"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

New Jersey Sales Tax Increase Squandered On Pork

The state is pretty much broke”, declared New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine during his budget unveiling speech in March.

What was the Governor’s solution to the problem? The first thing Corzine did was to borrow, adding $6.4 billion to the state’s debt, structured such that repayment balloons from 2011 through 2041. Next, Corzine proposed a budget to increase state spending by 9.2 percent and to levy $1.8 billion in new taxes.

Corzine has insisted the tax hike - from 6 percent to 7 percent - is needed to close the state's recurring budget gap.

To gain support for his new taxes, Corzine shut down state government to force lawmakers to accept his budget and tax increases. He protected state employees, agreeing to pay them for any days not worked during the shut down. The losses in taxes to the state and income by private citizens were to be borne by those held hostage. To add insult to injury, Corzine then broke out the taxpayers’ checkbook:

Lawmakers estimate that majority Democrats added more than $300 million in such projects - called "pork" or "Christmas tree ornaments" - in the hours before the Legislature passed the spending plan early Saturday morning.
You know things are bad when David Rebovich, political science professor at Rider University, can’t put a positive spin on the tax and spend frenzy. The tax increases weren’t used to place state government on a sound financial footing; they were frittered away on new spending.

"That means state government was closed for eight days to gain an additional $300 million in revenue, which is 1 percent of the budget," Rebovich said. "That's not a headline that the governor or Democratic legislators want out there."

He added: "In what we're told is the beginning of a major downsizing in government, it's surprising that [Corzine] allowed so much additional spending to be added in the wee hours of the night."
Call it “property tax relief” in you like, $200,000 for a diesel-powered electric generator in West Deptford, $40,000 for roof repair to the Barnsboro Fire House, $110,000 for sidewalks in Logan Township, $24 million more for Newark and $4 million more for Trenton for God knows what. And on and on the spending list goes.

So there you have it. After all is said there done, there was no downsizing of New Jersey’s government. Tax increases were gobbled up by even more new spending and the state begins next year with a $2 billion budget hole.


At 11:58 AM, Blogger njgalaxie73 said...

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."

-Winston Churchill

That pretty much sums up New Jersey in a nutshell.

At 12:06 PM, Blogger KingDrudge said...

Which red state do you plan on moving to njgalaxie?

I hear GA, AZ, & NC are pretty nice

At 1:02 PM, Blogger njgalaxie73 said...

Actually, if I had the means to move to Florida, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Arizona would be a second choice because of my asthma and seasonal allergies. The air is nice and dry over there!

The one thing I can say for New Jerseyans who leave the state is that the majority of them are smart enough not to ruin the their new home state by voting for Democrats.

New Jersey really needs to be made an example of across the nation this year to ensure a Republican majority in Congress.

Simply ask the question, Who wants to become another New Jersey?

At 1:35 PM, Anonymous njcons said...

My wife an I have made the firm decision to leave NJ in the next 3 -5 years. It takes time to put everything in place. I'm luckier than many as the company I own can be located more or less anywhere. When I move, my company will go with me along with the existing 30 (well paying) jobs.

At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And while raising the sales tax by 16% he cut the rebate checks. And his almost criminal action was not doing his "constitutional duty" and certifying lower revenues from the casino or lottery. Why are reporters, editors and voters so stupid as to actually think Jon is the answer to NJ problems. He is the problem.

At 4:44 PM, Anonymous Jim - PRS said...

The Governor could have refused to sign the version containing the pork, thereby making those who sought it explain themselves to an increasingly angrier public. Of course, that didn't happen, and all this was done in the wee hours in the morning under the public radar.

The state is beginning to remind me of Deadwood.

At 5:06 PM, Blogger Eric said...

The Governor could have used his line-item veto to eliminate the pork. My guess is that the pork was a part of some back room comprimise to get the budget passed.

At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Jim - PRS said...

Methinks Eric is exactly right.

At 7:15 PM, Blogger WjcW said...

My god, Fran Wood has the worst defense of this practice in the Ledger today. First she argued that although a bunch of legislators in a closed room late at night dealing these things out may seem strange, that's how things are done. Apparently, 'that's how things are done' is a justification somehow. Secondly, she argues that these projects have merit. I will not contest that some Christmas tree items have merit, but then let them be included in the real budget and held up for scrutiny by the public. It's hard to beleive anyone republican OR democrat would defend this process, but Fran gave it a college try.

At 8:51 AM, Blogger El Cubano said...

What irks me most about the recent NJ Sales Tax hike, is that the media have completely abdicated their role as news analysts, and liberals are acting hypocritically. Remember when Bush proposed an across-the-board tax cut in 2001? The media and liberals painted the proposal as a "tax cut for the wealthy." Have you come across any news stories in the mainstream press painting Corzine's proposal as a "tax hike on the poor?" I haven't. If one is going to look at proposals critically, please paint with the same brush on both sides of the aisle.

No wonder Corzine's approval ratings went up after the budget resolution passed. The mainstream media have largely been playing favorites again...

At 8:22 AM, Blogger njgalaxie73 said...

The most important part of this budget for Corzine is that the UEZ tax was virtually untouched going from three percent to three and a half. This means more business in places like West New York and Union City and more money for the Hudson County powers that be.

At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I already had a lot of reasons to leave NJ, this will clinch it. Where's everybody else moving to ? I hear the Carolina's are nice.


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