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Cullerton to Walker: Bring it on

Thursday, Jan 13, 2011

* From a press release…

Bring it on Wisconsin, Cullerton tells Gov. Walker

SPRINGFIELD, IL - Illinois Senate President John Cullerton extended a warm “thank you” to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for highlighting Illinois’ low tax rates.

“Between our investments in infrastructure, our recent moves to stabilize our budget and now Governor Walker leading the marketing effort, we hope to see a lot of interest in Illinois from businesses,” said Cullerton. “I’d like to thank Wisconsin’s governor for helping spread the word.”

Even now, after Illinois raised rates to balance its budget, state taxes remain lower than that of its northern neighbor.

In Wisconsin, citizens are subjected to five tax brackets with a maximum rate of 7.75 percent. Essentially, anyone making more than $10,000 a year pays more state income taxes in Wisconsin than Illinois.

Compare that to Illinois where the flat personal income tax will increase for four years to 5 percent from the current 3 percent. It will then drop to 3.75 percent after 2015 and 3.25 percent after 2025.

Wisconsin’s corporations also face a 7.9 percent income tax, almost a full percentage point higher than in Illinois.

In Illinois, the corporate income tax rate increases to 7 percent from 4.8 percent. It will drop to 5.25 percent after 2015 and go back to 4.8 percent after 2025.

Not only does Wisconsin have higher taxes, but a state budget agency recently informed lawmakers there that they face a nearly $2.5 billion deficit. So, the bottom line is Wisconsin may have to raise taxes in the coming years, while Illinois’ tax rates are scheduled to drop in just a few years.

Apparently unaware of the numbers, Wisconsin’s governor has been telling the media that he’s thinking of revising a 1980s tourism campaign entitled “Escape to Wisconsin” in an effort to lure Illinois businesses.

The reality is that, thanks to Gov. Walker’s actions, the slogan has lately become “Escape from Wisconsin.”

Train-maker Talgo Inc. is considering relocating from Wisconsin to Illinois because Governor Walker rejected millions of federal dollars for a high-speed rail project. The 4,000 jobs and federal dollars might now instead come to Illinois.

In November, after Walker pulled the plug on the project, jobs and money, a billboard went up along I-94 sarcastically thanking him.

“Dear Scott Walker, thanks for the money & jobs! Love, Illinois,” the billboard read. It was paid for by the Wisconsin Democratic Party.

Illinois has a strong shot at being Talgo’s new home because Illinois is investing in high-speed rail as part of a nearly $31 billion program to maintain and modernize the state’s roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure. The program was approved with bipartisan support in 2009.

The construction itself has begun putting thousands to work. The overall program is designed to maintain and modernize the state’s essential infrastructure for citizens and businesses alike, keeping Illinois as a great state in which to live and do business.

While Illinois lawmakers acted to finally resolve Illinois’ budgetary problems, it appears Wisconsin and Gov. Walker have some tough times ahead.

“Don’t get me wrong. Wisconsin is a great state,” said Cullerton. “They’ve got great cheese and lots of people vacation there.”

In exchange for the free marketing from Gov. Walker, President Cullerton said he’s available for consultation to help prevent economic collapse in Wisconsin.

I have long been in favor of declaring war on a neighboring state (I don’t really care which one), so I can’t really complain. But this fighting between states is the worst I’ve ever seen it. And I don’t think it’s going to calm down any time soon.

Also, Cullerton failed to mention Illinois’ 2.5 percent personal property replacement tax. It’s not technically a corporate income tax, but it is a tax on income.

And another thing: The last time I remember somebody in power saying “Bring it on,” things didn’t turn out too well.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - U-Haul Ho! - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 4:39 pm:

    Well if Illinois is gonna dish it out (think Quinn and Talgo) they should be able to take it, non?

    This is the sort of stuff that happens when a bunch of politicians are fighting over pieces of a shrinking pie.

  2. - Upstate - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 4:41 pm:

    Always nice to have a buffoon to attack, deflecting attention from your own debacle.

  3. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 4:42 pm:

    Rich, I too have been advocating an invasion of a neighboring state for some time now. Not necessarily as an occupying force - just a pillage operation to bring back the loot and whatever other goodies we can find.

  4. - been there - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 4:42 pm:

    Probably all of the Illinois legislators, including Cullerton, should take a week or so to recover from their nearly-all-nighter before they make any public statements about anything.

