New Jersey Loves Illinois!

I was on my way to court yesterday morning when I heard this ad on WLS attempting to lure businesses from Illinois:

“Hi, I’m Chris Christie, Governor of the State of New Jersey. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Move my business to New Jersey? Really?’ Really. My administration has worked hard to change the direction of our business climate, plus our state has many advantages. We have an incredible talent pool to drive your business. Innovative financing, incentive and assistance programs. And an exceptional quality of life for the people who live and work here. Oh, and one more thing. As long as I’m Governor, I will not raise your taxes. I am proud of the new direction we’ve brought to New Jersey: lower taxes, reduced government spending and less regulation: a better home for business — today and in the future. Don’t let Illinois balance its budget on the back of your business. Choose New Jersey – we mean business.”

Go here to listen to the ad.

New Jersey.  New Jersey!  You folks who do not live in the Midwest probably do not realize this, and my apologies to the inhabitants of the lovely Garden State, but the popular stereotype of New Jersey here is a land of toxic waste dumps ruled over by the Mafia!  New Jersey is attempting to lure businesses from Illinois, and it will probably succeed.  Because of the complete blithering idiots who rule my state, and their completely counter-productive tax hike, Illinois has become a bad joke from coast to coast, and many states are picking the bones of the aptly named Sucker State.    Businesses are beginning to bail on Illinois, and no doubt many more will follow:

A spokesman for Caterpillar Inc., one of the largest manufacturers in Illinois with 23,000 employees in the state, said in a statement that “such a tax increase will make it more difficult for Caterpillar to compete in today’s global economy from our operations in Illinois.”

I love my home state but if I were just starting out, I would leave it in a second.  Illinois is on the path to bankruptcy and the tax increases will ultimately reduce revenues by driving out businesses and our most resourceful and productive residents.  Elections have consequences.  New Jersey voters got fed up with business as usual and elected Christie.  Illinois voters voted for more of the same, and more of the same is precisely what they are getting.  Illinois is an object lesson in how feckless politics can destroy the economy, and the future, of a state.

Share With Friends

Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. Actually I think this latest move proves that what has long been known as the “economic war between the states” has gotten way out of hand. In fact I will soon be doing a post on that very topic.

    I have been rather an admirer of Christie but to be honest, my opinion of him just went down a few notches because of this stunt — and yes, it is a stunt. Seriously, his own state still has a long way to go in fixing its problems, and it is still losing people at a faster rate than Illinois, so he ought to focus on it. Some of Christie’s budget cutting devices (like skipping the state’s payment into the employee pension fund) were already tried in Illinois years ago with the disastrous results we see today.

    Also, don’t forget that:

    1) several of the states that are now attempting to poach jobs from Illinois have combined state and LOCAL tax rates that are about equal to or in some cases HIGHER than what Illinois has now, and

    2) a lot of corporations get tax breaks from Illinois or whatever state they are in so the official tax rate doesn’t apply to them anyway.

  2. I think Christie is moving in the right direction Elaine. Considering the economic basket case the state was in when he took over, and the fact that he confronts a hostile state legislature controlled by Democrats, I think he has done well.

    On the other hand we have too many people in Illinois who are in denial and simply will not admit that this state is about to hit a fiscal wall. This really atrocious piece by Rich Miller at Capitol Fax is typical of the whistling at the top of the abyss. Attacking other states to divert attention from the fact that Illinois is on the brink of fiscal collapse is amusing, but that is about all I can say for it.


  3. There are limits to everything.

    Is it that big governments try to be “all things to all people”, with private sector taxes paying for it all?

    At what point do high taxes chase away, or ruin, the state’s private sector?

    A number of states’ rulers have serious “heads in sand” issues.

  4. That goes for the DC Dim crowd’s adamant adherence to fiscal destruction: freeze government spending at $1.5 trillion more than tax revenues????

    Er, cut the annual deficit to $1.1 trillion over ten years????

    I didn’t even need to go to my HP-12 financial calculator to estimate that would add $12+ trillion to the already unsustainable National Debt.

    Does the bloviator-in-chief think we are stupid? Not 75% of us. How can 25% be so stupid? Ans. a. the kool aid b. Public school brainwashing. c. Food stamps.

  5. …Plus, we in New Jersey have great landfills…Come ride the NJ Turnpike, where you still have to pay a toll even though the road was paid for years ago. Even the legendary Jimmy Hoffa probably has found a home here. Our economy is so good that the Mafia hasn’t laid off a judge in at least a decade. And that great smell around Bayonne of old tires and petroleum fumes is something you just can’t find anywhere else.

    Yes, come to the Garden State and visit beautiful downtown Camden, but make sure you bring a gun because there’s no one there to protect you because most of the cops have been first. But, hey, we have to start making cuts somewhere and business comes first and there are plenty of opportunities for profit on the hundreds of foreclosed homes and empty storefronts.

    And if you think the politicians in Illinois are crooked (after all, how many of our ex-governors are in jail?), we still know how to accept a “campaign contribution” with the best of them. Please use a brown paper bag, however, and make it cash. Dollars are acceptable but Euros and Asian currency are preferred.

    Thanks for stopping by! We look forward to your business!

  6. I doubt this would impact anyone’s decision. If you’re a business owner or leader and you find that you need to relocate in order to stay afloat or prosper, you’re going to appreciate Christie’s attitude. However, that doesn’t mean it is New Jersey’s attitude, and it’s doubtful the attitude the remain once Christie is gone. If you have to go through the pain and expense of uprotting, you’re going to look for a location that can suit your business needs and do so economically over the long haul. If you’re finding Illinois unworkable, you’re likely going to find most traditionally blue states a poor choice.

