New Jersey’s Broke – Corzine Jokes
Let me condense your transition report for you," he said, eliciting chuckles from the crowd. "We're pretty much broke. We have more debt than we can afford. Next year's budget deficit is at least $5 billion. School construction and transportation funding have virtually dried up. And we have a $1 billion pension payment due next year."Jon Corzine to the crowd:
"Anybody win $5 billion last night at the tables?" Corzine asked. "We could use it."
Isn’t Corzine a riot? In 2002 the New Jersey state budget was $22.5 billion. This year’s budget was $28.1 billion and will be $5 billion greater before Jon Corzine adds on new spending for his campaign promises. Without any new spending the state’s budget will be $33.1 billion. That’s a 47% increase since 2002. Gee, how did that happen after all the McGreevey tax increases and the Codey cuts in property tax rebates?
Not only is the budget out of control, but New Jersey is now the third heaviest debtor among all states.
New Jersey borrowed $4.2 billion last year, continuing a voracious run-up of loans that has tapped out the state's highway building fund and nearly doubled state debt in just five years.What are Jon Corzine’s plans for the state? Well, Corzine’s talking up all the new spending plans he has for the cities and he’s brought in Dick Leone to head up his transition team. For those that may not remember, Dick Leone was the architect of the state’s income tax in 1975 under former Governor Brendan Byrne. The income tax was sold to taxpayers at the time as a solution for the property tax burden.
When the last budget year closed on June 30, New Jersey had $28.9 billion in long-term debt outstanding, the state's annual Debt Report shows. Five years ago, the reports show, state debt stood at $15.8 billion; a decade ago it was less than $8 billion.
How’d that work out? The cities got the money and New Jersey can boast at having the highest property taxes in the country. What will happen this time? The income tax will be raised, the cities will get the money and New Jersey taxpayers will get the shaft – just as Corzine planned. After all, that’s Jon Corzine’s idea of making New Jersey more affordable.
Update: We received the following claification concerning the year's state budget:
One minor quibble.
The New Jersey budget this year was NOT 28.1 billion; that was the amount "on budget". For political reasons, much state spending was kept "off budget", to the tune of almost $1 billion.
Hence, $29 billion is much closer to the truth, even before supplemental spending.