It's pretty clear Governor Pat Quinn wasn't on hand to welcome Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to Illinois' capital Tuesday, and still Quinn felt compelled to send out this email from "Team Quinn" - obviously, needing a little "fact check." But Quinn had to be delighted there was something to talk about other than the 67 percent income tax hike Illinoisans are paying today.
You might have heard that the Illinois Chamber of Commerce hosted Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as guest speaker today. One would wonder what a governor with a terrible economic record could have to say about jobs and economic growth. While Governor Walker might be fond of anti-worker and tea party rhetoric, the facts aren't on his side. Here are some of those facts:
- Job Growth: Since Governor Walker took office, Wisconsin has been in last place in the nation in job growth. Just last year Wisconsin lost 21,000 jobs. Since 2010, Illinois has added over 130,000 new private sector jobs.
- Business Climate: This year, the bi-partisan Tax Foundation ranked Wisconsin 43rd nationally in business-friendly tax environments. Illinois ranks 28th.
- Exports: Illinois grew its exports by nearly 30% in 2011 - nearly double the national average. Wisconsin's exports only grew 11%, which is well below the national average.
- Working Families: By cutting the Earned Income Tax Credit, Governor Walker raised taxes on low-wage workers with young children. Governor Quinn doubled this same tax credit this year, proving more tax relief to working families.
- Taxes: Governor Walker's budget increases state spending by over $1 billion, which is primarily paid for by tax increases on seniors, families with children, and home owners. His budget calls for raising property taxes by nearly a $500 billion.
In today's Chicago Tribune, the Chairman of the Illinois Manufacturing Association highlighted Illinois' business friendly climate:
"Wisconsin is a great place to vacation, Illinois is where you want to locate your company."
"Our workers are more productive. Wisconsin ranks 46th nationally in worker productivity. We have twice the gross domestic product of Wisconsin and export twice as much. More businesses are started in Illinois and we rank higher in high-tech employment opportunities. As the nation recovers from the recession, Illinois is creating jobs at a rate 10 times greater than Wisconsin. We are spending more on research and development. We have five times the venture capital investment. We are producing more people with science and engineering advanced degrees. While the recession has been brutal, we are working our way out of it. We are investing in our people and our businesses." (Read more: Illinois is open for business, Mike Holewinski, Chicago Tribune, 4/17/12)
We hope Governor Walker enjoyed his trip to Illinois, and that he saw for himself what a great place it is to do business. If you want a governor with a proven record of job creation, rather than just rhetoric, show your support for Governor Pat Quinn.