WASHINGTON DC - Cato Institute released their 11th bi-annual Fiscal Policy Report Card on Governors this week, and Illinois' Governor Pat Quinn scored a 16, the lowest grade of the nation's state CEOs. The report grades governors on their fiscal policies from a limited-government perspective. The governors receiving an "A" are those who cut taxes and spending the most, while the governors receiving an "F" raised taxes and spending the most. The grading mechanism is based on seven variables, including two spending variables, one revenue variable, and four tax rate variables.
Pat Quinn of Illinois took office after his predecessor, Rod Blagojevich, was impeached and removed. Unfortunately, Quinn is following the same approach that earned Blagojevich an “F” grade from Cato in 2008.3 In 2009 Quinn signed into law a $1.1 billion tax increase. In 2011 he pushed through a massive $7 billion tax increase, which included higher individual income taxes, corporate taxes, and estate taxes. Quinn raised the top individual income tax rate from 3 to 5 percent, and raised the top corporate rate from 4.8 to 7.0 percent. Illinois corporations pay a special tax on top of the basic rate to bring the overall rate to 9.5 percent. In 2012 Quinn approved a large cigarette tax increase. Quinn also spends too much, and he has tried to paper over the state’s fiscal problems by issuing billions of dollars of bonds to cover unpaid state bills and to fund the state pension plan.