Yesterday, former Do-Nothing Senator and now Tax-and-Spend Governor, Jon Corzine, shut down New Jerseyâ€™s State Government. All â€œnon-essentialâ€ state workers were advised not to report to work until a budget is passed.
We went through the same crap last year, except then, at the eleventh hour, the then-Governor (You remember him) and the legislature figured out new ways to tax the citizens of New Jersey in order to permit the Political Swamp to continue to function.
The origin of this yearâ€™s train wreck is Governor Corzineâ€™s decision to increase spending by approximately nine percent in the face of a massive deficit. In order to fund this lunacy, the Governor is adamant about raising the state sales tax from six percent to seven percent. He cleverly pitches this as a â€œone percent increaseâ€. Even the Star Ledger characterized this as increasing the sales tax â€œby a pennyâ€. This is, of course, pure bullshit.
Anyone who has made it through grammar school arithmetic knows, or damned well should know, that raising the sales tax from six percent to seven percent means that New Jersey taxpayers will be paying sixteen percent more sales tax if the Governor has his way. Sixteen percent more! Think about that for a minute, and it is obvious why the Governor is wedded to this idea.
The democrats in the state legislature are frightened that eventually the people will catch on and run their asses out of offices. Heaven forbid. This is why no budget was passed and why the state government has been shut down. The democrats in the legislature are burning the midnight oil trying to find ways to raise the same amount of revenue in a way that is not so obvious to the lames who continue to vote them into office. (E.g. increased payroll taxes are on the table).
The Governorâ€™s Shutdown Plan is more about getting peopleâ€™s attention than making wise moves. For example, the first thing to go was the State Lottery, something that puts $2.2 dollars per day in the states coffers, all of which is voluntarily ponied up by taxpayers. He tried to close the racetracks, but the racing folks got a break from the court for a day or so. Closing the tracks over the weekend would have cost the state about $1 million. He has promised to close (gasp!) the casinos, which are privately owned, but require state employees on site keep an eye on things. (Note: The Casinos, not the government, pays these folks.) The government makes about $1.2 million per day from the casinos. Itâ€™s all about attention.
As I said last year, the legislature and the Governor had better sort this out quickly before the taxpayers realize how many of the â€œnon-essentialâ€ workers could be better classified as â€œnon-necessaryâ€.
The folks at Enlighten-New Jersey are all over this mess.