te jobs (Darren Hauck/Reuters)
As I've noted before, Republicans had a great deal of fun back in early 2011 taunting Illinois for (surprisingly) electing a Democratic governor, Pat Quinn. The theory was that Quinn's tax increases, designed to close a huge budget gap, would lead to a business exodus to Gov. Scott Walker's Wisconsin conservative utopia.
"Years ago Wisconsin had a tourism advertising campaign targeted to Illinois with the motto, `Escape to Wisconsin,'" Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said in a statement. "Today we renew that call to Illinois businesses, `Escape to Wisconsin.' You are welcome here."
At CPAC this year, Walker continued that theme:
"Last year, Governor Quinn proudly proclaimed that they were not going to do things like Wisconsin. Clearly, they did not. Their actions only made matters worse.
They raised taxes by 67% on individuals and 46% on businesses. That might explain why they dropped 40 spots during the past five years on the same poll that showed Wisconsin up 17 spots in one year alone."
In reality, turns out that Wisconsin was the only state in the entire country to lose jobs in 2011, while Illinois had better than average growth. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia also predicted strong economic growth in Illinois, while placing Wisconsin last in its forecast: