Let the games begin: Governor Chris Christie will propose a budget on Tuesday afternoon with a smaller pension payment than Senate President Steve Sweeney said he’s willing to accept to avoid a government shutdown, Save Jerseyans,
According to pre-released excerpts, the Governor’s FY 2015 budget proposal includes a $2.25 billion payment towards New Jersey’s chronically underfunded pension system, a payment which Christie plans to point out “is nearly the equivalent of the total payments made in the ten years before we arrived by five different governors.”
Senate President Steve “Sandy Hook is Fair Game” Sweeney has been in full grandstanding mode in recent days, ruling out tax cuts completely while his Assembly counterpart pitches new taxes (thanks for nothing, Steve!) and threatening to shutter state government (ironic much?) if Governor Christie refuses to raise the state’s pension contribution from $1.7 billion in the FY 2014 budget to $2.4 billion pursuant to the politicians’ 3-year-old pension overhaul agreement; whether the $150 million difference is a deal-breaker remains to be seen.
The United Van Lines annual migration study is out again, Save Jerseyans, and once again our beloved Garden State is ranked #1… for outward migration.
I can’t imagine why! After all, the trio of taxes, crime, and corruption are great hooks in real estate circulars.
Check this out:
You’d think voters in high-tax states like Illinois, New York and yes, New Jersey, would start to notice a correlation between their votes and the need for escape. You’d of course be wrong. The map speaks for itself but old habits die hard… like this week’s moronic mandatory home sprinkler legislation?
Save Jerseyans, now is the time of year where everyone comes up with lists. You know, the top whatever of 2013, resolutions/wish lists for 2014, you know the drill. And I’m no exception. I’ve got my own list of bills I’d like to see someone with enough guts to introduce in Trenton. And by someone, I mean a Republican, because I doubt any Democrat would consider any of these bills. So I will be posting one bill a day this week. And today’s wish is…
Lower Taxes for Everyone by Eliminating a Tax Bracket
New Jersey has 6 tax brackets, and just like the federal system, income is taxed incrementally by bracket. Here are the brackets in New Jersey right now:
A couple of weeks ago, Save Jerseyans, Moody’s Investor Service lowered their economic outlook of New Jersey from stable to negative. While the state’s rating was not downgraded, analysts did cite the slow economic recovery as a key factor hurting the state.
The credit rating agency wrote, “The state will face challenges in improving its very weak liquidity position, due to the state’s sluggish economic recovery, which has hindered revenue performance.” Now for some, when taken at face value, one could interpret this as the state having a “revenue problem.”
However, when reading more of Moody’s note to investors, it is clear the organization is suggesting New Jersey has a “spending problem.”
U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ07) offered an assist to Paul Ryan and his Capitol Hill team on Thursday evening, Save Jerseyans, as elements of the D.C. conservative class loudly decried what they view as a federal budget deal betrayal perpetrated by the House GOP:
“Far from perfect, the Ryan-Murray budget compromise amounts to a modest agreement that averts another government shutdown, replaces the President’s sequester with smarter cuts, reduces the deficit by more than $20 billion and provides a level of certainty on spending that has not occurred in Washington for several years. All without raising taxes.
“It is the first bipartisan budget deal brokered under divided government since 1986 and a small step forward in restoring some sanity and order to the budget process. I applaud Chairman Ryan and Chairwoman Murray for their efforts, which I hope will lead to future agreements that improve our economy, tackle our long-term fiscal issues and create jobs so desperately needed.”
Barbara Buono has big plans for education in New Jersey.
Now, all she needs is a way to pay for it all.
Buono is a state senator from Middlesex County and the Democratic candidate for next week’s gubernatorial election in the Garden State, where she hopes to unseat Gov. Chris Christie, who is seeking his second term as New Jersey’s chief executive. Much of the campaign has been fought over education policy, which should come as no surprise after Christie spent much of his first term in pitched battles with the state’s teachers union and education establishment.
HEAD TO HEAD: Voters will have to choose between the competing education policies of state Sen. Barbara Buono and Gov. Chris Christie in Tuesday’s election.
In ads, Buono slams Christie for cutting as much as $800 million from basic education and abandoning the state’s so-called “funding formula” for public schools. She promises to restore that funding — and more.
“I believe that we need to build on what we have in New Jersey, the traditional public schools,” Buono said last week.
But Buono and her campaign have been relatively silent on how the state’s taxpayers would pay for all that. The one, oft-repeated line is a familiar one: make the rich pay their “fair share” to support public education.
Christmas may be two full months away but the weather is turning colder, the sky is growing grayer and tenenbaums are on full display in hardware stores.
And if you happen to live in New Jersey’s 27th legislative district (encompassing portions of Morris and Essex counties), then Santa Claus Codey is already in your mailbox. Unfortunately for you, it doesn’t matter how good or bad you’ve been in 2013; this kringle is taking from you and giving your stuff to someone else.
I was there on April 15, 2009, in a lashing nor’easter.
There were small groups of Americans from all walks of life across the country holding signs and protesting the mountain of taxes that Americans find themselves under every day. Our cars are taxed. Our properties are taxed. Our phone calls are taxed. Our hotel rooms are taxed. Our cell phones are taxed. Our beer is taxed. Our income is taxed. Nearly everything we own or touch is taxed by some governmental agency. So, in 2009, a nationwide effort took shape to protest all of these taxes. It took the acronym T.E.A. This stood for Taxed Enough Already. This fit nicely into a story that we all learned in grade school about the Boston Tea Party.
American patriots threw crates of tea, as the story goes, into Boston harbor to protest the tea tax. It was an aspect of the “no taxation without representation” cry that the colonist utilized as part of the justification for the American Revolution. Thus, the T.E.A. Party was born. It was, in fact, the Taxed Enough Already Party.
Here’s another stark example with near term implications: the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) released the results of an interesting comparative analysis of the respective economic/fiscal plans set forth by Steve Lonegan (R-Bogota) and Cory Booker (D-Twitter), Save Jerseyans.
You won’t be surprised to know there’s a big difference between the candidates.
$101 billion big.
According to NTU, Booker’s proposals would add $33 billion per year to the federal budget whereas Steve Lonegan’s proposals would save taxpayers approximately $68 billion on an annual basis. And that’s just the spending; Cory Booker is also pitching $1.486 trillion in new taxes.
As part of my ongoing effort to introduce candidates to the voting public, Save Jerseyans, I started a weekly column called Meet the Candidates. In essence, it is a past day stump speech updated for the virtual world.
For this week’s column, I am honored to introduce you to 18th District’s Assembly candidate Robert Bengivenga, Jr.
A long-time resident of South Plainfield, Mr. Bengivenga went on to the University of Scranton where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Marketing. After graduation, he continued on to build a career in sales and marketing management. His political experience includes being elected to South Plainfield Council in 2005, a position that he still holds to the present day.
My interview with Assembly Candidate Robert Bengivenga, Jr. is below the fold…
With Election Day inching closer, frankly, I’m starting to think that Buono should go with the “Bono” (/ˈbɒnoʊ/) version after all. It’d only help her lukewarm name recognition. Bono’s politics are also a little less extreme than her own these days, at least when it comes to tax policy.