"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Sunday, December 12, 2004

State Spending – It’s A Matter Of Choice

Do politicians ever realize that we elect and pay them to spend our money wisely? Their job is to make decisions that are in the best interest of all the people. In New Jersey with all the corruption, pay-to-play action, special interest group catering, cronyism, stupidly and pork for the voters back home – the answer is a resounding No!

Our representatives spend more than the state takes in and then they are outraged when we can’t afford to pay for the basics – like homeland security. Why don’t we hold these guys accountable? Why do we continue to reelect these people? In the end we only have ourselves to blame – so it’s time we wake up, pay attention and vote for those that know the difference between priorities and pork.

Charles Webster’s column in the Trentonian is right on point:

Democrats have spent a lot of time moaning and groaning about homeland security cash shortages over the past few years. Last year, it was former Gov. Jim McGreevey crying about the state being short-changed, but he was also the guy who failed to show up for a meeting with Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge earlier this year - opting to spend the day down the shore talking about tourism.

Now it’s acting Gov. Dick Codey and other Democrats in the leadership taking to their soapbox to complain about homeland security cuts. The state is poised to get about $31 million less in 2005 compared to this year. That’s a big chunk of change, but there is a pool of money to draw from if Codey has the intestinal fortitude to stand up to his free-spending friends over in the Assembly.

How about pulling back every last dollar of the more than $70 million Democrats hoarded into their districts this year. Let’s take back the $3.4 million that happened to find its way into GOP districts too. We could save a bundle on our homeland security insurance bucks if we just tapped into the 20 million Christmas tree dollars Assembly Speaker Albio Sires and Majority Leader Joe Roberts funneled into their districts.

These two guys spend money like drunken sailors on shore leave after a long cruise.Sires pocketed more than $8.8 million in his district, and a majority of that money--$5.75 million is for West New York where he lives and double dips as mayor. West New Yorkers can live a lot safer without the $2 million to refurbish a garage, another $2 million for street repairs and $1.4 million for upgrading recreational facilities. Who cares?

We need to be safe - pretty hard to worry about all those things if terrorists are planning a suicide mission downtown.Nix it all. Adios. Put a stop payment on all these frivolous checks and pour it into something worthwhile to everyone in the state - including those very people in Sires’ district.

Codey needs to put that money into homeland security.Sires doesn’t need $250,000 for the beautification of his dumpy town - that money is better spent on homeland security, not some over-priced flowers and a few ugly flower boxes. Oh, and there is a hefty $14 million to tap into from Joe Roberts’ district too. Put it back. Stop payment!

Roberts’ beloved Camden got $3.5 million to buy up land, a feasibility study and a nice new office for the Camden Redevelopment Agency. Puleeze! Camden doesn’t need a $3.5 million do as you please Christmas gift from Roberts at the expense of our security.

And while we’re at it, Bellmawr can wait for their $15,000 hydraulic lift and Woodbury doesn’t really need a $350,000 skate park at the expense of our security. Stop payment now!

And if Codey is looking for an excuse for being so bold - tell them that if the state isn’t safe it won’t matter how beautiful West New York streets look, and it sure as heck isn’t going to matter if we’re redeveloping anything in Camden if there’s terrorists setting off bombs in the streets.

Codey has been on a good roll since taking office. It’s time to continue in that direction and just say no to Sires and Roberts who have all this excess cash burning a hole in their pockets.

It’s the holiday season and what better present for the citizens of New Jersey then to put a stop to their irresponsible spending by redirecting all that cash into protecting us all. Does Codey have the guts to pull it off? The answer could decide if he’s acting like a governor or serious about being the governor for real.


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