February 1, 2012
In our search for examples of what Wisconsin would be like if Governor Walker’s reforms were overturned, we keep finding that as bad as things have been in Illinois, they continue to get worse.
That’s pretty much what we said last week and before our posting was a day old it proved to be true all over again. Last Thursday the Illinois Policy institute came out with a report that their state’s unemployment rate had increased more than that of any other state in 2011.
Then on Sunday, an op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times even more pointedly referred to the stark contrast between Illinois’ predicament and Wisconsin’s reforms.
Illinois state government has gained virtually nothing from these huge tax increases because soaring government pension costs — costs vehemently defended by the state’s unionized government employees — are consuming much of the extra money.
The big problem is Illinois government’s futile struggle to keep its predicament rolling along instead of facing the necessity of fixing it.
Governor Pat Quinn, who started off 2011 with massive tax increases—his preferred alternative to Walker-style reforms—delivers his state-of-the-state message to the Illinois Legislature this evening. It will be interesting to hear how he spins the massive failures of 2011 to the lawmakers who helped him make them happen.