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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

A Tale of Two States

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Two states, heading in opposite directions. Fascinating dueling headlines about Wisconsin and Illinois.

First, Illinois. the Chicago Tribune reports:

CME's Executive Chairman, Terry Duffy, said the company was exploring a potential move of its corporate base, after Illinois earlier this year sharply lifted the corporate tax rate paid by the Chicago-based exchange company.

Bonus editorial in the Wall Street Journal on the "Illinois Tax Firesale: A case study in high corporate rates and special favors.

llinois gained nationwide notoriety in January when Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a 67% hike in the personal income tax rate while lifting the corporate tax rate to 9.5%, the fourth highest in the nation. How is that working out?

Now Wisconsin.

Executives surveyed by Wisconsin's largest business lobbying group overwhelmingly say the state is "going in the right direction," a near-complete reversal of sentiment from a year ago that comes against a backdrop of exceptional political animosity.

The 2011 Economic Outlook Survey from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce shows that business leaders have shifted their views sharply in the aftermath of last year's change of political control in Madison from Democrats to Republicans.

That's no surprise - WMC was a major supporter of Gov. Scott Walker and other Republican candidates. The swing in the numbers is so big, though, it's impossible to ignore.

A year ago, 10% of the survey respondents said they believed Wisconsin was going in the right direction. This year, that number jumped to 88%.

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