Rep. Sherill should say ‘no’ to trillions in wasteful spending. | Jedynak

Washington is pushing for trillions in wasteful spending this summer under the guise of “infrastructure.” Not only would less than 5 percent of the proposed $4 trillion package be spent on roads or bridges, but it would come with tax hikes on New Jerseyans, when we can’t take anymore.

A recent Rich States, Poor States report ranked New Jersey 46th in the nation for overall economic performance, 47th for the top marginal personal income tax rate, 48th for the top marginal corporate income tax rate, and 48th for our property tax burden. Our state has been one of the slowest to recover from pandemic-related shutdowns, and we suffered from the highest COVID-19 death rate in the country, a tragedy exacerbated by ineffective policies.

We’re also among the worst when it comes to wasting gas tax dollars. More than 40 percent of New Jersey’s federal gas tax allocation is spent on things other than roads and bridges. Before lawmakers demand that taxpayers fork over trillions more, we should insist that they first stop wasting what they’re already getting.

Representative Mikie Sherrill recently noted on MSNBC that her position on the so-called infrastructure package “has less to do with the top line number, and more to do with what’s in the package.” 

So, let’s look at what is in the package.

While negotiations continue, the original White House proposal included $4 trillion in spending for a partisan wish list of wasteful and counterproductive policies: historic tax increases of more than $2.75 trillion that would worsen our already devastated economy, hurt workers’ wages, crush small businesses just now getting on their feet, and ultimately would not come close to paying for the plan; and more than $1 trillion of dollars in special interest carveouts that would rig the economy in favor of the well-connected, including favors to labor unions that undermine workers’ ability to find work.

Supporters claim the plan would create 2.7 million jobs. We heard the same kind of promises with previous spending plans; none of them panned out. And even if this one somehow broke the mold, at more than $800,000 a job it would be no bargain, and a massive waste of taxpayers’ money.

The aggravating part is, we actually need infrastructure reform. And there are plenty of good ideas available. They’re just not in the president’s proposal.

In addition to ending the wasteful diversion of gas tax money, we could move the decision-making for how that money is spent out of Washington and back to the state and local officials who are more in touch with what our state and counties need.

We could also get rid of pointless restrictions and labor rules like the Depression-era Davis-Bacon Act, which alone could save almost $11 billion over a decade, making those gas tax dollars go even further.

Morris County has a lot going for it, but in recent years, companies have been fleeing for lower-taxed states, and residents have followed. If we want to reverse this trend, it’s crucial that our leaders in Washington stand up for our county’s residents, focus on the highest priorities, and oppose the kind of wasteful, ineffective spending included in the so-called infrastructure plan.


Erica Jedynak, a Morris County resident, is a senior advisor for Americans for Prosperity.

Erica Jedynak
About Erica Jedynak 29 Articles
ERICA JEDYNAK is the COO for yes. every kid., a leading national advocacy organization w⁠i⁠⁠t⁠h a fam⁠i⁠l⁠i⁠es-f⁠i⁠rs⁠t⁠ approach ⁠t⁠o ⁠t⁠ransform education, where she oversees public affairs and business operations. She lives in Morris County with her husband and son.