A Wall Street Journal editorial highlights Illinois econ woes

As we’ve been chronicling on this website for a number of years now, our state and federal governments are tracking together perfectly. Both are spending at insane levels and making promises that can never be kept.

In Illinois, the farce is that Gov. Pat Quinn can raise the income tax and the state will not suffer the consequences. As the Wall Street Journal noted here, “At least Blago’s outrages were entertaining.”

The Journal pointed out these facts:

  • 736,000 more Americans left Illinois than have entered in the past decade.
  • For six years Illinois has ranked 45th out of 50 states in job creation.
  • In 2008, 175,000 jobs in Illinois vanished.

The Wall Street Journal summed it up nicely: Illinois “is a state that does almost everything wrong economically.”

  • It’s not a right to work state,
  • is thus heavily unionized,
  • which repells new business investment.

Thanks to a relatively good national economy up until 2007, revenues to the state’s treasury increased at a healthy clip for most of the decade. Rather than allow that revenue to catch up with over-promised expenditures, however, our state legislature and governor increased spending faster than ever.

All of these facts continue to receive national attention now that we’re the state of Barack Obama, Rod Blagojevich, and Roland Burris. What has yet to receive national attention is our state’s GOP.

That WSJ piece about Illinois didn’t even bother using the word “Republican.” Instead the editorial writers only closed by suggesting that voters here “deserve better” but keep re-electing the Democrats.

Readers of this website know why this is so: Illinois voters have yet to be presented with a viable alternative from Republicans. Click through our archives – we’ve been making positive suggestions about how this can change.

First up, of course, is the passage of SB600, which would put 38 Illinois Republican Party leadership posts on next February’s ballot. New blood is required if we’re to build a statewide political party organization. We need an IL GOP leadership team comprised of competent professionals who are motivated by the principles in our party’s platform.

The second challenge would be to get more of our Republican General Assembly members to use the untapped power of their bully pulpits in order to advance reforms. As we just noted here, the morubund members still outnumber those who actually want to use their offices to accomplish some lasting good.

It would seem that a group of men and women with the ability to get elected to the state legislature would also possess the ability to learn from their failures and change their approach to their jobs. For the willing, school startshere.

The facts mentioned above in that Wall Street Journal editorial are damning – not just to Illinois Democrats, but to Illinois Republicans. On every single major issue facing the state, the Democrats have the wrong approach and their failure has been proven.

On every single major issue, the Republican platform and free market think tanks have outlined how our course can be corrected. The missing link is elected officials and candidates aggressively selling those kinds of reforms.

We merely need our two General Assembly Republican caucuses to take some good advice and get back to basic budgetary mathematics and setting priorities.

There has never been a better time than now to win public support for common sense fiscal discipline. The silver lining of this economic climate is that Americans are open to real change – not what the Obama and Quinn Administrations are offering.

The only remaining question is whether our elected Republicans will get serious and engage the fight.

Up next: the Federal farce.

©2009 John Francis Biver