Dan Caulkins Illinois
Illinois rep-elect Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur). (Jake Leonard/Heartland Newsfeed photo)

DECATUR (Heartland Newsfeed) — When it comes to Illinois’ shrinking population, the numbers reported don’t tell the full story.

This is what representative-elect Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur), who was elected to succeed Bill Mitchell (R-Decatur) last month, believes when it comes to one of the largest shrinking populations in the nation.

“It’s not just that we’re losing people,” Caulkins stated in a news release.

Caulkins stated that the shrinking population involves many of the state’s workforce in the private sector, which are leaving in larger numbers. Also noted is the continued departure of middle class taxpayers to the degree that it may no longer exist should they all leave.

Newly-released data from the U.S. Census reveals that 45,116 people decided to call another state home in 2018, marking the fifth consecutive year of population declines.

Illinois’ 2018 numbers are only overshadowed by New York City, which lost 48,510 people in the same time period.

However, Illinois was the only Midwestern state to lose population in 2018 — a state that has lost nearly 1.5 million residents due to out-migration since 2000.

Caulkins blames the out-migration on the fact that the state government — both the Illinois General Assembly as well as the past several gubernatorial administrations — have failed at managing their finances or any other aspects of government.

He noted the departure of the workforce is due to high levels of taxation and the constantly increasing cost of living, which he attributes to the fiscally-irresponsible Democratic Party, their regained super-majority and their three-decade track record of fiscal incompetence.

“Until Democrats understand that we can’t continue to do what we’ve done for the past 30 years, the exodus of people leading for the border will only get greater,” Caulkins said.

He fears things will only get worse before it gets better, which he revealed will come from governor-elect J.B. Pritzker and House Speaker Michael Madigan as an attempt to extract even more money from taxpayers. He cites this creates a vicious circle where the only loser is the taxpayer.

Caulkins secured 70 percent of the vote against Democratic opponent Jen McMullin in last month’s general election for the 101st District seat, which represents areas of Champaign, DeWitt, Macon, McLean and Piatt counties.

The 100th General Assembly reconvenes for two days beginning January 7 before the 101st General Assembly is sworn in on January 9.

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Jake Leonard is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. He is general manager of Heartland Internet Media Networks and an active contributor to four newspapers for Pana News Group. He also serves as chairman of Tri-Counties Libertarian Party and Capital Area Libertarian Party, deputy candidate recruitment director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois and as chairman/co-founder of the Libertarian Party Millennial Caucus.