Tuesday, April 04, 2006

How do you balance a budget like New Jersey?

The polls suggest the honeymoon is over here in New Jersey.

Gov. Corzine's new budget is a sticky one. He inhereted an unenviable task and had to make some politically tough choices, including provisions for increasing and expanding sales tax, raising taxes on booze and smokes, cutting funding to higher education (ouch!), and funding towns and schools at 2005 levels, likely prompting local tax hikes.

Gov. Jon Corzine's proposed $30.9 billion state budget drew fire yesterday on two fronts yesterday: those upset over possible tax increases (ie: the business lobby and hospital officials), and advocates for the needy, who maintain the budget is too stingy.

I am the first to admit that the idea of paying more taxes is an unsavory one, but according to Prof. David P. Rebovich, Managing Director of the Rider University Institute for New Jersey Politics,
some sort of tax hikes will likely be necessary for Corzine and his fellow Democrats to balance the budget and put state government in a position to move forward on other policy goals. What should Corzine and the legislature consider when they start thinking about hiking taxes? Well, obviously they need to explain the extent of the state's financial problems.
But the state economy is in dire straits and...
Corzine and state legislators in both parties would be wise to tell it like it is. The new Governor should have no qualms about complaining that he has to clean up the mess created by others.
Notably ex-Governors Christie Todd Whitman Jim McGreevy who powered their gravy trains with fiscal gimmicks including refinancing debt, deferring payments, drawing money from funds, or borrowing monies against projected revenues.

Gov. Corzine has only been in office since January. We ought to give him a chance to show us what he can do. This is the same Jon Corzine who took Goldman Sachs out of the tank and restored them to one of the most successful brokerage houses in the entire Wall Street pantheon.

So before we freak out, let's give Governor Corzine a chance to try to fix this.

Image courtesy Jimmy Margulies


Anonymous said...

You are a credit to your DeLay shunning ways, but let's face it this post is about NJ, and...I mean...what the hell do I have to say about that? :-)

Anonymous said...

Give Corzine a break because he's only in office a few months????
Did you grant Pres. Bush that courtesy when NYC was attacked 9 months into his term?