Illinois logged a record exodus in 2014, sustaining a net loss of 95,000 people to other states, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
95,000 people? That sounds like a lot! Why, it would be like losing the equivalent of the whole city of Waukegan. Boom! Gone. Out the door!
Illinois’ net loss of 95,000 residents is so large that it defies belief, and speaks to the fact that Illinois has the worst job-creation rate in the Midwest in 2014, with food-stamp enrollment also hitting new record highs. Although Illinois has been a net loser of residents as far back as such data are recorded, never has the state lost so many people in one year.
Wow! Hang on a sec; I have to do a little math here. Let me take out my calculator and divide 95,000 by 12,880,580. Let's see: .0073754. Wait a minute; is that less than one percent? Is .007 a . . . rounding error? If so, couldn't the exact opposite happen just as easily? And, more important, would it even matter?
Hmmm. Where do you suppose all those people went?
...states such as Texas, Florida, Arizona, Colorado and the Carolinas happily herded more of the nation’s talent pool across their borders.
Low cost states with nice weather? Gee, who would go there? Retirees? (My sister and her husband, faithful Fox "News" watchers, are always talking about moving to low-tax Indiana. They recently bought a new house in Naperville; I guess they like it here.)
The stunning data underscore an important point as power shifts to Governor-elect Bruce Rauner: Illinois cannot raise taxes on a population that is shrinking due to massive numbers of people leaving.* We know the number one reason Illinoisans leave is for better job and business opportunities, according to Gallup.
* You mean that rounding error?
I saw Gov. Rauner on TV the other day talking about how everyone is going to have to sacrifice in order to right the ship here in Illinois. He then went on to list those who will actually be doing the sacrificing -- it's mostly the poor and middle class. (Hint: when politicians talk about "sacrifice," it's usually someone else who will be doing the sacrificing. And, as in this case, mostly the supporters of Rauner's opponent. Funny how that works, isn't it?)
So who is this Illinois Policy Institute, anyway? According to Progress Illinois:
But the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and ProgressNow's new study, which includes a local report for Illinois, maintains that SPN and its affiliates in every state are big pushers of public policy backed by the pro-corporate American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other right-wing funders, including organizations with ties to the billionaire Koch brothers.
Now that's a surprise.