Updated: Jun 15, 2019
Obviously the headline is a bit of sarcasm, but there's always truth behind sarcasm.
Illinois leads the nation in a small number of categories. Let's run through a few of them..
Illinois, #1 in:
States that begin with "IL"
States that Abraham Lincoln is buried in
Highest total effective tax
Highest total "cost of living" adjusted tax-rate
Largest number of people moving away to nearby states
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Gas taxes in Illinois will also reach one of the highest in America- moving from $.19/gallon to $.38/gallon on July 1st.
Here's the question: If you live near the border of one of the 5 states bordering Illinois, why would you buy anything in Illinois? Especially gas?
Today (before the increase has taken effect), gas in Metropolis, IL will run you $2.79/gallon. Five minutes across the border in Paducah, KY you can get gas for $2.47.
Gas in Anna, IL will cost you $2.79/gallon, but nearby in Cape Girardeau, MO it's $2.41/gallon.
Gas in Moline, IL will cost you $2.79/gallon, but one mile across the border to Davenport, IA it runs $2.44/gallon.
What's the point?
Illinois residents are at a massive disadvantage to their nearby neighbors, and it's only getting worse. I'm not going to go into all the issues facing the "Land of Lincoln," but we'll definitely get into that at another time in the future.
The basic economics of the situation imply that people will continue to find the best and most efficient use for their dollar. This happens at a local level, and by the way, it happens at a national level. Businesses will leave the US under high taxation just like people are fleeing the State of Illinois.
Being from Southern Illinois, I've seen the laws of basic economics first-hand. Actually, I was let go from my very first job at a local grocery store when the minimum wage was raised to $6.50 back in 2003. Businesses in Southern Illinois have been closing left and right, and sadly, many of the small towns are disappearing.
It's a pretty easy explanation when you take 15 seconds to think about it. If you were looking for a spot to locate your business, why exactly would you choose Southern Illinois when you can easily drive less than an hour to build in a state that's much more business friendly? Why would you choose to locate in an area with the highest taxes on everything from property, cigarettes, or gas?
The quick and easy answer: You wouldn't.
I even have liberal friends and family back home in Illinois that complain about the high taxes! In my head I'm always thinking, "Well isn't that what you're pushing for the entire country to do?" The inability to connect what's happening in Illinois to what might happen in all of America is simply terrifying.
Beware USA- Illinois is a test of socialist policies on a small level. Trust me, it isn't going to get any more efficient on a larger scale.
If Americans want a quick view of Democratic Socialist policies in the USA, they need to look to Illinois as a prime example. If Illinois wants to fix it's money problems, it needs to give people a reason to stay there.