By Matt Rooney
Phil Murphy isn’t tackling property taxes, fixing New Jersey Transit or filling pot holes this sunny Monday morning, Save Jerseyans. He’s en route to California for meetings with Hollywood representatives.
The Governor’s message is simple (and simplistic):
Tomorrow, @FirstLadyNJ and I will meet with film industry reps in CA to make the case for choosing NJ over anti-choice states like GA.
States that claim to be a good value for business need to demonstrate the right values, including standing up for women’s rights. #HB481
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) April 1, 2019
Murphy’s referring to Georgia’s passage of ‘heartbeat’ legislation, banning abortions after a heartbeat is detectable in the developing child. The Left (and Hollywood in particular) is naturally in a tizzy over it.
Is Murphy’s response morally despicable? You bet.
But it’s also delusional.
Let’s drill down on the numbers for a moment. New Jersey’s business climate consistently ranked as America’s most toxic. Georgia, on the other hand, is only #33 on the Tax Foundation’s list (not #50 like the Garden State). The annual United Van Lines survey finds New Jersey topping the list of outbound moves (33.2% inbound versus 66.8% outbound); Georgia’s ratio is 53.2 inbound versus 46.8% outbound.
Why on earth would a company choose New Jersey over Georgia in 2019?
There’s a reason why Mercedes-Benz decided to bolt Bergen County for Fulton County (Georgia) a few years ago; the company stood to save 20% on labor expenses and a lot more on their tax bills by heading south on I-95.
Will Murphy’s California trip fetch a few “positive” stories from the press? An extra film in the future, lured by one-shot tax credits? Perhaps.
But Murphy’s going to need to be a much better actor to make up for the fundamental mismanagement and corruption driving taxpayers and businesses from states like New Jersey to Georgia. Being “woke” just isn’t going to cut it.
MATT ROONEY is a practicing New Jersey attorney, regular panelist on Chasing News with Bill Spadea, and the founder and blogger-in-chief of Save Jersey.