Turning Illinois around demands sending principled Republicans to Springfield

December 27, 2011

The Illinois Policy Institute, John Tillman, CEO, held another excellent Conference call on Tuesday, December 20, one of several I’ve participated in during the past few months.  The subject of the Dec. 20 call was timely, given that Illinois General Assembly Republican candidates will be thrust in almost perpetual motion after the New Year, scrambling to get their names before their Primary Republican voters in March in the hope of being selected as the Republican who will challenge their Democrat rival in the November 2012 General Elections.

Through an examination of the Illinois Policy Institute’s new policy paper, Still leaving Illinois:  An exodus of people land Money, revealed by the conference call was shocking information about how Illinois residents are fleeing the state and taking with them their purchasing power, entrepreneurial activity and taxable income.

Ted Dabrowski, Vice President of Policy at the Illinois Policy Institute, discussed the Illinois’ out-migration crisis and fielded question; Brian Costin, Director of Outreach, moderated the program.  http://illinoispolicy.org/news/article.asp?ArticleSource=4576

IRS data was used in compiling the policy paper to ascertain the number of taxpayers who had left and moved into Illinois; the total numbers of people who had left or moved into the state, and the amount of earned income that was taken to another state or vice versa. 

Although the motto of the Illinois Policy Institute is “policy changes lives for the better,” Illinois exemplifies what bad policy can do for a state.  As stated by Ted Dabrowski, “Illinois is bleeding people to almost every state in the nation.  People are packing up and voting with their feet.  Gone — goodbye.”

Highlighted in the conference call were two staggering and scary statistics that bode ill for Illinois and its future:

1.   For the past 15 years, Illinois has lost more than 806,000 people to other states, the equivalent of losing Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville, Springfield — five of Illinois’ six largest cities — and half of Elgin. 

2.  The 800,000 figure adds up to a loss of one person every ten minutes.

Other striking statistics:

* Along with the loss of 806,000 individuals from 1995 to 2010, went $26 billion in adjusted gross income which would have been part of the Illinois tax base.

* In 2009 alone, Illinois lost $1.5 billion in taxable income when 40,000 people moved to 42 other states.

* States netting the most people from Illinois include the following:  Texas, Indiana, Florida, Wisconsin, Missouri and Iowa.  Four are neighboring states which negates the idea that Illinoisans are fleeing to warmer weather states.  

IRS data was also utilized to show how Illinois residents are migrating to states where, on the average, taxes are lower as well as estate taxes, housing is more affordable, and union membership nets 10% rather than Illinois’ 18%. 

The looming problem:  How is it possible to stop the bleeding of people and taxable income from Illinois so the environment can become a positive one for families and businesses to prosper and thrive and college graduates can find work to remain in Illinois? 

It was pointed out that Illinois won’t turn around unless these three changes take place:

1.  Pension system reform:  Unfunded pension are estimated at $85 billion to perhaps as high as $200 billion.

2.  Repeal 2011 individual and corporation tax increases.  Lower taxes are needed in Illinois to create a level playing field.

3.  Tackle run-away health care costs:  The state spent 2-1/2 billion more on Medicaid this year than was budgeted, amounting to 2-1/2 billion of unpaid medical bills.  Why?  Illinois loosened the requirements of who was eligible so more individuals are now enrolled in the program and using it.

Only by electing more Republicans to Springfield will Illinois have a chance to end the Democrat culture of spending and borrowing which has resulted in driving up taxes and chasing Illinoisans to more friendly states.   

One of the three changes that must happen to turn Illinois around deals with health care.  As of now there are no doctors in either the Illinois House or the Senate.  Arie Friedman, M.D. is running to replace an open senate seat in the 29th Legislative District and Mark Neerhof, M.D. is running for another open seat in House District 58.   Both are outstanding candidates who are willing to take time off from their lucrative medical practices because of concern over the direction of this nation and state, coupled with love of country and their desire to try to make a difference.  

It is important to support Doctors Friedman and Neerhof and other fine, principled Republican candidates in the March 20th Illinois Primary Elections — among them Don Castella, a candidate for Illinois 30th Senate District — who will not go soft when elected, but who will fight to undo Democrat policies that have placed Illinois at the bottom of the heap in state rankings and brought shame to Illinois and its people. 



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