I’ve got no idea what’s going on here

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

There’s a lot that can (and will) be said about today’s $33.8 billion budget proposal – a 3.1% increase over last year – but for now, all I can offer is a big ‘ole shrug. I’ve got nothing. Substantively and politically, I’ve got no idea what our Governor is aiming at here. None. 

We’ll wait to hear more about the “roadmap” too to combat our confusion.

New Jersey in distress...
New Jersey in distress…

I’m not alone. “Over the past six years, Americans for Prosperity has warned that the State has continued to spend beyond its means,” opined our friend, AFP-NJ state director Daryn Iwicki. “State budget growth has consistently outpaced state GDP and the 2% cap municipalities are held to; a path which is unsustainable. Now, the day of reckoning is fast approaching and the pain will be worse to due Trenton’s failure to deal with reality over the past five years.”

While applauding a dearth of major tax increases as favored by Democrats, Daryn also pointed out how deep budget cuts are an inescapable facet of any ultimate, real solution to the state’s budget crisis. 

“Regardless of how the courts rule, the simple fact is the money to meet New Jersey’s pension and benefit obligations is not there,” he continued. “There is no way the State will be able to meet escalating pension payments which are scheduled to balloon to $4.8 billion in FY 2018—twice that of FY 2015’s $2.25 billion payment—let alone overcome $135 billion in pension and health benefit liabilities without a bold, sweeping overhaul of the system which drastically cuts costs. This is no longer just an option; it’s an imperative.”

Again, why the Governor didn’t think proposing big, sweeping cuts was a good idea? Not just out of fiscal necessity (see above), but also to frame the 2015 elections AND help create a winning contrast for himself with, for example, Scott Walker? I’m clueless.

16 thoughts on “I’ve got no idea what’s going on here

  1. How much money is it costing the state and school districts to implement the common core PARCC tests. Every school now needs new tests and chromebooks just to take it. How much money will it cost our state to take care of all the illegals that have been dumped in the Freehold area, among other areas? And there are many many other places to look for fraud, waste and abuse in order to generate revenue. And how much money is it costing our state to comply with the out of control Environmentalists? Christie could have used this speech to give much needed attention to the many issues that are draining our revenue and leaving the pension and transportation unfunded. Where the hell is plan??????? Where the hell is his concern? Where is his fight for what is right? Empty barrels always make the loudest noise. Instead of reining in this out of control spending over the last 5 yrs he has embraced it. That is what you get when you elect big government Progressives.

  2. Thank You for this informative article. I think we should all start seriously considering to vote for more Liberty minded and Constitutional Candidates who do not have an agenda and are not beholden to any special interest. It is the only way to fix this mess of a state.The cronyism and corruption on both sides have led us down this path. It has got to stop, and we the people have got to take our government back. By the way, great article! I think Christie could have been a real doer but he got caught up in the celebrity aspect. Instead of running around making goofy videos with Corey Booker and dancing on Jimmy Fallon, among other things, he should have been doing his job! I think now he is officially checked out.

  3. NJ is on an unsustainable path just as the nation. The debt burden in itself is enough to eliminate discretionary spending, the transportation trust fund is basically broke and our infrastructure cost to repair is the highest per mile in the nation. High income, property and death taxes paint a bleak picture.

  4. Fine piece, Matt. Our state is poor.y run, ranking in the bottom few. Our politicians have over legislated, over regulated, and over taxed the citizenry. Millionaires and businesses are leaving the state in droves. Isn’t that objective proof that the state is headed in the wrong direction? Who could even afford to,retire here? The state has a spending addiction, and citizen control fetish, to disastrous results.

  5. This problem has been simmering for more then 6 years….for decades, in fact, because in the “good” times, no thought was given about the future….now it is time to pray the price.

  6. The PAARC test is just another example why the federal Department of Education needs to be abolished. The test exists because bureaucrats want to justify their existence. We would be better off if they just worked on Sodoku or played computer games. Regarding the budget, what needs to be addressed is the ridiculous spending on the Abbott districts. In 20 years, the additional Abbott spending has accomplished nothing positive for the students of those districts.

  7. How about Christie can’t do math, he admitted it himself, and is a big RINO? He gives the democrats plenty of ammunition, starting off with that stupid helicopter ride to his son’s soccer game. Stupid and he continues to feed on stupid. He screwed NJ’s chances for fiscally conservative candidates in the future.

    I am so DISGUSTED with him.

  8. Agree on Abbott. We are spending more than $2 billion every year on Abbott (plus future pension costs) and we are accomplishing absolutely nothing. Why not suggest internet schooling for high school students who elect it and whose parents choose to have them attend class in that manner? Internet schooling could be substantially cheaper than our current system. Maybe the students would have to come in for a test every once in a while but this could be a big money saver. Let’s use the budget problems as a chance to do something positive.

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