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Last month when you voted to dedicate the newly raised gas tax to the Transportation Trust Fund I'll bet you thought that meant the gas tax revenue would be going into the Transportation Trust Fund.
State Senate President Steve Sweeney wants to divert it to, drum roll please, bailing out the public employee pension fund!
How? Easy! Just have the pension fund buy the TTF bonds. As in, New Jersey will borrow money from itself and then pay itself all the interest.
Senate President Stephen Sweeney on Thursday announced a plan to allow the state's pension fund to buy bonds directly from the Transportation Trust Fund as it embarks on a borrowing spree to finance up to $16 billion worth of new infrastructure projects over the next eight years.
The proposed legislation would allow the pension fund to accrue annual interest on the state's debt rather than having the state pay that interest to Wall Street, Sweeney said. The state would also avoid paying bond underwriting fees.
Nice obfuscation there Steve. The interest doesn't go to "Wall Street." It goes to mom and pop investors like me who buy government bonds. "Wall Street" is just the middle man, because New Jersey doesn't have a system like Treasury Direct that would allow individual investors to buy those bonds from the state, and "avoid paying bond underwriting fees."
Why not?, you might ask. Because then guys like Jon Corzine and Phil Murphy wouldn't get their cut, except it turns out, when the vig goes to the public employee unions instead. Then cutting off "Wall Street" is A-OK.
So there you have it. When they sold us on the gas tax they told us it was
for important stuff like roads and bridges. But when they spend the gas tax
it'll be going to some guy sitting on a beach.
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