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Category: Big Government

Sabrin Raps “Centipede” Obamacare

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Murray Sabrin

Murray Sabrin

Here’s another less-than swell Good Friday Obamacare update, Save Jerseyans:

The American Action Forum, a D.C.-based right-of-center think tank, is out with the results of new study showing that New Jerseyans are getting slammed by (Un)affordable Care Act mandated changes with Garden State senior citizens suffering average benefits reductions of 18.02%. We’ve already seen hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens lose coverage (thus far) and encounter major sticker shock, but the post-enrollment data is no less grizzly despite proponent’s repeated promises.

U.S. Senate hopeful Murray Sabrin, a professor at Ramapo College and one of four candidates competing for the chance to face Cory Booker this November, pounded away on the findings contained in the survey’s release.

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GOP, Christiecrats Rally for Arb Cap

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

A who’s who of New Jersey Republicans and Christiecrats joined Governor Chris Christie on the steps of Trenton’s War Memorial on Monday, Save Jerseyans, all to demand Assembly action on the expired arbitration cap credited with keeping Garden State property tax increases to record lows. For example, whereas property tax bills increased on average by 2.4% and 1.6% in 2011 and 2012 respectively, those same taxpayers’ bills had rose by a minimum of 7% during the years between 2004 and 2006.

It’s a no brainer for everyone except Vince Prieto’s caucus.

Some highlights:

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Feds Own 3.1% of New Jersey

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

The positive end to a potentially explosive Nevada cattle ranch standoff has brought about a renewed focus on federal power generally but also, specifically, the federal government’s land ownership. Uncle Sam’s vast holdings put the American Catholic Church and Ted Turner to shame.

As of 2012, according to the Congressional Research Service, “[t]he federal government owns roughly 635-640 million acres, 28% of the 2.27 billion acres of land in the United States…”

Four agencies administer 609 million acres of this land: the Forest Service (USFS) in the Department of Agriculture, and the National Park Service (NPS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), all in the Department of the Interior (DOI). Most of these lands are in the West and Alaska. In addition, the Department of Defense administers 19 million acres in military bases, training ranges, and more. Numerous other agencies administer the remaining federal acreage.

Those holdings include better than 3% of our own Garden State, Save Jerseyans (not to be confused/conflated with a reserve, like the Pine Barrens). I’m not even counting the properties controlled (or heavily regulated) by state, county and municipal governments at both ends of the Turnpike. Don’t get me started on the 50+ year old “Green Acres” program whereby Trenton forced you, me, and everyone else paying taxes in this state to buy 640,000 acres… for the government.

And given what we just saw out west, it’s worth contemplating how the militarization of America’s police agencies and government departments will impact our freedom… all to protect a desert tortoise? Don’t think it’s impossible for the feds/state to try to take your horse ranch to save a timber snake or your shore home to rescue the piping plover!

We’re living in an age where compulsory easement for sand dunes or losing your home to make way for a big box store are uncontroversial events. God help us all.

h/t Dan Cirucci:

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CD3 Affordable Housing Dustup

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

house_frameOn Tuesday, Save Jerseyans, I offered you my two cents on the tax hike allegation in Steve Lonegan’s new CD3 GOP primary ad. Now allies of Lonegan primary rival Tom MacArthur are hitting back against a second allegation, also lodged in the same ad, that MacArthur supported affordable housing projects as mayor of Randolph.

One major MacArthur supporter, Maria Rodriguez-Gregg (R-8), went so far as to charge that Lonegan’s camp “intentionally used the phrase ‘low-income housing’ as a code word meaning that people like me aren’t welcome in our communities or in our party.” I told you this one would get rough quick, folks!

What’s the truth? Here’s a link to the actual town council meeting minutes to which the TV ad refers. It relied primarily on this MacArthur quote…

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“We Slowed Down The 100 MPH Train”

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Governor Christie justifiably continued to rail against Assembly Democrats for killing the arbitration cap at Wednesday’s Fairfield town hall meeting held at Winston Churchill Elementary:

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ACA Screws 1.8k More NJ Families

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

DoctorI told you that the math behind last month’s Obamacare enrollment “success” story doesn’t add up, Save Jerseyans.

Here’s more hard proof via NJ.com, where it’s being reported that 1,800 more Garden State families received cancellation notices last week:

The Affordable Care Act — the federal law that mandates everyone have insurance — effectively killed FamilyCare Advantage, a low-cost option for kids in New Jersey created six years ago for parents who earned too much to qualify for Medicaid and other subsidized programs but too little to buy on a policy on their own. The state program was the first of its kind in the nation.

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Failure in Four Numbers

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Barack ObamaDid you enroll? Or get rolled?

An Obamacare deadline synopsis in four numbers:

684 million dollars spent on marketing Obamacare to people who don’t want it (or to pay for it)

7.1 million sign ups as of April 1st for Obamacare, but without any indication how many actually paid and how many were previously uninsured

6 million lost health care coverage because of Obamacare

30 million  folks who Democrats told us didn’t have insurance in order to justify Obamacare

 

Dem Hopefuls Unenrolling from Obamacare

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

runningWith the Obamacare enrollment deadline only hours away, Save Jerseyans, it’s painfully clear to anyone watching that the grand experiment of socialized medicine is failing – in epic fashion – more quickly than even was anticipated by even the most ardent critics of the (Un)affordable Care Act.

