Responding to incentives

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It's what people always do:

Reality check: The number of residents fleeing Illinois for other states jumped to 93,704 in 2014 from 68,204 the previous year. It increased in 2015 to 106,544, and in 2016 to 109,941. More exodus in 2017 of 114,779 and last year, another 114,154.

Who do you think is leaving Illinois? For the most part, it’s people who have the means to do so.

And why would they be leaving?

Left-leaning politicians bash people like [Tom] Ricketts and want to tax them more to solve budget problems. But remember: Ricketts didn’t vote on those unbalanced budgets, year after year. He didn’t accumulate mountains of debt. He didn’t vote to underfund worker pensions. He didn’t vote to borrow more money instead of cut spending.

The Democrats in Chicago and Springfield did that. So when you hear the wealth-bashing, make no mistake who’s really responsible for the budget mess we’re in. It isn’t the Ricketts family.

Tom Ricketts owns the Cubs. He's got a lot of money, perhaps even as much as J.B. Pritzker, the new billionaire governor of Illinois. And what does Pritzker have in mind?

Pritzker and a Democrat-led House and Senate plan to introduce a graduated income tax proposal that would, at least initially, hit upper-income earners in Illinois. Candidates for Chicago mayor, including Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, have proposed a new tax on million-dollar property transactions. Aldermanic candidates, including Ald. Pat Dowell, 3rd, have floated the idea of a separate city income tax for wealthy Chicagoans. And mayoral candidate Bill Daley is open to a tax on commuters who live outside the city but work in Chicago.

I'm sure that will work nicely. Illinois has been circling the drain for a long time now, but it's worth watching what is happening there. What politicians do there will be coming to Minnesota soon enough.