More Illinoisans pick the latter in Madigan’s ‘my way or the highway’

Move people moved out of Illinois last year than from any other state.
Move people moved out of Illinois last year than from any other state. Illinois Policy

Just when you think Illinois’ state leaders can’t make anything any worse, well, they make it worse.

The taxation and the lack of job opportunities and the drop in services that impact the quality of life have all conspired to again cost the state population.

There has been a net loss in Illinois as all the other states around us grew. Last year alone we saw 37,508 folks depart the Land of Stinkin’ government excess. We lost more people than any other state, and the rate of loss accelerated last year.

We think it is more than fair to lay this at the feet of state lawmakers. They spent us into a $130 billion pension deficit, they allowed $11.2 billion in bills to pile up, they have failed to pass budgets for fiscal years 2016 or 2017 and they refuse to change the business climate or compensation that pays state union workers double what the average Illinoisan makes.

And what solution comes from the man who has been in charge for more than three decades: “A good place to begin, good place to begin would be the level we were at before the income tax expired,” said Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan. That would be the 5 percent rate that was supposed to be temporary, collected $25 billion extra but was wasted as our finances got worse. The rate dropped to 3.75 percent two years ago.

“And starting there, you can go in whatever direction you want to go,” Madigan added.

Can anyone think of a direction they want him to go?

Those people moved for jobs, meaning more tax burden falls on those workers left behind. It also means the remaining residents are more likely to be in need of government services.

Until Madigan and Co. own this problem and choose to reform, your choices are to put up with their garbage as this fiscal and social crisis worsens or move.

We all know which choice 37,508 of our peers made last year.