* From a WSJ editorial…
And—no surprise—in part because the tax increases have caused companies to leave Illinois, the state budget office confesses that as of this month the state still has $6.8 billion in unpaid bills and unaddressed obligations.
That bill backlog, which may be even higher than $6.8 billion, has absolutely zero to do with the small number of companies which have left Illinois. The tax increase legislation set aside funds to make annual bond payments that would’ve eliminated the mountain of past-due bills right away. But that bond plan failed, and doesn’t look like it will ever be resurrected. The state cut spending this fiscal year, but not enough to significantly pare down the pile of old bills. Without some new revenues and/or lots more budget cuts, Illinois will be dragging those old bills behind it for years to come.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Daniel J. Mitchell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, approvingly links to the WSJ editorial and uses it to make these points…
Whenever any politician argues in favor of a higher tax burden, just keep these two points in mind.
The combination of these two factors explains why higher taxes make things worse rather than better.
1. Operational spending is down since the Illinois tax hike.
2. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability has repeatedly said this year that revenues from the tax increase are coming in as the “politicians” expected.
If Illinois hadn’t increased its taxes, it would’ve had to cut $7 billion more from spending to balance its budget, and it would still have all those unpaid bills.
Always beware ideologues. They’re usually deliberately ignorant of actual facts.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Thanks to a commenter for the link…
Illinois lost 269 businesses employing 8,894 workers in Illinois [in 2011, after the tax hike passed] but attracted 244 companies employing 6,883 workers in the state, the data show. The report called the job loss “negligible” in a state with an employment base of nearly 6 million jobs.
The job losses also were offset by more than 13,000 startups in the Chicago area that produced nearly 23,000 new jobs, led by companies at opposite ends of the spectrum: professional, scientific and technical services firms and administrative and support services.
Illinois had a net loss of 2,256 jobs to Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, while it gained 1,806 jobs from California, Oregon and Washington.
Illinois lost 16 companies and 158 jobs to Michigan but gained 15 companies employing 83 workers. Illinois gained 20 companies and 506 jobs from Wisconsin, while losing 22 companies and 129 jobs to its northern neighbor. […]
Illinois had a net loss of 128 jobs to Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The data show that Illinois lost 27 companies and 719 jobs to Indiana but gained 22 companies and 337 employees from its neighbor.
Yeah, things completely suck here. Turn out the lights, we’re doomed. Sheesh.
* The unemployment rate also went down last month, but there was mixed news…
The state lost 4,100 jobs in December from November, but the unemployment rate fell to 9.8 percent from 10 percent, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said Friday.
Year-over-year, the state added 52,600 jobs, but the jobless rate rose from 9.2 percent.