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Sweeney’s A Meanie

New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney in Wednesday’s Asbury Park Press:

In New Jersey, the economic burdens for middle-class families and working people continue to make life hard. Property taxes continue to go up. We still drag behind the rest of the nation in job creation. State revenues are lower than expected. And economic growth falls behind other states.

Rhetoric about belt tightening in the face of hard times has gone on for too long. If we are truly going to make New Jersey an affordable place to live, it’s time we acknowledge and do something about this one simple fact: New Jersey has too much government.

That is why I have introduced shared services legislation that would result in taxpayer savings through the elimination of government redundancies. It would do so by creating concrete fiscal consequences for local government entities that refuse to enter into sharing agreements that would save money.

The legislation would require New Jersey’s Local Unit Alignment, Reorganization, and Consolidation Commission (LUARCC) to study municipalities to determine where taxpayer dollars could be saved through sharing of services. If the study shows that savings can be realized through sharing services for two or more local governments, and the state treasurer verifies the savings amount, the question of whether to share the service may be put to a public referendum in all municipalities involved. Any municipalities that strike down the public question or refuse to implement the shared service would lose state aid. The state aid cut would equal the amount they would have saved had they shared the service. If one town approves it but another denies it, only the town that denied it would lose aid*…………

I don’t even know where to begin.

Yeah, the middle class is dying in this country, and in this state particularly, and it is not of natural causes.  It is a victim of classacide.  (Is that a word?)

If one wanted to depopulate the middle class, one couldn’t do better than to implement the regime of over-taxation, over-regulation, and imposition of unending legal liability that businesses face thanks to national and New Jersey Democrats.  And year after year New Jersey is ranked as one of the worst states in which to attempt any sort of productive enterprise.  Contrary to what we are being told, a thriving middle class depends on production of wealth, not the forced transfer of wealth favored by politicians like Sweeney.

The government that Sweeney is the senate president of imposes among the highest income taxes and sales taxes in the country, but in all the years Sweeney has held that high office he has spent very little effort to do anything about that.  I’ve heard him talk about gay marriage more than I’ve heard any talk about cutting state taxes.

You see, his taxes are good taxes.  Its the taxes imposed by local governments that are the bad taxes.  And in his mind the reason local taxes are so high is that some towns want to have their own police departments and their own schools.  Bear in mind that New Jersey has always had a lot of towns and those towns have always run their own police, schools, public works etc.  But we didn’t always have high property taxes.  I believe most of the increases in property taxes are attributable to labor, public safety, and environmental mandates imposed upon the towns by the state.  Sure, we know first hand that local governments can waste a lot of money, but Steve Sweeney is hardly someone to be calling the kettle black.

The real kicker is that under his plan towns that don’t want to go along with the merger recommendations of his consolidationist buddies would have their state aid cut.  That aid is not Sweeney’s to cut.  It comes from the state income tax we pay.  Already we hardly get any of the money we send in income tax back as state aid.  Now if we don’t do as Sweeney says, he’ll cut the rest.

Belmar residents pay around $5 million a year in state income taxes.  We get back in state aid typically less than $1 million a year.  The rest goes to the Abbott Districts.  At least with our property taxes we do get something for our money.  The income tax does nothing for us.  If Sweeney was really on our side he would let us keep our police department and get rid of the state income tax instead.

*see prisoner’s dilemma


Steve Sweeney looking down at us.

One Comment

  1. joegoofinoff wrote:

    classacide. (Is that a word?)


    Yes, the rule of thumb on words is, if you can say it – it’s a word. The ability to say it is even more important than any meaning.

    Monday, December 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

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