  5. - Sarge - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 4:43 pm:

    The sad thing is that in a global economy the only way the U.S. Midwest thrives is to work together, not stab each other in the back (or the front via press release or sound bite).

  6. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 4:46 pm:

    Didn’t Gov. Walker say public servants are the haves and taxpayers are the have-nots? I just ordered the pilots of my fleet of airplanes to cease flying into Wisconsin.

  7. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 4:46 pm:

    You know, we have a naval base up north of Chicago. We can launch an attack on one of those Rust Belt states like Ohio or Pennsylvania, or even head up the river to New York. Heck, why not even make this an internation incident - Oh! Canada.

  8. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 4:48 pm:

    . . . “international incident”

  9. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 4:49 pm:

    - The last time I remember somebody in power saying “Bring it on,” things didn’t turn out too well. -

    While I was particularly against that somebody, I do feel like things turned out worse for those being asked to bring it.

  10. - Bill F. - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 4:50 pm:

    Maybe they should bet on job creation like mayors when opposing sports teams play. They could offer cheese and Hormel Chili, and we could offer corn and Illinois wine. Or give them the wine as a consolation prize. Here, really, just take the wine.

    Seriously, though, this is silly. I wish they wouldn’t take the bait.

  11. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 4:55 pm:

    “Not only does Wisconsin have higher taxes, but a state budget agency recently informed lawmakers there that they face a nearly $2.5 billion deficit. So, the bottom line is Wisconsin may have to raise taxes in the coming years, while Illinois’ tax rates are scheduled to drop in just a few years.”


    Too bad we still have a bigger deficit than that, even after the tax increase. I guess it must feel nice for Cullerton to pretend that we’ve “resolved” our budget problems, though.

  12. - Thomas Westgard - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 5:05 pm:

    Invading Wisconsin sounds like a good idea, and I especially like the idea of some swift raids. At the very least we can launch things over their border.

  13. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 5:10 pm:

    ===At the very least we can launch things over their border. ===


    Just kidding.

  14. - Meanderthal - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 5:10 pm:

    How about a preemptive strike against Wisconsin during the Packers-Falcons game? Everyone up there is likely to be so pie-eyed we will not face any resistance.
    But seriously, Cullerton is whistling past the grave yard. This tax hike will have consequences for him and the Democrats.

  15. - GetOverIt - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 5:11 pm:

    I hope the Bears and the Pack meet for the NFC Title - this is gonna get real fun, real fast…what a great time to be alive in Illinois, i.e. if the Bears win this weekend.

  16. - Wensicia - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 5:14 pm:

    How about we assess a penalty against every politician who insults another or their constituency? We could pay off the state and federal deficits in less than a year.

  17. - just sayin' - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 5:15 pm:

    The Cheese Heads drew first blood. Good for Cullerton in standing up for the honor of Illinois.

    Plus I don’t see that’s it’s gotten nasty. I think it’s mostly good fun.

    I think business will be fine. Illinois Republicans are the ones I hear most thinking about going to a different state in search of some semblance of a GOP.

  18. - 13 - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 5:16 pm:

    Well…at least they’re living up to their claim to fame:

  19. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 5:18 pm:

    ===The Cheese Heads drew first blood.===

    Actually, I think Illinois did with that Talgo thing.

  20. - levois - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 5:22 pm:

    Wait a second? Shouldn’t Gov. Quinn be telling Wisc. to bring it on not the state Sen. Pres.?

  21. - bored now - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 5:22 pm:

    i love the last paragraph in cullerton’s press release…

  22. - JJB - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 5:25 pm:

    “So, the bottom line is Wisconsin may have to raise taxes in the coming years, while Illinois’ tax rates are scheduled to drop in just a few years.”

    The corporate tax rate is now 7 + 2.5% for the replacement tax, right? That’s 9.5%

    I hope Illinois is not forecasting revenue based on a static model.

    Temporary tax = oxymoron. “Wait and see.”

  23. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 5:28 pm:

    You really don’t want to get in a war of words with Cullerton. Back in the day, when he was Madigan’s floor leader in the House, he’d carve up poor GOP saps who made the mistake of talking about issues on which they didn’t have a clue.

    Vinson would sit back and laugh and let him do it.

    I was up in Wisconsin for the holidays, and there’s a lot of shock and buyer’s remorse up there about Walker, even in the redneck roadhouses (great jukeboxes, and you can smoke, smoke, smoke; no one cares).

