Why Is New Jersey A Financial Mess?
Since 2002, the number of state government workers has grown 10 times faster than New Jersey’s population. The state’s per capita income has grown by 11 percent, from $39,453 to $43,771, while New Jersey state spending and taxes have increased by 35 percent. State debt has increased 214 percent. (See details below)
The state’s public workforce has grown less efficient, even as New Jersey invested millions in technology to improve productivity. Would any business hire 20 percent more workers to support less than 2 percent more customers? State spending is outpacing the income gains of its citizens and its businesses. State taxes are eating up a larger percentage of the public’s income every year.
This is why New Jersey has become less affordable, more heavily taxed and a financial basket case. And contrary to political rhetoric, federal funding to New Jersey has not been cut or reduced exacerbating the state’s budget woes. Overall, federal funding to the state has increased 29 percent, from $6,458,560,000 in 2002 to $8,348,666,000 in 2006. Federal funding for New Jersey public schools has increased 46 percent, from $571,918,000 in 2002 to $835,799,000 in 2006.
New Jersey’s population has grown from 8,576,089 in 2002 to 8,735,361 in 2006. The increase in the state’s population has been less than 2 percent.
The number of full-time workers employed by the state of New Jersey in the executive branch has increased from 67,213 in 2002 to 80,800 as of May 2006. The number of executive branch workers has increased by 20.2 percent since 2002, as compared to growth in the state’s population of less than 2 percent.
The total number of New Jersey State employees is 152,000. This figure includes employees with various state authorities, hospitals and state colleges, who are not considered executive branch workers.
New Jersey’s state budget has increased from $22.9 billion in 2002 to $30.9 billion with adoption of Governor Jon Corzine’s budget for 2007. State spending has increased $8 billion, as have state taxes and fees to pay for the increased spending. That’s a 35 percent increase since 2002.
New Jersey State debt has increased from $17.8 billion in 2002 to $38.2 billion as of June 2006. State debt has increased $20.4 billion dollars since 2002, 214 percent.