Illinois: Poster Child For Failed High Tax Policies!
For liberal politicians, taxes are never “high enough”. European nations, for instance, have been raising taxes for decades, almost always saying that higher taxes were necessary to balance budgets and control red ink. Yet that obviously hasn’t worked. Europe’s now in the middle of a fiscal crisis. But we don’t need to look overseas for examples. Look at what’s happened in Illinois, where politicians recently imposed a giant tax hike.
The Wall Street Journal recently opined on the results. Here are the key passages.
Run up spending and debt, raise taxes in the naming of balancing the budget, but then watch as deficits rise and your credit-rating falls anyway. That’s been the sad pattern in Europe, and now it’s hitting that mecca of tax-and-spend government known as Illinois. …Moody’s downgraded Illinois state debt to A2 from A1, the lowest among the 50 states. That’s worse even than California. …This wasn’t supposed to happen. Only a year ago, Governor Pat Quinn and his fellow Democrats raised individual income taxes by 67% and the corporate tax rate by 46%. They did it to raise $7 billion in revenue, as the Governor put it, to “get Illinois back on fiscal sound footing” and improve the state’s credit rating. So much for that. …And—no surprise—in part because the tax increases have caused companies to leave Illinois, the state budget office confesses that as of this month the state still has $6.8 billion in unpaid bills and unaddressed obligations.
In other words, higher taxes led to fiscal deterioration in Illinois, just as tax increases in Europe have been followed by bad outcomes.
Whenever any politician argues in favor of a higher tax burden, just keep these two points in mind.
1. Higher taxes encourage more government spending. Liberal politicians have no concept of fiscal discipline.
2. Higher taxes don’t raise as much money as politicians claim.
The combination of these two factors explains why higher taxes make things worse rather than better. And they explain why both Europe and high tax states such as Illinois and California are in fiscal trouble. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration and its Democratic allies in congress want to ignore fiscal reality and impose the same failed high tax policies at the federal level.
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