Under the Cover of Darkness, Illinois Democrats Hike Taxes

Guy Benson

1/12/2011 12:17:00 PM - Guy Benson
Last November, roughly 3.5 million Illinois voters went to the polls, and by a razor thin margin elected incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn over Republican Bill Brady.  Late last night, and in the wee hours of this morning, they reaped what they sowed:

A triumphant Gov. Pat Quinn congratulated fellow Democrats early today after the Illinois Senate and House sent him a major income tax increase without a single Republican vote in favor.

Quinn smiled and shook hands on the floor of the Senate around 1:30 a.m. after the Senate voted 30-29 for the bill, which would raise the personal income tax-rate by 67 percent and the business income tax rate by 46 percent.

The House passed the bill hours earlier Tuesday night -- likewise without a vote to spare and with nary a Republican in support.

Republicans made gains in both legislative houses in Springfield on Election Day, but failed to muster enough votes to recapture either majority.  Despite lockstep GOP opposition to the massive tax hikes -- and over the objections of a handful of Democratic defectors -- an economically disastrous decision was visited upon the Prairie State.  The final tax votes in both houses were very tight, but tax-and-spend Democrats ultimately prevailed.  (Sound familiar?)  Making matters worse, the tax hike bill includes a provision that allows state spending to maintain its meteoric rise.  The state already faces a $13 Billion deficit, and its elected officials have now codified their ability to pile additional debt into that hole -- while asking voters to foot the bill.  Stunning.

As Illinois families and businesses brace for impact, the Chicago Tribune editorial board sarcastically suggests that neighboring states send preemptive thank you gifts to Governor Quinn:

We'll leave to the Tax Foundation and other data outfits the task of calibrating precisely how much more uncompetitive Illinois becomes if the Senate passes and Gov. Pat Quinn signs this fiasco into law. Quinn and the rank-and-file Democrats who launched the enormous tax grab will own what happens next. So will House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton. Governors such as Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, their treasuries already enriched by refugee employers who've fled Illinois, should send the Springfield Democrats orchids and champagne.

Indeed, newly sworn-in Gov. Scott Walker (R) of Wisconsin is already blowing grateful kisses to his southern neighbor:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is rolling out the welcome mat to Illinois businesses hours after lawmakers there approved a 66 percent income tax increase.

Walker has proposed tax cuts on small businesses in Wisconsin and those that move to the state. He says those measures and others will make Wisconsin a more welcoming place to do business and on Tuesday and again on Wednesday he specifically targeted companies in Illinois.

Walker says, "You are welcome here. Our talented work force stands ready to help you grow and prosper."

Enjoy your liberal dystopia, Illinois.  And don't even think about asking for a federal bailout when your budget officially busts.