Democrats Call For Budget Cuts, Corzine Remains Firm on Tax Increases
Sweeney, Moriarty and Green displayed charts comparing the state's "Government World" with the "Real World."We have been pointing out the negative impact the growth in government jobs has had on the state’s budget, as well as, the same facts about public employee salaries and benefits for more than a year. We’ve been met with a similar reaction as received by Sweeney, Moriarty and Green.
"We cannot afford this government," said Sen. Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester), himself a business official with the Ironworkers union. "We need to get realistic with what we offer. We need the real world."
"This is not an attack on unions or employees, but we deal with reality," said Green. "The state of New Jersey cannot afford the luxury we had in the past."
“This is frankly the kind of rhetoric we would expect from a right-wing Republican,” said Bob Master, regional legislative political director for the Communications Workers of America, the largest state union, which represents 35,000 state employees.Apparently Bob Master and Cryan only expect to hear facts, logic and fairness from right-wing Bush Republicans. Imagine three Democrats willing to stand up and represent the more than three million workers in New Jersey who are not government employees.
"I think it's an outrageous comment for a guy who purports to be a friend of working people," he said. "It's the kind of thing you would expect to hear from a Bush Republican, not a labor Democrat."
Assemblyman Joseph Cryan of Union County, the state Democratic chairman, said "Frankly, I'm mystified that [Sweeney] would take such an open and direct approach."
Sweeney said he was angered by a union flyer that asked legislators to support a proposed increase in the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent - "so that," he said, "state workers don't have to experience the pain that every taxpayer in the state is going to experience."Governor Corzine’s spokesman, Anthony Coley, said "the governor has no plans to tamper with the provisions of current contracts".
But there is something the Governor can do if public employees won’t voluntarily agree to give-backs; he can cut the size of the state’s workforce. The fastest growing employment sector in New Jersey is government, with the increase in state employees being the greatest. As we’ve said before, the size of the state’s workforce in not governed by contract.
Governor Corzine said he wanted alternatives to his 9.2 percent budget increase and the largest tax increase in New Jersey’s history – well here are few more for him to chew on. Let’s see if Corzine’s really up to making “hard choices’”.