Earlier this week Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker traveled over the Illinois line to argue that the tax increase backed by his Democratic counterpart Pat Quinn is killing jobs even as the Midwest rebounds from recession.
“Is it any wonder because of choices that were made right here in the state’s capital?” Walker said in an April 17 speech to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce in Springfield. “When you raise taxes on businesses, that wealth and opportunity and those jobs more often than not go somewhere else.”
A broader snapshot tells a much different tale.
Illinois ranked third while Wisconsin placed 42nd in the most recent Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States index, which includes personal income, tax revenue and employment.
Illinois gained 32,000 jobs in the 12 months ending in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found. Wisconsin, where Walker promised to create 250,000 jobs with the help of corporate and investor tax breaks, lost 16,900.
Quinn was ready for the cross-border critique from Wisconsin, which led the nation in job loss in 2011. Quinn scheduled a news conference less than hour after Walker spoke to announce that LaFarge SA (LG), the Paris-based building materials maker, would move its North American headquarters to Illinois.
“They have the worst job record in the whole country, dead last,” Governor Pat Quinn, said of Wisconsin. “We certainly don’t want to follow his prescriptions when it comes to economic growth.”