By Matt Rooney
I wish there was more good news out there, Save Jerseyans, but welcome to New Jersey 2019. Elections have consequences, and those consequences have been predictably grim.
We have three brand new indicators from recent weeks which suggest the extent of the damage:
(1) Moody’s reported on Monday that in 2023, when New Jersey is scheduled to make a ‘full’ pension payment, 26% of state revenues will go directly to legacy costs and debt service.
(2) According to a recent analysis from business.org, New Jersey is the 7th worst state in America when it comes to how far your paycheck goes.
(3) On the same topic as Moody’s… the think tank ‘Truth in Accounting’ just reported that our state is STILL in the worst fiscal condition of any in the country for the 5th year in a row. Our long-term debt load is now $208 billion, a $13 billion increase from a year ago. That means every N.J. taxpayer has a $65,000 anchor hanging around his and her neck.
Like I said – grim.
This is (part of) the reason why Phil Murphy recently advised anyone tired of high taxes to leave. Even if he was of a mind to do something about it (and he’s not), it’s now mathematically impossible for a Democrat to tackle New Jersey’s apocalyptic fiscal and economic problems without alienating said Democrats’ moocher caucus of public sector interest groups.
These indicators also guarantee future tax increases. Big ones. There’s no appetite in Trenton for the structural cuts/reforms necessary to avoid those hikes on either side of the aisle.
Smoke’em if you got’em (before they ban or raise the taxes on them).