left state legislature and a Democratic Governor? Well, if you ever wonder what might happen were that the case today– maybe you have nightmares? Or flashbacks?– you don’t have to look much further than the sad state of affairs taking place in Illinois…
…because on Wednesday, the Illinois state legislature approved a measure to, among other things, raise the income tax rate by 66%.
Patrick J. Quinn, the governor of Illinois and a Democrat, praised the decision of state lawmakers — in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday — to raise the individual income tax rate by about 66 percent as a necessity to avert the state’s “fiscal emergency,” which includes a budget deficit of more than $13 billion, about $8 billion in unpaid bills to social service agencies, pharmacies and others, and a sinking bond rating.
Oh, and they decided to raise the corporate tax rate as well:
Under the legislation, the income tax rate would temporarily rise to 5 percent from its current rate of 3 percent, and the rate for corporate taxes would rise to 7 percent from its current 4.8 percent. As part of the deal, the state’s spending growth would be limited from one year to the next over the next four years — a provision Republicans complained did not cut spending enough.
The market does not take too kindly to states that don’t treat their corporate community well, and an increase in Illinois’ corporate tax rate on top of an already crippling federal corporate tax rate is just about the dumbest move you can make to spur economic growth. This fact is duly noted by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) who took the opportunity presented by the state of Illinois to engage in a commendable act of capitalism, sending out a standing invitation for Illinois businesses to “escape to Wisconsin.” They’ll only be too happy to oblige him.
But perhaps the most ridiculous aspect of this development is not the tax increases themselves but the manner in which the resolution was passed. The law passed the Illinois legislature during the early hours of Wednesday morning. Why? Simple. As you may have heard several times, the elections of November 2nd do in fact have consequences, and while the local elections in Illinois did not net a complete Republican takeover of the legislature, it did result in significant reductions to Democratic majorities in both Houses. These new lawmakers were not set to be sworn in to office until noon this past Wednesday…
So, the conversations of the largely Democratically controlled legislature of Illinois on Tuesday consisted of fervent talks between groups of jilted foot-out-the-door Democrats with axes to grind. Going back to theme of having nightmares, perhaps you’ve had the one in which you were thrown into a room full of left-wing politicians with hurt feelings and asked to moderate a discussion on responsible budget reform? No? Well, it’s just as well, because the end result ain’t pretty, and it probably looks something like raising taxes by 66% and jacking up the price to do business just for kicks.