Congressman Tom MacArthur (R, NJ-03) and Governor-elect Phil Murphy‘s 2021 shadow-boxing match continued on Monday, Save Jerseyans, after the U.S. Senate narrowly passed a tax reform package on Saturday morning and, earlier today, Murphy joined fellow liberal governors in New York (Cuomo) and California (Brown) for a telephone presser to slam the GOP-led effort.
MacArthur didn’t mince words in a statement received by Save Jersey:
If Phil Murphy is so concerned about higher taxes in New Jersey, then why is he planning to raise them? Perhaps Phil Murphy should get his ducks in a row in Trenton, where legislative leaders are already questioning his disastrous fiscal policies, before he attacks a bill that reduces tax rates, doubles the standard deduction, provides tax credits for childcare and care of adult dependents, and preserves the property tax deduction. The reality is simple: The bill I voted for will cut taxes, while Phil Murphy wants to raise them.”
Amen! We’ve been saying the same thing for weeks, folks. The vast majority of New Jerseyans WILL likely benefit from tax reform, if for no other reason that the dramatic expansions to the standard deduction and child care credit access. If Trenton would lower our SALT? Then a smaller SALT deduction would hurt a whole helluva lot less, wouldn’t it?
And it’s nice to see someone on our side willing to fight for a change, isn’t it? Even if you aren’t down with 100% of the details.
The $10,000 SALT deduction is nevertheless a proxy battle of sorts. This is round #2 of possibly many for MacArthur and Murphy; late last month, the incoming Democrat Governor who’s proposed $1.3 billion in immediate tax increases attacked MacArthur for championing the House version of federal tax reform, and the South Jersey Republican countered with a debate challenge which has gone unanswered.
Murphy IS throwing his punches with a purpose. Congressman MacArthur — finishing out his second term and affectionately referred to as “T-Mac” by his supporters and staffers — is gaining clout as a key conduit between the Trump and GOP establishment wings of the party and is widely considered a strong contender for the N.J. GOP’s 2021 gubernatorial nomination should he be reelected in 2018 and 2020.