Christie Unveils His “33”

Maybe we should call him Governor Rolling Rock

TRENTON — As New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday unveiled a package of 33-bills to cap state spending in order to reduce property taxes, Democratic lawmakers laid out their proposal to raise income taxes on millionaires for one year to give relief to seniors.

The dueling tax plans come just 51 days before lawmakers are constitutionally required to pass a balanced budget.

The crux of Christie’s plan includes a 2.5 percent limit to property tax increases that would requires an approval by voters to exceed. The package of bills also includes caps on increasing public employee contracts … including wages, health benefits, vacation time and other perks … and limiting the amount of unused sick leave they can cash out at $15,000. Another proposed change would be allowing workers to only carry over unused vacation time for one year.

Now I am in theory not a big fan of proscribed limits on how much things can be raised; again in theory I would prefer to let the Legislature have the freedom to respond to whatever circumstances may arise. Unfortunately that theoretical ship has run aground on the reality of a Legislature that can not restrain itself from spending more than it takes in, year after year after year, a Legislature that continually obligates the people of New Jersey to pay ever greater benefits for an ever greater amount of time to an ever increasing number of state employees; all of which supposedly will be paid for by some mystical “future growth” which Trenton’s policies of Tax and Regulate will continually choke off. And rather than cut back on spending when these models that Very Smart People have developed fail to pan out they seek more and more revenue from taxpayers…and the data clearly shows that the wealthier taxpayers are fleeing the state, so the only solution is rigid limits on what the Legislature can spend.

The Democrats, of course, beg to differ

Democrats, who accuse Christie of presenting a budget proposal that protects the rich, announced their intention to try and reinstate a tax on the wealthy.

…A levy on those making more than $400,000 per year expired in December. Democrats are now looking to reinstate the increased tax those making $1 million and more, or approximately half a percent of New Jersey taxpayers, but Christie still opposes it.

That’s the surest way to drive even more of them away.

I fully support the Governor’s proposals. We need to draw a line in the sand and enforce it.

(yeah yeah yeah, I know Rolling Rock is a Pennsylvania beer. Sue me.)

8 Responses to “Christie Unveils His “33””

  1. Suzette says:

    Bing, a few years ago
    Anheuser-Busch bought Rolling Rock and now they make it in NEWARK.

  2. Mr. Bingley says:

    Really? I’ll have to look at a bottle and see what the label says!

  3. JeffS says:

    Jeez, but New Jersey employees have a sweet deal. Cashing out sick leave?

    Good luck, Governor Christie. You’re going in the right direction!

  4. nightfly says:

    Unfortunately that theoretical ship has run aground on the reality of a Legislature that can not restrain itself from spending more than it takes in, year after year after year, …

    And that reality exists even though the state constitution mandates that the budget balance every year. (Article VIII, Section II, Para 2-3.)

    I mean, every once in a while (and especially in a bad economy) you expect revenues to fall a little shorter than expected – but EVERY year? Even during the boom times? Why even have a Constitution?

    (No, wait, don’t answer that.)

  5. Skyler says:

    I think one of the biggest failings of our legal system is the myth that taxpayers can’t have standing when the government exceeds its constitutional authority.

    For instance, I’m not a “birther” but what if a noncitizen were elected president? If the electoral college and the congress allow it, how do you stop him from being president? You do not have standing to sue to stop him from being sworn into office.

    If the Constitution says the budget must be balanced then if the state legislature doesn’t comply, how does the taxpayer correct it? You can’t sue, you don’t have standing.

    So, the Constitution really becomes a tool for the government to use against us and only protects us when the government chooses to protect us or there is a necessary intersection of branches of government (such as when the executive branch or a state government tries to prosecute someone in court).

    The reason for this lack of standing is that we can’t allow every crackpot to shut down the government with conspiracy theories about B. Hussein’s birth certificate or tin foil hats. But perhaps if the birth certificate were litigated then the conspiracy would be deflated, and once it’s litigated, there’s no going back to it again.

    And for those that say this would cripple the government, I say, I’d much rather the government be chasing this down than trying to regulate the internet or decree how many aphids are allowed in a head of lettuce (six, by the way). As it is now, we have “aphids in lettuce” laws but we have governments that run amok with spending.

    I realize that you’re discussing a state level issue, but the general rule is still the same at the federal level.

  6. JeffS says:

    I’d rather cripple the government as well, if it stops the waste, fraud, and abuse of the system. As opposed to encouraging waste, fraud, and abuse, as the current system does.

  7. Gary from Jersey says:

    Trouble is, there hasn’t been a state budget in years that reflects true costs. Too many items are off the books, such as pension and health obligations, so we really don’t know how much they’re spending.

    We have commissions and authorities everywhere that aren’t budgeted, either. They’re packed with political appointees (how many Lottery inspectors do we really need? Hundreds?) who next to nothing. I know one guy with good connections who became a “communications officer” who could barely write a simple sentence. But that’s fine — he rarely shows up for work.

    But that’s not all. A memo went around to the Info Technology staff last year, asking them not to sleep at their desks. Some had to be woke up to deliver it.

    The list goes on, but the message is this: Christie’s only nibbling at the edges. He isn’t shooting for the bull’s eye: bloat, sloth and incompetence that costs us way too much.

    And as for a recovery, the state’s top economist said we’ll be recession another seven years as thousands of jobs and earners bail out.

  8. “New Jersey employees have a sweet deal. Cashing out sick leave?”

    Jeff, that’s actually a good idea within limits. Otherwise the incentive is to use it before you lose it. My company pays out 1/2 for it, enough incentive to not just take a day off for no good reason, but doesn’t cost the company too much.

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