Today, Illinois is associated with debt, corruption and cronyism as much as it is with Abe Lincoln. A new study of the costs of corruption helps people better appreciate just how expensive that association is.
Professors from Indiana University and City University of Hong Kong found that the 10 most corrupt states -- no surprise, Illinois is on the list -- pay an average "corruption tax" of $1,308 per person.
Look at a comparison of Illinois and our next-door neighbor Indiana, which is not on the most corrupt list. In 2013, Illinois spent $932 more a person. However, Illinois spent only half as much on education as Indiana. Most of our dollars are tied up in paying politicians, their cronies and their pensions.
No wonder Indiana's economy and job-creating ability are so much stronger than Illinois'. But don't hold your breath waiting for Illinois to read this study and change. The rank and file may be sick of corruption, but the politicians who control the state like things just the way they are.