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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was an insufferable asshole when first elected, and took perpetual glee in contrasting his tea party ideology with that of his southern neighbor—Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who won an improbably victory in the GOP's 2010 wave. While Walker set out to gut his state's budget and services, Quinn took an opposite tack—he raised taxes to close the state's budget loophole.

Walker had fun taunting Quinn:

"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."
And more recently, speaking at the CPAC conference:
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.

What poll? Who knows. Maybe it's a poll of his cabinet, for all we know. But there's something better than polls in regards to this matter—actual economic indicators. And, it turns out, that Quinn was wise in not doing things "like Wisconsin."

First up is the current job picture:

Chart of job growth in all 50 states
Yup, that's Wisconsin bringing up the bottom, while Illinois is above average. And losing jobs his first year sure puts him further away from this doozy of a campaign promise:
“If you elect me as your next Governor, I’ll get government out of the way and lower the tax burden so Wisconsin business owners and factories can create 250,000 jobs and 10,000 businesses in our state by 2015,” said Walker to the group of over 800 business owners and community leaders.
It's not quite working out that way, is it?

Meanwhile, according to Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia numbers, Illinois is handily outperforming Wisconsin's economy:

Map showing Wisconsin as only state not improving economically
The Fed calculates the economic strength of each state using "nonfarm payroll employment, average hours worked in manufacturing, the unemployment rate, and wage and salary disbursements deflated by the consumer price index (U.S. city average)." As you can see, Wisconsin is the only state in the union not to have positive growth, while Illinois is one of the nation's top performers.

(As an aside, all that green is Mitt Romney's and the GOP's worst nightmare.)

This is the record that Scott Walker will have to defend this summer, as Pat Quinn laughs his ass off down south in Illinois.

Originally posted to kos on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 02:35 PM PDT.

Also republished by Your Government at Work, Badger State Progressive, In Support of Labor and Unions, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and Daily Kos.

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