Thursday, January 13, 2011

An opportunity for our laboratories of democracy

Now that Illinois has hiked up their taxes to make it even more expensive to do business in the state, we'll be able to see if it's possible for states to close their deficits through higher taxes. The 66% tax hike makes Illinois one of the most expensive places in the world to do business. Just what a state with a stagnant economy needs.
Under the legislation, the income tax rate would temporarily rise to 5 percent from its current rate of 3 percent, and the rate for corporate taxes would rise to 7 percent from its current 4.8 percent.
No wonder that the new Republican governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, is urging businesses to "Escape to Wisconsin." Mitch Daniels of Indiana is also laying on the welcome mat for businesses that want to leave. It's expensive for a business to pick up and leave its location, but some may make that choice. What is dang sure is that very few businesses will choose to move into Illinois. And the Illinois voters are getting just what they voted for. They chose Governor Quinn who quite openly promised them a tax increase, albeit a smaller one than the one approved yesterday. We'll get to contrast how Illinois does with its high-tax, high-spending policies in contrast to its neighbors who are moving in the opposite direction. It's as much of a natural experiment as we can get in real life and what makes our federal system so lovely.