Liberalism is a bad investment
...Indiana's debt for unfunded retiree health-care benefits, for example, amounts to just $81 per person. Neighboring Illinois's accumulated obligations for the same benefit average $3,399 per person.
Illinois is an object lesson in why firms are starting to pay more attention to the long-term fiscal prospects of communities. Early last year, the state imposed $7 billion in new taxes on residents and business, pledging to use the money to eliminate its deficit and pay down a backlog of unpaid bills (to Medicaid providers, state vendors and delayed tax refunds to businesses). But more than a year later, the state is in worse fiscal shape, with its total deficit expected to increase to $5 billion from $4.6 billion, according to an estimate by the Civic Federation of Chicago.
Rising pension costs will eat up much of the tax increase. Illinois borrowed money in the last two years to make contributions to its public pension funds. This year, under pressure to stop adding to its debt, the legislature must make its pension contributions out of tax money. That will cost $4.1 billion plus an additional $1.6 billion in interest payments on previous pension borrowings.
Business leaders are now speaking openly about Illinois' fiscal failures. Jim Farrell, the former CEO of Illinois Toolworks who is heading a budget reform effort called Illinois Is Broke, said last year that the state is squandering its inherent advantages as a business location because "all the other good stuff doesn't make up for the [fiscal] calamity that's on the way." Caterpillar, the giant Peoria-based maker of heavy construction machinery, made the same point more vividly when it declined in February to locate a new factory in Illinois, specifically citing concern about the state's "business climate and overall fiscal health."
California is another place where businesses have come to view three years of budget uncertainty and huge pension liabilities (not to mention the state's already high taxes and complex regulatory regime) as an inducement to migrate elsewhere. The state and its municipalities already face unfunded pension bills that now top $500 billion, according to studies by Stanford University's Joe Nation, and several of the state's cities, including Stockton in the Central Valley, face the prospect of insolvency.
Executives at Stasis Engineering, a formerly Sonoma, Calif.-based auto design firm that left the state for West Virginia in the midst of an unfolding budget crisis in 2009, told the Press Democrat newspaper that the "budgetary bedlam gripping Sacramento" seemed to portend, as the paper characterized the company's concerns, "a future filled with tax increases and service cuts." More recently, in December 2011, Ron Mittelstaedt, the chief executive of Waste Connections, a recycling company formerly based in Folsom, Calif., told the press that the state's "structural [budget] mess" was a contributing factor in its decision to relocate to Texas....Investing in liberalism is a loser. It raises your cost structure making it more expensive to compete with business who are not having to drag around the cost on some retired state workers who are getting paid more than your own workers who are retired. Liberalism is driving people out of states like California, Illinois and New York. Texas is getting a lot of businesses relocating. But where will businesses go if Obama is reelected and continues to push his own failed investment portfolio on the country.