Corrupt government officials sometimes pay a hefty personal price for their misdeeds. Just ask former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose 2008 attempt to sell President Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat and shake down a children's hospital earned him 14 years in federal prison.
Now new research by an Indiana University professor has found residents of the most corrupt states literally pay a steep price for crimes committed by their elected officials due to artificially inflated state spending that's typically tied to public corruption.
John Mikesell, IU professor of public and environmental affairs, and Cheol Liu, assistant professor of public policy at City University of Hong Kong, determined that the 10 most corrupt U.S. states — which includes Illinois, but not Indiana — would have spent 5.2 percent less between 1997-2008 if they had only an average amount of corruption.
That translates to a corruption tax of $1,308 per person in those states.