Illinois House Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City) | https://repwilhour.com/
State House Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City) admits to feeling envious of neighboring states and what they’ve done to get their fiscal houses in order as opposed to Illinois’ futile tax-and-spend approach.
“Just raise taxes, that’s always the Democrats’ answer to our underperforming economy,” Wilhour recently posted on Facebook. "Decades of bad policy from pandering politicians have robbed the Illinois working class of opportunity, and it’s totally unacceptable. We need spending reform now.”
By expanding its economy 14.7 percent since the end of the Great Recession more than a decade ago, Illinois lags far behind the rest of the Great Lakes region that encompasses Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin, which has grown 21.9 percent. The rest of the U.S. has shown 25.7-percent growth, according to recently released data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker
While Gov. J.B. Pritzker points to the state’s recent minimum-wage increase and the passage of a capital bill as evidence of progress, the state’s history tells a different story. Namely, that a decade earlier then-Gov. Pat Quinn advanced a similar plan but the state’s construction industry continued to decline to the point that output today is now more than 2 percent less than it was a decade ago.
By comparison, U.S. construction output is up by 13.5 percent; Michigan's is up by 33.6 percent; Ohio's is up 20.8 percent; Indiana's is up 9.4 percent, and Wisconsin's is up 7.7 percent. Many experts blame Illinois' economic woes on the escalating pension crisis about which Wilhour has long been trying to spur action in Springfield.
“And still, politicians don’t want to fix anything and want to keep the status quo,” Wilhour recently told the South Central Reporter. “They don’t want pension reform, property tax reform or regulatory changes. It’s all about the money. If you’re going to reform pensions, there’s a lot of special-interest money to defeat you. And if you’re willing to keep the status quo, there’s a lot of big money that people want to give to you.”