Illinois – Poster Child for Failed Leftist Government

April 9, 2013 07:39

Ruled by Democrats for decades, Illinois ranks 45th when considering fiscal policy, regulatory policy and personal freedom.

Illinois is one of the least free states in the nation.

By Brian Costin, Director of Government Reform at The Illinois Policy Institute

The evidence?

According to a study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Illinois ranks 45th when considering fiscal policy, regulatory policy and personal freedom.


The state’s ranking has steadily declined during the last decade. In 2001, Illinois ranked 29th.
Surprisingly, Illinois fared best in the fiscal policy category, which looks at tax burden, government employment and government debt — ranking 29th.
The study did, however, highlight Illinois’ pension debt, which is way out of line with national norms, noting that state and local debt make up 25% of personal income. We’ve also pointed out the state’s worst-in-the-nation credit rating, as well as its nearly $10 billion in unpaid bills.
When it comes to regulatory policy, Illinois ranks 42nd. Researchers looked at policies relating to tort abuse, property rights, health insurance, occupational licensing, labor market freedom and other related areas.
According to the study, one reason Illinois did so poorly in this category is because it has the third-highest minimum wage in the country. This high minimum wage hurts young and unskilled workers by pricing them out of jobs.
And when it comes to personal freedom, super nanny Michael Bloomberg has nothing on Springfield. Illinois ranks dead last in that category; New York ranks 48th.
Researchers looked at a wide range of personal freedoms, including tobacco and alcohol, gambling, guns, campaign finance, education and civil liberties.
The study cites strict gun control laws and “very high” arrest rates for victimless crimes as two main reasons for Illinois’ low personal freedom score. It also called the state’s asset forfeiture laws “among the worst in the nation.”
Asset forfeiture refers to the government’s ability to take your property when they suspect you of a crime. You don’t have to be convicted or even charged – just a suspect. As a study by the Institute for Justice pointed out, in Illinois police can seize your property if they have probable cause that you committed a crime. It is up to you to prove your innocence if you want to get that property back.
Springfield is working hard to preserve its nanny state status by working to stop the commercialization of lion meat, prohibiting the sale of energy drinks to minors and banning dogs behind the wheel.
Meanwhile, our pension debt grows by $21 million per day and unemployment jumped to 9.5% in February.
Maybe lawmakers should spend a little less time babysitting and a little more time budgeting.
Just a thought.

Brian Costin
Director of Government Reform


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