If you had to guess which state was losing population the fastest, you’d most likely pick California. But Breitbart.com reports that you’d be wrong. There are always those eager to flock to the West Coast regardless of how loopy the government is, and that doesn’t even include the stream of illegal immigrants that Gov. Brown is waving across the Southern border.
In fact, United Van Lines reports that Illinois is now the #1 state for rentals of outbound moving vans. Chicago’s WGN-TV reports that last year, Illinois lost 33,703 citizens who moved elsewhere, and 37,508 the year before that. The Chicago Tribune notes that Chicago has seen a net loss of population for three straight years and is the only major U.S. city that’s lost citizens consistently over the last five years. The Tribune editorial board recently wrote that between the high cost of living and the sky-high taxes, it no longer makes financial sense to live in Illinois, and many people agree. Last year, the state dropped from fifth to sixth in population.
But why would anyone want to flee Illinois? It’s a great state in so many ways. It’s the “Land of Lincoln”…but unfortunately, for the last few decades, it’s been the land of Obama, Rahm Emmanuel and many other liberal Democrats who have created one of the ultimate “blue state models” by running Chicago since 1931 and holding large majorities in the state House and Senate. Republican Bruce Rauner was elected Governor in 2014, carrying every county except Cook County (Chicago), of course. But his battles to force spending reforms and stop tax hikes have had mixed results (he’s twice vetoed state budgets, but his veto of a budget with billions in higher taxes was overridden.)
Despite all the talk of crime and gangs in Chicago, the #1 reason cited by ex-residents for fleeing Illinois is the reason that Democrats insist doesn’t really exist: they were driven out of their homes by crushing taxes. Some of the expatriates told the Tribune that they could never get out of the financial hole in Illinois. At least one said he wouldn’t have minded so much if he’d seen any improvements in infrastructure and services after the tax hikes, but he didn’t and couldn’t figure out where all that tax money was going. In their new states, they pay so much less in taxes that they can live in bigger houses and still put away money in savings.
As Breitbart notes, the Illinois legislature’s reaction to this news is a proposal to raise taxes even higher. Well, naturally: there are fewer people, so they’ll need to pay more to prevent the unthinkable: the government having to spend less.
I like to imagine that one day, the entire remaining population of Illinois will consist of Barack Obama and Rahm Emmanuel, and they’ll be arguing over who has to pay the tax bill for the entire state budget. At that point, I wonder which one of them will become a Republican first.
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