Blame Those Who Deserve It

Post-Federalism America is a Weaker Place to Live; Ask the Jersey Shore’s Sandy Victims

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Wildwood

I’ve never been a big self-help guru fan, Save Jerseyans, but I’ve always loved this Tony Robbins truism: “Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”

Bummed-out New Jerseyans should take this advice to heart; according to a new poll from Patrick Murray’s Monmouth University Polling Institute, our state’s mood is beginning to dip again now that that warm and fuzzy feeling of post-Sandy unity is fading into memory.

You can click here to see the full results. I zeroed in on the regional demos:

Regionally, the index score registered double digit drops in Urban Core counties (+4), the Route 1 Corridor (+19), and the Northern Shore (+22). The index stayed relatively more stable in areas not as affected by Sandy, including the Central Hills (+38), the Northeast (+31), the Garden Core counties (+21), and the Delaware Valley (+21). In fact, the Delaware Valley region, which suffered the least impact from Sandy, registered the most stable Quality of Life ratings for the period six months before Sandy hit to six months after, ranging narrowly from +21 to +26 during that time.”

Who can blame the Jersey Shore for feeling a little blech? There’s obvious reasons for it with Memorial Day bearing down but insurance problems, rebuilding woes and PR nightmares as numerous as seashells. One causation behind beach gloom which you won’t hear circulated in mainstream media circles is an increasing perception that the government didn’t do such a great job after all in the Superstorm’s aftermath.

We’ve been sharing FEMA horror stories for months here at Save Jersey. We’ve also highlighted examples of inefficiency, misplaced priorities and outright waste at a time when families are suffering AND taxes are going up. Not much digging is required to discover the full story of big government’s impotence in the face of crisis! Some of you didn’t appreciate my analysis at the time, but it needed to be said and more folks are starting to concur daily: the post-Sandy aid debate epitomized why federalism’s abandonment hurts states like New Jersey.

Here’s another example: the Feds have spent approximately $780 million in New Jersey since Sandy. But how much do New Jersey taxpayers send down I-95 to the IRS every year? Over $110 billion. It’s also important to remember that only $9 billion of the roughly $60 billion Sandy aid package was slated to be disbursed in the first nine (9) months. Well, we’re four (4) months in at this point, Save Jerseyans, and only about 8-9% of the total aid package’s initial $9 billion has been disbursed in the Garden State.

Why can’t Ocean Grove have its boardwalk cash again??

Oh, that’s right: instead of keeping our tax dollars at home to rebuild ourselves, the central planners down in D.C. control our cash and decided the terms and conditions upon which we’re allowed to have it back.

We were a better country when federalism still had teeth. Our friends at the Shore are acutely and painfully aware. They’re starting to ask the right questions even though many of the answers aren’t very comforting. The important thing, however, for the health of our democracy is that the right people receive the blame. Hint: they’re not Southern Republicans…

Matt Rooney

Matt Rooney

Save Jersey’s Founder and Blogger-in-Chief, Matt Rooney is a widely-respected New Jersey political commentator, practicing attorney at the law firm of DeMichele & DeMichele in Haddon Heights, and a graduate of the Rutgers Camden School of Law.

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