    Things were so lousy outside of Madison (state and university payroll), and the Dems were so ditzy, he actually won. If you want to be entertained by politics, keep an eye on him and his louie governor, who lusts after tables, clocks and dogs.

  24. - soccermom - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 5:37 pm:,484/

  25. - Officer McNulty - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 5:45 pm:

    This is hilarious. It’s a level of snark and comedy we don’t see enough in politics. It also completely hands Walker’s a** to him while making a great point. It’s even funnier if you read it in an arrogant Chicago accent.

    Send this one to the Daily Show.

  26. - levois - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 5:52 pm:

    LOL! Gov. Ryan Commander-in-Chief that was hilarious.

  27. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 6:53 pm:

    Pretty sure Wisconsin has a personal property tax for business and individuals alike. (Tax forms require you to value boats, furniture, etc).

    Regarding “bring it on Wisconsin”
    ‘On Wisconsin’ is UW’s school fight song. It’s really horrible.

  28. - Ahoy! - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 7:13 pm:

    Why don’t we just send in our National Guard and take over Wisconsin? Then we have alll their jobs and we don’t have to listen to their Gov anymore.

  29. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 7:21 pm:

    I dunno, Ahoy. It would be like invading Russia. They have a lot of empty space to retreat over and burn. Plus, it’s the winter. Bad time to invade northward.

    I think I like the pillaging raids idea the best.

  30. - in the 'ville - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 7:49 pm:

    I say will pillage the Show Me state first. Dibs on the Budweiser brewery.

  31. - Ray del Camino - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 7:53 pm:

    I thought is was clever and spot-on. Cullerton is bright and quick with a sense of humor–all too rare in state capitols. The exec mansion duo in Madison is not bright enough to power a flashlight.

  32. - Bill F. - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 8:19 pm:

    I’ve been part of many a pillaging raid in Beloit over a four year period that is further in the past than I care to remember. There’s not much there for the taking besides an expensive Liberal Arts college.

    I think we already have Lake Geneva.

    Perhaps we should pillage New Glarus. It’s near the border, and they brew an outstanding beer we can take with us.

  33. - ToughGuy - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 8:32 pm:

    I didn’t know there was any one left in Wisconsin to argue with. I thought they all went south for the winter.

  34. - Northsider - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 8:41 pm:

    I volunteer to lead the raid on New Glarus…

  35. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 8:58 pm:

    This just in …
    Illinois General Assembly to consider impeaching Governor Walker.

    The ability to impeach and oust other states’ governors is a little known provision of the spending cap rule change.

  36. - sylvia - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 9:11 pm:

    Don’t know why neighboring states look to rival IL. We’re already sharing our bountiful carp population

  37. - MrJM - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 9:11 pm:

    It’s a slam dunk!

  38. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 9:18 pm:

    There’s always a lot of resentment up in Wisconsin about Illinois.

    Illinoisans own most of the best vacation real estate. Much of the state economy is dependent on Illinois tourists.

    But even more, they resent raising their kids, providing for them, funding excellent schools and universities, then watching them all run off to Chicago as soon as they graduate.

    What’s the resentment level? Put it this way: we call them Cheeseheads (fun, friendly).

    They call us FIBs. It’s an acronym. The “I” stands for Illinois. The “F” and “B” on either side can’t be spelled out under the rules of the house.

  39. - irv & ashland - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 10:12 pm:

    Till just now, I hadn’t realized:

    We had a Governor Thompson in the 70’s/80’s, and then in the 90’s, they tried a Governor Thompson.

    We had a Governor Walker in the early 70’s, and they’re trying a Governor Walker in the 2010’s.

    Are they going to elect a Governor Blagojevic too?

  40. - Northsider - Thursday, Jan 13, 11 @ 10:33 pm:

    Word @9:18,

    “Fabulous Illinois Bunch.”

    At least that’s what I told them when I attended UW-Madison…

  41. - standonprinciple - Friday, Jan 14, 11 @ 12:26 am:

    This is like two “special needs” kids arguing who is going to do better on their SAT’s. We are 48th in job creation for a reason. These tax hikes aren’t going to help.

    Cullerton forget to mention property taxes, gas taxes, cost of real estate, corruption tax, etc. With some of the decisions coming out of Springfield, I wish these guys would take a basic economics class.

  42. - Dan Vock - Friday, Jan 14, 11 @ 8:59 am:

    I’m with Northsider! Bring back some Spotted Cow. In the meantime, I’d be happy for an Illini win over Wisconsin this weekend and, if everything works out, a Bears win over the Packers to get us back to the Super Bowl.

