WyBlog, the best thing about New Jersey since the invention of the 24 hour diner.
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." - Ronald Reagan
CH 2.0 Info Center
The Jersey Report
Labor Union Report
Net Right Nation
The Patriot Post Newsletter
Victor Davis Hanson
J! E! T! S! Jets! Jets! Jets!
NJ.com Caldwell Forum
The Caldwells Patch
The Jersey Tomato Press
Technorati is indexing me again! They had to make a code change to fix the problem with my blog getting stuck in their queue. Kudos to Eric M. and the guys at GetSatisfaction.com where they have "community powered support for Technorati".
Well, they're "sorta, kinda" indexing me anyway. It's on a 24 hour tape delay or something. So I never get picked up by Memeorandum because they pull from Technorati and Technorati has stuff I posted yesterday listed as my latest blog entry. And that's old news to Memeorandum.
"This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, social issues, etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes."
#VRWC Twitter feed:
Governor Christie has signed the 2 percent property tax cap bill. He's optimistic saying, "This is the beginning of real property tax relief for New Jersey."
Not so fast there Governor Awesome. When this compromise was proposed I said "half a cap is better than none, but it's still half a cap." Nothing I've seen since then has changed my perception.
It's not enshrined in our state Constitution, so a future governor or legislature can void it. And it's got enough holes in it to drive a public employee union parade through with room to spare.
The two biggest drivers of our budget woes — public employee pension contributions and their health insurance benefits — are exempted from the cap. Thus the pressure to somehow find a way to fix the underfunded state pension system will continue unabated.
But really, that ship has sailed. There isn't enough money in the universe to fully fund those pensions. Eventually the unions are going to have to take a haircut. But Christie has put off the day of reckoning by agreeing to keep the pension costs outside the tax cap.
I want to see the unions try to force us to live under the cap and fund those pensions. The cuts in services will be draconian. Garbage will pile up in the streets so clerks can retire in luxury. Then a tax revolt will seal the unions' fate.
Their gold-plated health benefits are also exempted. Where's the savings in that? To incentivize the unions to save money we need to show that there isn't an unlimited pot of gold at the end of Main Street. But here we are again, if health care costs go up 20%, so do our taxes.
And then to really stick it to us taxpayers they exempted debt service too. Wanna know what that means? Umlimited borrowing, that's what it means. When borrowing costs aren't capped, suddenly everything gets paid for with borrowed money.
Sweeney, who joined Christie at today's event, downplayed the political impact.
"The governor didn't score a victory. I didn't score a victory. Taxpayers scored a victory," the Senate president said.
Hah. The public employee unions scored a decisive victory. Their sacred cows went unscathed. Chris Christie blinked, and our chance to finally corral the cost of government wriggled away.
I'm not alone in believing this either. Three-quarters of New Jersey residents are also skeptical of this plan.
Unfortunately, it's probably the best outcome we could hope for given that spendthrift Democrats control the state legislature. If Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver had been given the time to "study" the plan and hold hearings we'd have even more exemptions. This cap, warts and all, had to be passed, and it had to be passed now.
But when we're having this same discussion a few years hence don't say I
didn't warn you.
|Previous: Which side of the fence do you sit on?||Next: Wednesday whinging while working with wombats|