Continued technological glitches are the least of it.

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Empty Suit, Empty Tweet

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Con: Hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans have lost their preferred health coverage thanks to Barack Obama’s Democrat Party.

Pro: Lou Greenwald has Twitter covered better than the extra-greasy unleaded hair gel (or whatever the hell that stuff is) caked all over on his sizable mellon…

 

greenwald get covered

Assembly Arb Cap Procrastination

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Speaker Prieto (right) is playing games with your property tax bill.

Speaker Prieto (right) is playing games with your property tax bill.

We’re less than 72 hours away from an arbitration sunset and while Governor Christie and the State Senate appear to be on the same page, Speaker Prieto’s General Assembly left Trenton for the weekend without any indication as to when they might take up Governor Christie’s suggested revisions in order to avert disaster and achieve a compromise. Sources under the Dome say Prieto isn’t satisfied with the Governor’s concessions (or lack thereof) for unspecified reasons.

It’s the worst game of ‘chicken’ imaginable.

Assembly dysfunction is so bad, in fact, that Asm. Declan O’Scanlon is advising New Jersey municipalities to file for arbitration prior to April 1st in order to avoid the negative consequences of the existing hard cap’s imminent expiration.

Pathetic doesn’t even begin to describe it, Save Jerseyans. Here are two floor speeches, one from O’Scanlon and the other delivered by his colleague Jack Ciattarelli, which do an excellent job of summarizing the stakes for New Jersey property taxpayers…

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Christie Drops Arb Bill CV

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Photo Credit: NJ 101.5

Photo Credit: NJ 101.5

Governor Chris Christie issued a conditional veto on Thursday night to an arbitration cap proposal initiated by Democrats that would’ve killed the law’s true intent through exemptions. The State Senate subsequently voted 33-1 to concur with the Governor’s conditional veto and extend the 2% cap and prevent a sunset provision from kicking-in on April 1. 

“Without question, the reforms to New Jersey’s arbitration system enacted in 2010 have been effective in controlling spending and helping municipalities limit property tax increases,” Governor Christie stated in his conditional veto message.  “Extending the successful and essential control on arbitration awards enacted in 2010 is therefore the sensible and logical course.”

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For the Kids, Until They’re Not

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Obama and KidsHave you ever noticed how liberals are always squawking about how they’re doing it “for the children” whenever a new tax, regulation, or program is being put on the table?

It’s annoying. It’s also utterly meaningless when you consider their actual track record serving the needs and protecting the rights of our next generation of American citizens.

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I Hate Being Right About This

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Booker-Corzine-Obama-and-WeinbergBarack Obama may be blind to it, Save Jerseyans, but the world is re-learning a difficult lesson through his many blunders on the international stage, specifically, that peace is impossible except through strength.

The domestic political sphere isn’t dramatically different in this respect.

New Jersey Republicans are going back to school, too, these days, and it’s ordinary taxpayers who stand to suffer the most from the opposition party’s stubbornly steep learning curve…

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Trenton Democrats Poised To Blow Up The Property Tax Cap

By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com

FirefightersNew Jersey property taxes will likely resume the double digit annual growth that occurred under the McGreevey, Codey and Corzine Administrations if Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto’s version of the of the Interest Arbitration extension becomes law.  Either that, or municipal governments as we know them will cease to exist, succumbing to a long and painful death of higher crime and reduced services and capital improvements.

A 2% cap on interest arbitration awards in labor disputes was a key component of the 2% property tax cap negotiated between Governor Chris Christie, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Prieto’s predecessor, Sheila Oliver in 2010.   It worked.  Arbitrators made awards of less that 2% to police and fire fighters unions and property taxes rose less than 2% per year over the last four years.

The problem is Oliver insisted that the arbitration cap expire on April 1, 2014.  Now, we’re a week before the arbitration cap expires and Prietro is gutting the cap by passing an extension of the law that exempts contracts that were awarded less than 2% during the last three years from any future caps and raises the cap to 3% on contracts that have not been negotiated since 2010.

The math will never work.  If property taxes stay capped at 2% but the primary cost of property taxes, salaries, are not capped or are capped at 3%, municipal services will disappear. Police will be laid off, with the junior, lower paid officers being let go first, leaving the older and more highly paid officers to run drown the inevitable increase in crime.  Towns will go bust.  The state will take over municipal governments and force consolidations.

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A Vacation From Inequality

By Joe Sinagra | The Save Jersey Blog

Michelle ObamaAs millions are counting pennies and living on ramen noodles, Save Jerseyans in case you were wondering or didn’t know…

First Lady Michelle Obama, her daughters, mother and an entourage of 70, are staying in a sumptuous 3,400-square-foot, $8,350-per-night suite presidential suite at a Beijing Westin hotel complete with a private steam room, ‘corner sofas with silk pillows,’ and in-room dining for six.

Judicial Watch, a watchdog group in Washington, D.C., reports that it cost more than $11 million for President and Mrs. Obama to travel to Africa for Nelson Mandela’s memorial service last December, all despite the fact that they were in Africa for less than 13 hours.

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