By Joshua Sotomayor-Einstein
The Wuhan viral epidemic is a scary time for all Americans. It is scary in large part because of the relative lethality of the virus which is anywhere between 1-4% over all demographics, the dizzying array of new local, state, and federal regulations put in place, the changing scientific guidelines, and the opportunistic blame game being played by political leaders all trying to be seen both as tough and as punching up.
Despite the would-be ideological profiteers who are pushing greater government control when it was over-regulation that stopped the mass production of Wuhan virus tests, and contrary to the disloyal opposition party narrative which claimed the Commander in Chief was bigoted by placing travel restrictions to China at the beginning of the outbreak, the country is rallying together. New Jersey government is another story all together.
Failed New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy must be high despite his consistent lack of success at legalizing marijuana with a Democrat controlled state legislature.
Failed Phil’s Wuhan virus response has achieved what many New Jersey Independents, Republicans, and commonsense Democrats believe to be the long-term goal of the extreme left wing of NJ Democrats – destroying small business and keeping captive a shrinking middle class. What failed Phil and his merry band of left-wing extremists were trying to kill slowly by overregulation and sky-high taxes – small businesses, jobs, and the middle class – they have effectively murdered with statewide de facto martial law.
The job destroying Wuhan related measures in and of themselves are not egregious considering the significant threat of the Wuhan virus. But coupled with the abject lack of meaningful structural reform from failed Phil and the insertion of pre-packaged extremist progressive wet dream policies, the resultant picture is one of a state Democrat leadership dancing to the toon of their national leadership and attempting to take advantage of this terrible crisis.
Like his too long press conferences packed with teenager style “shout outs” to his friends, failed Phil has packed his Wuhan response with a lack of the meaningful reform that even before the current crisis was needed to build New Jersey’s economy and prevent it from continuing to lag behind the nation. Mom and Pop small and medium sized businesses and the middle and working class across New Jersey have been devastated by the de facto martial law that are the recent gubernatorial edicts yet see no light at the end of the tunnel. While failed Phil’s friends in big business will be able to weather the storm, the concerned New Jerseyan has to ask, what of the Chinese food restaurateur, bar owner, wait staff, boutique retailer and others who were struggling before Wuhan under failed Phil’s governorship of New Jersey?
Undoubtedly, failed Phil and his economically illiterate allies, the machine Democrat political bosses in the state capital, will push for borrowing ever more taxpayer money to bail out a mess partially of their own making.
Rather than just raise state taxes in the future (which every unfunded spending spree does), the first step should be to roll back the onerous statewide structural system of hidden and de jure fines which hold back job generation. Failed Phil’s friends in big business also face these hurdles but can afford to jump through the same regulatory hoops in ways unavailable to the middle and working class.
Real reform could take many shapes To put New Jersey on the footing to recover economically after we have defeated the Wuhan virus, and the first steps could be:
1. Enact a onetime state income tax holiday for individuals up to $100,000 and businesses earning up to a million net; while the Wuhan crisis puts the health of potentially hundreds of thousands in danger, the response – a functional quarantine – has put the financial future of possibly millions in jeopardy;
2. Implement property tax rebates for all residential rental properties that do no collect rent during the ongoing Wuhan viral crisis from their tenants, business occupied commercial real estate, and owner occupied single-family residential units;
3. Abolish income tax for those working up to full time hours and earning up to twice the minimum wage and permanently lower state income taxes in every bracket to let people keep more of their own money;
4. Abolish the state income tax on tipping as tipping is a gratuity, a gift for service well done, not a
salary or guaranteed regular income;
5. Eliminate the New Jersey sales tax for all in store purchases, ameliorating the market disincentive for in person shopping, compensating for the fact that shoppers browse the shrinking number of retail stores for items they later purchase online, and saving the consumer money in their wallet;
6. Pass state law preventing municipalities from engaging in the type of widely written unspecific regulations that empower zoning officers, who often act as political commissars for the local political powers, from engaging in heavy handed implementations of local ordinances;
7. Cap municipal and county tax rates at 10% lower than their current rate.
These are but a few measures that recognize the economic impact the Wuhan virus will likely have on the New Jersey economy and that also address the institutionalized obstacles to economic recovery and expansion. In the wake of Wuhan, removing these pre-existing economic roadblocks is a requirement on the path to statewide prosperity and job generation. New Jersey’s political leadership, such that it is, must recognize that the economic future of New Jersey’s residents, hurt by the Wuhan crisis, is more important than their special interest group spending “priorities” and legal carve outs for big businesses.
Allowing more citizens to keep and directly manage more of their own money is important now more than ever if the state is to rebuild. The usual way of doing business – contracts for failed Phil’s and the Machine Democrat Party Bosses connected few – cannot be allowed if all New Jersey is to recover economically after we have recovered medically.
The walking and talking fiasco that is failed Phil and the left-wing extremists in Trenton are not limited to the above refusal to think outside of the box and heal New Jersey’s economy for the middle and working class after Wuhan.
Unfortunately, they include an addiction to inane extremist leftwing social policies even during this very serious public health crisis.
Rather than prepare public institutions for what everyone believes to be a significant viral storm, failed Phil is content upon releasing hundreds if not thousands of convicted criminals currently serving time while simultaneously asserting the martial law like right to potentially arrest those who gather more than 5 unrelated people in a private residence.
Undoubtedly, people must take seriously social distancing in order to slow the spread of Wuhan and flatten the infection curve, but the argument from failed Phil’s administration for releasing convicts – that prison, due to the Wuhan viral outbreak, is not safe – makes no sense when one realizes failed Phil is reserving the right to criminalize and imprison innocent citizens.
Failed Phil has also decided to pick a needless and likely losing fight with the 2nd Amendment and Constitution supporting Americans by stopping the state gun permitting process and closing gun stores. Whereas real leaders in other states have included gun stores in the essential service category; they know in an overtaxed policing system, with law enforcement now implementing social distancing regulations, response times to violent crimes will inevitably go down.
Here again, law abiding citizens are being criminalized by being prevented from exercising common sense rights. All the more important is the ability of citizens to defend themselves when weighed against the possibility of ever more convicts receiving “get out of jail free” cards from failed Phil and his far-left allies in New Jersey’s government.
America will get through the Wuhan viral epidemic. The country has historically always been slow to respond to challenges, but like a slumbering giant, when it rises, there is little that can stand in America’s way. New Jersey’s economic storm is a different challenge and one that Phil Murphy is failing at confronting.
He can right the ship and get New Jersey through the coming economic storm if he reverses course by adopting relief and job generating policies which help the middle and working classes and abandons the out of touch insane left wing policies.
Joshua Sotomayor-Einstein is an old school classical liberal of the smaller government meets neoconservative fusionist variety. As a sometimes Kirkian, sometimes Objectivist, he supports the civic celebration of the Christian foundations of the West, the deregulation of marriage, the legalization of drugs, and the Blue Laws. He is also the NJGOP State Committeeman from Hudson County.