By Matt Rooney
If there’s ever been a more delusional budget speech delivered by a New Jersey governor, Save Jerseyans? Then I’m not aware of it.
Phil Murphy announced a new budget proposal on Tuesday comprised of $38.6 billion in FY 2020 spending — an ominous record for the Garden State. Chris Christie’s proposed FY 2011 budget was $28.3 billion. Appallingly, the current Democrat Governor and darling of social justice warriors near and far cannot (and did not even try to) explain how he planned to pay for the FY 2019 budget’s $37.4 billion bill, a situation which reportedly has Wall Street’s stomach in knots.
He did promise $283 million in property tax relief (redistributed money).
He did NOT promise any tax cuts, and his proposed raw ‘spending’ cuts (not net cuts, of course) are, at best, a cough drop for a Stage 4 lung cancer patient and, at worst, a speculative shot-in-the-dark which will never materialize.
He completely IGNORED the challenge presented by falling revenues and slow growth which make Murphy’s spending priorities (including more NJ Transit and school spending and even bizarre items like making more doulas available?) decidedly out of reach without a combination of MASSIVE future tax hikes and new bond initiatives (debt). Mathematics has no regard for intentions.
It’s already starting. “Middletown lost $1.2 million in state aid last year – that doesn’t lower property taxes or invest in our students. That only increases the burden on suburban districts which are forced to bear the brunt of politically motivated policies like this,” Mayor Tony Perry opined on Twitter during the budget address.
More galling still: Phil Murphy’s definition of “affordability” — a theme he harped on in the Middle Class-aimed address — clearly involves taking your money and spending it for you on what HE thinks is important.
Past governors of both parties paid lip service to tackling the property tax problem.
Murphy doesn’t bother himself with even the pretense of giving a damn. He isn’t interested in taking a hatchet to the budget, making hard choices, pursuing lasting structural reforms or bucking special interests in the name of doing the necessary things to save our state. He’s asking for a blank check, from us to himself. Trust him.
He and his insider buddies aren’t sacrificing anything. We are. Again.
And the never-ending caravan of wealthy taxpayers, the folks who are responsible for a disproportionately huge portion of the state’s total revenue stream, will continue steaming towards the exists for cheaper states, a trend which has deprived New Jersey of BILLIONS in lost revenue in recent years.
My definition of affordability is unsurprisingly different than his: getting your money back (ideally keeping it in the first place).
But I’m not your governor. Murphy is, so get ready for the suck, Save Jerseyans. This is going to get much worse before it gets any better with narcissistic socialists like Phil Murphy at the helm
Matt Rooney is the founder and blogger-in-chief of Save Jersey. He’s also a practicing attorney and regular panelist on Chasing News with Bill Spadea.