  7. Joe, I must stand up for the honor of Illinois! When it comes to political corruption we are second to none. In the past four decades we have had three of our governors go to the Big House, with a fourth on the way. Try and match that!

  8. RL, I think most of the businesses leaving Illinois will probably head to Indiana and Wisconsin. However, I would not be surprised if Christie isn’t able to lure a few businesses as the SS Illinois sinks beneath the waves after hitting the fiscal iceberg.

  9. Agree, Donald, that NJ has a ways to go, but they’ll get there eventually. Meanwhile, can’t wait for Blago’s new TV reality show.

  10. Wisconsin’s new slogan: “Wisconsin is open for business.” Translation: “We can grease palms with the best of them”

  11. NJ may be starting to appeal to some businesses, people should look at NJ’s very high property taxes:
    Average property tax in NJ is about $6.3K a year whereas in Illinois it’s about $3.3K. That extra $3K might come in handy for some families.

    source: http://www.illinoispolicy.org/blog/blog.asp?ArticleSource=1497
    (NOTE: this data is slightly out-dated, I thought I saw newer data for NJ that said property tax has increased to over $7K.

  12. I live in Illinois, and there’s no chance I’ll be moving to the East coast. Like Don says, our Midwestern image of New Jersey is that it’s NYC’s Mafia-run landfill (no offense). But I live 5 miles from the border with Missouri and work online from home, so I’m going to look into whether I can get a post office box or rent a small office on the other side of the river and officially make my income in that state. I probably don’t make enough money for it to save me that much, but it’d be worth it to poke them in the eye even if I break even on the deal.

    Many locals already drive over there to save 10 cents/gallon on gas, and there’s a string of other businesses among the gas stations that exist only to serve Illinois residents (there’s no town over there to speak of). I bet they were all cheering when they heard about Illinois’s 66% tax increase.

  13. Funny how competing sovereign states can highlight the errors and the best practices of each other. We must put a stop to this if we are to remain a Union. I suggest that Illinois raise up the militia and invade New Jersey to force a regime change.

  14. Joe your bitter grapes with regard to Wisconsin are surely not on account of the Packers crushing da Bears???

  15. Lawyer…FYI, I am a transplanted Cheesehead whose veins now run green and gold. I am not responsible for any inferences drawn that my state’s politics are in any way corrupt : )

  16. This just in… the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled, unanimously, that Rahm Emanuel CAN stay on the ballot for Chicago mayor, based on established precedent from an eerily similar case that was decided in the 1860s (that’s not a typo, we’re talking 140 + years ago) and was considered settled case law until called into question “a few days ago”. Intent DOES count when establishing residency for purposes of running for public office, as well as for voting for public office.

    Now back to our show…

    I have to differ with you, Don, on that Capitol Fax article you linked to. While Miller may be a bit over the top in his writing style there all his information was accurate. If you read him habitually (as I do), you would know that he’s been sounding the alarm about Illinois’ looming fiscal disaster louder and longer than just about anyone in the legacy media. What he was attempting to do here was NOT ignore or dismiss the problem but put it in some perspective, and point out that it’s not necessarily the end of the world, or of Sucker State civilization as we know it.

    I agree that Miller comes down pretty hard on Christie, whose budget deficit is at least headed in the right direction, however slowly. Still, I’m puzzled as to why Christie would do this except in an attempt to play to a national audience and not miss out on the “pile on Illinois” game being played by other GOP governors (including prospective POTUS and VPOTUS candidates).

    It’s one thing for Wisconsin and Indiana to try to persuade Illinois businesses to move — they are right next door, and one could locate in those states and still be within easy reach of the Chicago metro area. And I could even see states like Texas and Florida getting in on the act, after all, they offer freedom from both income taxes and snow shoveling 🙂

    But New Jersey? Seriously, what Illinois business owner is going to pack up and move 1,000 miles just to put up with equally bad if not worse weather, higher property and income taxes, and even more entrenched corruption (mainly at the local level)? Not to mention Snooki and The Situation taking the place of Mr. and Mrs. Blago as your least favorite reality TV stars?

  17. In regard to the Emanuel opinion Elaine, I thought it interesting that in the concurring opinion they took exception to the caustic tone of the majority towards the two appellate court judges who wrote the opinion that the Supreme Court reversed. I applauded that. The Illinois Supreme Court harps on the necessity of civility by attorneys and lower courts, and then they write fairly unprofessional opinions, the tone of this one was not that much worse than others I have read, in which they let their inner jerks have free reign. I also agree with the concurring justices that the law in this area was not clear and I think the Supreme Court has made it murkier. The next time that a Chicago cop is fired for non-residence, it will be interesting to see if the Supreme Court still believes that the law is crystal clear on the issue of residence.

    As to Capitol Fax, I am not inclined to be charitable. I think Miller leans to the Democrat side, and I think he is unfair to Christie who is making heroic efforts to balance the books of New Jersey:


    In regard to Christie and Illinois, I think his attitude was it would give his efforts to woo businesses to New Jersey nation-wide publicity for a modest radio investment, and he was right. I think it was a shrewd move, even if he doesn’t get a single Illinois business to jump ship.

  18. At the risk of being snarky (oh, what the hell), perhaps Mr. Christie would do well to tighten his own belt — that is if he could find one to accommodate his girth.

  19. Better a fat belly than a fat head Joe. If it would make them fiscal hawks like Christie, I’d send each governor a case of Christie’s favorite desert.

    Corzine of course tried the “Christie is fat” attack during the campaign, and Christie just rolled right over him. 🙂

Comments are closed.