    P.S. There’s a food stand across from the Capitol in Madison that’s called “F.I.B.” Lots of Chicago items on the menu. It supposedly stands for “Famous Italian Beef.” Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  43. - dupage dan - Friday, Jan 14, 11 @ 9:35 am:


    Don’t forget that most of the population/assets/loot in Wisconsin lies near the border w/Illinois. Easy pickings on a Sunday during Packer season. Forget about anything north of Sheboygan. Let the UP have all that. They’ll think they landed in heaven.

    I spend alot of time in northern Wisconsin. Really, folks, FIB is a term of endearment.


  44. - 3 beers to Springfield - Friday, Jan 14, 11 @ 9:46 am:

    “Perhaps we should pillage New Glarus. It’s near the border, and they brew an outstanding beer we can take with us. ”

    Please don’t forget the cheese curds!

  45. - Secret Square - Friday, Jan 14, 11 @ 9:53 am:

    “Are they going to elect a Governor Blagojevich too?”

    Well, if one of the Blago daughters moved there, then 25 or 30 years from now, it could happen…

  46. - Irish - Friday, Jan 14, 11 @ 9:57 am:


    I thought they passed a no smoking ban for restaurants and bars last July. That has been our experience.

  47. - piling on - Friday, Jan 14, 11 @ 10:00 am:

    Armed with a $31 billion capital bill, Illinois leaders are assembling a plan to put Madison, Wisc on wheels and relocate it to Illinois, arguing that the city is a better fit here than there.

    Illinois leaders justified the move, saying most of the students filling Madison are either from Illinois or will move to Illinois upon graduation.

    Gov. Quinn announced that a new foundation for Madison was being assembled on state land originally purchased for Peotone.

  48. - Irish - Friday, Jan 14, 11 @ 10:11 am:

    DD@9:35am - You are correct about the FIB. I also spend a lot of time in Northern Wisconsin and find all of those folks very congenial and nice people. I have great neighbors up there that have become very close friends.

    However you are wrong about everything north of Sheboygan. I love north of Rte #70, that is truly God’s country.

  49. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 14, 11 @ 10:18 am:

    – I thought they passed a no smoking ban for restaurants and bars last July. That has been our experience.–

    The did. Some bar owners outside Rhinelander were happily breaking the law.

  50. - Secret Square - Friday, Jan 14, 11 @ 10:25 am:

    Perhaps the Cheeseheads are still a bit resentful over the fact that they could have HAD Chicago… IIRC the northern border of Illinois was originally going to be the same as Indiana’s, but right before statehood was approved, our territorial representative in Congress got the border moved farther north.

    A few years later, Wisconsin also lost out on the UP, which was given to Michigan as a consolation prize for losing the Toledo strip to Ohio. So maybe you can’t blame them for having a bit of a chip on their shoulder. :-)

  51. - dupage dan - Friday, Jan 14, 11 @ 11:04 am:

    Calling the UP a consolation prize - now that’s a good one. Folk up there certainly have little affinity for the lower peninsula. There have been sporadic attempts over the years on the part of Yoopers to secede and call themselves the state of Superior. Go into bars up there and folk cheer for the Packers and the Vikings more than they do for the Lions. Beautiful country up there - slowly withering with the closing of the last copper mine. Outdoor sports/tourism is about all that is left.

  52. - dupage dan - Friday, Jan 14, 11 @ 11:07 am:


    Only talking about loot, not beauty. I spent summers my whole life in Door County. Most of my family lives there. I am on the water most weekends up there. If we’re talking about raiding for booty (loot, not the other stuff) most is concentrated near the south border. Kind of like Canada, only without the “eh”.

  53. - jerry 101 - Friday, Jan 14, 11 @ 1:16 pm:

    Yes, invade Wisconsin - we don’t need to conquer the whole thing, some slash and burn and loot raids to the interior. Coordinate the attack with Minnesota. I hear the cheeseheads owe them Money. And, with the Scandanavian ancestry of so many Minnesotan’s, I’ll bet they’d be well suited to quick raids.

    But the raids can just be a mask for the real objective - Send a fleet from Great Lakes to conquer Milwaukee and all points due south. We can raise a Bears flag in the middle of Milwaukee to let them know who the new boss is.

    We should also send out some bombers to flatten Madison.

    Oooo…this is gonna be funs.

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