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Progressive Illinois May Soon Get Much Bluer

Want an abortion or gender-affirming education? The Land of Lincoln might pay you to move.

by | Feb 24, 2024 | Articles, Opinion, Politics

The Land of Lincoln may soon offer a $500 tax credit for those driven out of other states by abortion bans and conservative “content-based restrictions on educational materials.” If HB5152 passes, as seems likely, an already progressive Illinois is set to get a lot bluer.

A Radical Recruiting Bonus

State Rep. Kelly M. Cassidy, the Democrat representing the Prairie State’s 14th district and self-declared LGBT rights activist and organizer, submitted HB5152 to the Illinois House earlier this month. The bill amends the Illinois Income Tax Act to create an income tax credit of $500 for each individual taxpayer who meets certain ideological and residency criteria.

Anyone who moves in from a state with more restrictive abortion laws in order to either terminate a pregnancy of their own or to offer the service to others would qualify for the one-time credit in the year they move, as would teachers and folks with kids who relocate to avoid what Cassidy calls “content-based restrictions on educational materials” – presumably “gender-affirming” education and other far-left indoctrination. It’s like a radical recruiting bonus.

Democrats have ruled the Illinois Senate since 2002 and the House since 1996. The Prairie State has had a single, one-term Republican governor in the last decade, and the people haven’t backed a GOP candidate for president since 1988.

Today, Democrats hold veto-proof majorities in the legislature, leading Republicans 40-19 in the Senate and 78-40 in the House, not that left-wing lawmakers would need such a power against their progressive ally in the governor’s mansion, J. B. Pritzker. One might safely assume Illinois is a Democratic Party bastion – the Land of Lincoln no longer. Is HB5152 then destined to become law of the land? Probably.

Is Illinois a Lost Cause?

It may even be safe to say that Illinois is a lost cause for Republicans. A look at history and current trends – especially if the state starts offering tax credits for having the “correct” ideology – is suggestive. One could, perhaps, then be tempted to believe that an influx of radical leftists out of much redder states, while unfortunate for conservative or libertarian Illinoisans, would be welcome news for those on the right around the nation. And, true enough, the response of most conservatives and libertarians to progressives leaving their hometowns in droves would probably be “good riddance.”

What would happen, though, if hundreds or even thousands of leftist true believers moved from each red state in the South or Midwest to Illinois? As annoying, embarrassing, or even infuriating as political and ideological opponents may be, losing them to other states has its downside. The already solidly blue state would gain representatives in Congress and electoral votes for president – eventually imposing its will even more at the national level – all the while those more conservative climes abandoned by progressives would lose both. Sure, if an equal number of conservatives flee this Democrat stronghold it could balance out but how likely is that to actually happen?

The truth is that, in a political system built upon balancing representation to population distribution, every majority needs the minority. Electorally, the best thing for a red state is for there to be almost as many Democrats as there are Republicans – up to a certain safe margin, of course. And the same holds true when the tables are turned; Democrats benefit from having just enough Republicans around to not quite threaten their agenda.

But what about everyone else? Recent electoral maps set the scene: Just 14 of the 102 counties in Illinois were some shade of blue in the 2020 presidential election – and only a dozen in 2016. The rest – the vast majority of the state by area – was a sea of red both years. That’s a lot of folks left to live with this progressive payout scheme who don’t want their tax dollars redistributed to any radical leftist willing to take that $500 credit to relocate should the bill become law.

Those same folks are the ones who, for the most part, don’t want their children exposed to “education” that teaches them gender is fluid, their conservative friends and family are domestic terrorists (or, at the very least, just despicable, heartless monsters), all cops are criminals, and every white person in America is racist. They’re the same folks who don’t want to see other people’s unborn children killed as a matter of convenience – and they definitely don’t want to pay for it all come tax time.

Read More From James Fite

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