A Familiar Tale in New Jersey

A recent speech by New Jersey’s new Republican Governor, Chris Christie, to that state’s League of Municipalities sounds some strikingly familiar chords:

Our citizens are already the most overtaxed in America. US mayors hear it all the time. You know that the public appetite for ever increasing taxes has reached an end.
So when we freeze $475 million in school aid, I am hearing the reverberations from school boards saying now you are just going to force us to raise taxes.
Well there is a 4% cap in place as you all know, yet school boards continue to give out raises which exceed that cap, just on salary. Not to mention the fact that most of them get no contribution towards the spiraling increase in health care benefits.

He goes on to explain that the state is going to reduce its spending, give municipalities “the tools helping you to reduce spending at the municipal level,” and change the rules of arbitration to balance the scales during negotiations. My understanding is that the Republican Party is not quite so insignificant in New Jersey, as in Rhode Island, so perhaps Christie will have a shot at moving changes that our own Republican Governor Don Carcieri can only suggest.
On a broader level, we can hope that we’re entering an era in which leaders have some basic familiarity with concepts of cause and effect.

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13 years ago

As someone who lived in NJ for 3+ decades, I have some knowledge of the subject.
The problem in NJ is manifold.
A LOT of it is the result of something called Home Rule, in which 800 or more towns are completely separate governments! Then, they also have a layer of county government – a BIG layer. After that, you go up to the state level, which is so corrupt and bloated that you would not believe it (if you knew what I know)…….and I am talking both parties or either party! You see, they don’t want to stop the gravy train, so when one party gets power it sends plenty of bribes to the other on a constant basis…because in NJ, the tables are turned every few years.
NO governor will ever be able to counter the amazing money machine which represents NJ politics. Everything is pay to play! Everything! I’m talking judgeships for sale as well as every contract, etc.
The price is very low. We found that a $5,000 donation can land a firm a million or more in yearly business. As a business guy, I’m insulted at that low price!
I would be willing to wager that nothing will change in NJ…ever. NJ is different than RI or Ma. in that many people live there for a short time and then move on….so the only people who become politically involved are those who want something for themselves (what else is new, right?).
Still, nothing wrong with trying….more power to him! But watch…….it is ungovernable (the Saprano State)

13 years ago

Ah, I see the NJ Gov is now going to get things in order – by raising fares on the NJ Transit system by 25%.
Of course, folks like Justin might say that is NOT a tax….because it mostly taxes the working poor!
I do feel bad for anyone who has to govern these days

13 years ago

Ah, and so the reformation of NJ starts in the News Today – oops!
“New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he was wrong to say during the campaign that he could change the state worker contract that Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine negotiated.”
Just call Christie “Braveheart”……
It will turn out he was “wrong” about 95% of the other stuff he promised or talked about too – thereby completing the cycle of “hope” he brought to NJ.

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