Democrats Seeking New Laws To Drive Businesses and Jobs From New Jersey
New Jersey’s prosperity is challenged by the deteriorating fundamentals of our economy. To put it simply, we are growing too few jobs, losing high paying, value-added jobs and replacing them with lower paying service work.Now Democrats in New Jersey’s senate are working on driving out entry level and service sector jobs from the state:
Senator Stephen Sweeney (D-3 of West Deptford), introduced a bill that would require businesses employing 1,000 or more employees in New Jersey to pay at least $9.68 per hour plus $4.17 per employee hour in health insurance benefits.
Sweeney’s move is aimed at jacking up the cost of labor and consumer prices at Wal-Mart and other "big box" retailers like Target, Home Depot and Lowe's Home Improvement. Just one more law to make New Jersey ‘more affordable’ - assuming of course, a combination of fewer jobs and higher prices is your idea of more affordable.
During a Monday debate in the Senate Labor Committee Sweeney said: "New Jersey is broke. I think everyone recognizes that. The taxpayers of the state of New Jersey should no longer be burdened." Sweeney wants people to believe Wal-Mart is to blame for people without health insurance and the high tax burden in our state.
Sweeney must also want people to believe that the added jobs, plus business taxes, property taxes, state payroll taxes, sales and other taxes derived from “big box” employers, their employees and customers are causing New Jersey to go broke. What burden would Sweeney place on taxpayers if “big box” jobs are lost and consumers pay more for goods? That doesn’t matter to guys like Sweeney.
But to really understand Sweeney’s motivation you should know that in addition to being a state senator, Sweeney is also a union official “who has criticized Wal-Mart for what he deems anti-organized labor practices.” In other words, Wal-Mart and other “big box” employees have repeatedly shown no interest in joining unions and paying dues to guys like Sweeney. His union muscle has failed and so now he’s flexing his political muscle to “even the playing field” for union employees. Sweeney and his fellow travelers just don’t want you to figure that out. No, Democrats would rather cloud the issue and blame Wal-Mart for the decline in union rolls, people without health insurance and New Jersey’s financial mess.
Obviously not every “big box” employee is without health insurance, as many are actually covered through their employer’s health care plans or the plans of parents, spouses and domestic partners. Wal-Mart, for example, offers health insurance to every employee, full and part-time. Some elect not to enroll in these programs for a variety of reasons, including cost.
The lawmakers in Trenton are the ones that have caused health insurance premiums in New Jersey to be the highest in the nation and they are the ones that have saddled taxpayers with burden of picking up the tab for the uninsured. The problem is not businesses like Wal-Mart or their employees; the problem is with the laws passed in Trenton that have priced insurance out of reach for many lower income workers.
If Democrats in Trenton were really interested in reducing the cost of health insurance in New Jersey, they should take a lesson from Kansas where a health insurance policy for a family of four can be purchased for little in as $172 per month as compared to $1,200 per month in New Jersey. However, it seems they would rather demagogue the issue and work towards adding more people to the state’s health care rolls, placing an even greater burden on taxpayers.
The same goes for the Democrat’s anti-business, anti-job policies and laws they have foisted on New Jersey:
"The state should not be in the business of micro-managing companies' payrolls," said Jeanette Issenman, vice president of government affairs with the New Jersey Commerce and Industry Association. "This bill sends an anti-business message to companies across the nation at a time New Jersey is trying to attract corporations."When all else fails the Democrats can always blame President Bush.