By Ted Dabrowski -
Illinois politicians want to make things worse for the many Chicagoans struggling to find jobs and make ends meet.
They’re calling for state, county and local tax hikes on the city that already has one of the worst metro area unemployment rates in the nation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Gov. Pat Quinn is calling for income tax hikes on all Illinoisans, while both Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel want property tax hikes for Cook County and Chicago, respectively.
They seem to be oblivious to the fact that Chicago’s unadjusted unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in April, the fifth-highest when compared to the other 49 metropolitan areas with populations over 1 million people.
Only the Las Vegas, Nev., Providence, R.I., Detroit, Michigan, and Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., metro areas had higher unemployment rates than Chicago.
Chicago fares poorly compared to its neighboring metropolitan areas in the Midwest. Of nine nearby cities, only Detroit has a worse unemployment rate.
Illinois politicians are currently advocating for policies that will only drive the city’s unemployment rate higher. Their proposed increase in the minimum wage will only suppress new hiring, while higher taxes will drive more businesses out of the city.
Instead of pushing such counterproductive measures, Illinois legislators should focus on following the lead of pro-growth states. Lowering barriers to job creation is the most effective way to encourage growth in Chicago and create job opportunities for the thousands of unemployed Chicagoans.