"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Corruption Costs New Jersey Taxpayers $1 Billion Annually

Rampant political corruption in New Jersey is a hidden tax that each year takes a $1 billion dollars out of the wallets of New Jersey taxpayers, according to a Rutgers study produced by the Prudential Business Ethics Center.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A New School Aid Formula Is Coming

While the public’s attention is on “asset monetization”, state debt and toll hikes, Governor Jon Corzine is quietly working on a new school funding formula.

Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts Jr. and Senate President Richard J. Codey said the Legislature may vote on whether to approve a new formula before the Legislature elected in the Nov. 6 election convenes on Jan. 8.
This is a big deal receiving scant attention. With New Jersey’s state income tax totally devoted to “property tax relief” in the form of school aid, one third of New Jersey’s budget goes to public school funding. Inequitable allocation of the aid has been a key driver of the crushing property tax increases experienced by the municipalities short changed by the state for years.

Governor Corzine has called New Jersey’s current aid formula” a court-driven, ad hoc system" that has "no rational basis of explanation." That’s an understatement. The system has allowed the Abbott school districts to outspend all other districts by huge margins, gobbling up more than 58 percent of state aid, although enrolling only 23 percent of the state’s public school students. Under the present system, 45 percent of the state’s municipalities are considered “too wealthy” to qualify for basic school aid.

A new state school aid formula is too important to be rammed through the legislature during the lame duck session. The fact that Corzine, Codey and Roberts are considering such a move should set off alarm bells.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Inner European

Your Inner European is Irish!

Sprited and boisterous!

You drink everyone under the table.

Monday, November 05, 2007

New Jersey Election 2007 Recommendations

The Coalition of the Swilling has recommendations on New Jersey’s four ballot questions that make a great deal of sense.

More on the election from A Blog for All, CWA-NJ, Dino's Forum, DynamoBuzz, eCache, Fausta's Blog, Honest Abe, More Monmouth Musings, Parkway Rest Stop, Red Jersey, Right, Wing-Nut!, Sid in the City and Trochilus Tales.

Here are our thoughts on New Jersey's election 2007.

State Senate and Assembly Races

If you believe New Jersey has become less affordable, more heavily taxed and a financial basket case since the Democratic Parity has taken control of Trenton, then we suggest you vote for Republican candidates to stop the spending and tax increases.

If you believe the biggest driver of property tax increases has been the state’s inequitable school funding formula, than we suggest you vote for Republican candidates to ensure fairness in Governor Jon Corzine’s yet to be announced new school aid plan.

If you believe it’s no coincidence that the four recently indicated members of New Jersey’s legislature were all Democrats, then we suggest you vote for Republican candidates to send a message that corruption will not be tolerated.

Ballot Questions

Q1 - Sales Tax Dedication – Vote NO

This question asks voters to dedicate more than 15 percent of the state’s sales tax revenue for “property tax relief” as opposed to the purpose given for increasing the tax last year from 6 to 7 percent – closing the budget gap. Next year that gap is expected to be $3.5 billion.

New Jersey’s state income tax is 100 percent dedicated to “property tax relief” and 50 percent of the state’s current budget is spent on “property tax relief “schemes. We can’t afford any more dedicated “relief “. Check the history.

Q2 - Stem Cell Research – Vote NO

This question asks voters to add $450 million to an already maxed-out state debit card to provide $45 million for each of the next ten years on research grants. Taxpayers should say no to debt financing for research that the Governor, the legislature and Rutgers University have not found to be a priority at budget time.

Forty-five million dollars is one thousandth of a percent of New Jersey's state budget and wasteful spending could be cut by that infinitesimal amount to fund the research if the majority party in Trenton prioritized spending.

As Rutgers has agreed to spend $100 million to expand a football stadium and Governor Corzine claims he can find $30 million dollars for the project, we obviously have money to burn. We don't need to take on additional debt to come up with $45 million a year for necessary spending.

Q3 - Green Acres - Vote NO

This question asks voters to add another $200 million to the state’s mounting debt. With taxpayers fleeing the state in record numbers the need for buying more “open space” is questionable. As New Jersey property values continue to slide, we might be able to pick up some real bargains without a major bankroll. Let’s take a wait and see approach.

Q4 - Suffrage – Vote NO

The New Jersey Constitution currently reads “No idiot or insane person shall enjoy the right of suffrage”. This question asks voters “to acknowledge that individuals with cognitive or emotional disabilities are capable of making decisions in the voting booth” by changing the constitution to the following. “No person who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting shall not enjoy the right of suffrage.”

There has been no information provided as to how this change would impact voting eligibility. As far as we can tell the law is already liberally interpreted and without a clearer understanding of the implications of changing the state’s Constitution, we recommend the change not be adopted, notwithstanding the old fashion terms “idiot” and “insane”.

Final Voting Recommendations

If you’re an informed taxpayer we hope you will take a few minutes tomorrow to vote.

If you’re uninformed or a tax receiver we hope you will stay home.


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