Friday, March 19, 2010

The rich get fat on Chris Christie's skinny state budget.

New Jersey's Corpulence-in-Chief, Governor Chris Christie, hasn't exactly distinguished himself with his solution to solving Jersey's abysmal financial deficit.

I mean, we get the issue. New Jersey is $10.7 billion dollars in the red; and some seriously uncomfortable budget cuts need to be made - but just as everybody feared, Chris Christie simply doesn't have the stones to make them.

Oh, he can make cuts sure enough: Christie's axe has already lopped off over $800 million in state aid for schools. He's chopped away property tax rebates for seniors, the disabled and people earning less than $75,000 annually. He's planning to fire 1,300 state workers and cut child care subsidies by almost $20 million. Millions of residents of New Jersey are going to feel the pinch as Christie tightens everybody's belt.

But as it turns out, it's not everybody's belt that's going to get tightened. Just ours.

Because in the best tradition of Reagan Republicanism, Chris Christie has decided to top his hack and slash budget proposal with a whopping $1 billion dollar tax cut for the top 2% of New Jersey earners. Those racking in more than $400,000 a year will actually get more money; while the poor and middle class of the state eat up the meat and potatoes of Christie's so-called 'fiscal conservatism.'

It's disgusting.

Believe me, I would have supported our rotund leader if he'd played hard-ball and just presented these budget cuts for us to approve. I'm a great believer of living within one's means and one of the greatest failings of a Democratic mindset is the belief that you can spend your way out of debt. A lot of decent, hardworking people are going to be hit hard by these budget cuts, but if we want the state to be able to pay its bills, these are sacrifices we're all going to have to make.

But when Christie rams that absurd tax-cut for the rich down our throats, his budgetary 'tough love' starts to look more like abuse. He's firing teachers and trimming welfare for the state's poorest; yet handing over a billion bucks - 10% of the state's shortfall - to those who arguably need it least.

People say it's uncharitable to make fun of Chris Christie's weight; but in this instance I think a fair analogy can be made: Just like a compulsive eater undermines their diet by scoffing a whole box of cookies, Chris Christie has destroyed his credibility as a fiscal conservative by compulsively cramming these ridiculous tax cuts into his budget.

But I suppose none of this should come as a surprise. I outlined Chris Christie's dire record of corruption and greed long before the election. So far, he's lived up to every one of my disappointing expectations since he took office.

But that doesn't mean we shouldn't hold him accountable for it.


paul mitchell said...

Roland, why do those of y'all on the left fail to understand that the people that pay taxes are the only ones that can get tax cuts? And why do y'all fail to understand that those "rich" people are the only ones that actually do create jobs? Why do liberals HATE jobs?

Susanne said...

I can see how that seems terrible. :-/

Eve said...

Paul Mitchell, are you saying that rich people are the only ones who pay taxes? And either way, why should they get tax cuts? If they make over $400,000 a year, we're not exactly taxing them into the poorhouse.

I also take exception to the idea that rich people are the only ones who create jobs. They may create a lot of jobs, but they're not the ONLY ones. I work in a public library, which provides valuable services to thousands of people. My job, the jobs of all my co-workers, and the services we provide to the public all exist because people pay taxes. The only part any rich person had in the creation of my job was to pay taxes. Well, actually, the majority of the well-to-do people in my city actually voted to pay more in property taxes to extend the library's open hours. Imagine that! People who make a lot of money can afford to pay more taxes (and don't seem to mind that much)! Our library in turn provides resources that help people find jobs (free internet for those who can't afford it, computer literacy classes, job-searching seminars, local job listings, information about higher education/vocational training, and numerous books about: how to write a good resume, how to interview well, how to get various certifications, how to pass various job-related exams, how to start your business, etc.). Now remind me, how is it bad that very well-to-do people are paying these taxes? And why is it good, just, or beneficial that they should stop?

Also, how is a hard-working college student like me supposed to get an education and become a productive, self-sufficient member of society if politicians like this keep cutting education funding? Especially if the cuts are part of a budget plan that treats tax cuts for the people who make the most money as a higher priority than balancing the state budget! I live in California, not New Jersey, but we're having a similar problem here. Governor Schwarzenegger has tax-cut us further and further away from fiscal stability or sustainability, and he seems to just now be figuring out that you have to cut services when you cut taxes. Most of us here would rather pay those taxes, but he thinks we would do better with less education.

Anyway, my rambly point is that taxes aren't always bad, tax cuts aren't always good, and this seems to be one situation where that is the case.

One Salient Oversight said...


"Don't you realise - it's all the Democrats fault! If we didn't have Democrats in power then none of this would happen! We have the Obamoron in the White House destroying our country"

- Paraphrase of Paul's reply.

paul mitchell said...

Eve, you should get an education the exact same way that I did, pay for it out of your pocket, with your own money. If the government did not simply give all kinds of money for deadbeats to get degrees in sociology and psychology, college would be less expensive. Since the government is paying people to get useless degrees, forcing colleges to hire more staff, build more buildings, and provide all kinds of free services, the cost per student has skyrocketed. Not to mention the FREE EDUCATION given to anyone that can get in this country illegally without getting caught. This is covered in any legitimate Economics 101 course. It is called SUPPLY and DEMAND, you should look that up at the library.

And yes, taxes are ALWAYS bad and tax cuts are ALWAYS good. Sorry, but you will learn that later in life when you meet reality.

I must say that I love libraries, but they do not create jobs. Sorry. A government job must first REMOVE money from the economy to pay the employee. More government jobs and spending HURT the economy.

Finally, there have been ZERO tax cuts (until recently when the voters DEMANDED them) in California since the 1970s. There used to be a governor there that was doing big things in California up until around 1975. Then y'all elected an idiot that jacked taxes up and started the slow decline in your state. Y'all also have the chance to re-elect the guy that started the failure in Cali. His name is Jerry Brown, there might be something about Governor Moonbeam at that library, too. His huge tax increases have sent your JOB BASE scrambling for less punitive pastures. This would be covered in the very same Econ 101 classes at a legitimate university. Liberalism has failed everywhere it is tried. California's failing economy should PROVE it to you.

paul mitchell said...

OSO, there is not a single person, with an IQ exceeding 45, that thinks Obama is intelligent. Not one.

Andy said...

Roland, I am not familiar enough with the State of New Jersey to speak intelligently about Christie's tax cuts for the highest earners.

I am inclined to believe that New Jersey has experienced a "wealth drain" due to high taxes on high earners, and this is an attempt to stop the bleeding. But, I do not know.

I know that I have watched for the last 30 years as high-income earners have moved from Louisiana across the border to Texas and set up their businesses there because of the low taxes (no personal income tax on commercial production inventory taxes, etc.) I suspect that IF there is a pure motive for it in NJ, it is to spur job creation by the wealthy, or at least to entice them to stay put for now.

But, that's not why I'm commenting. I noted from some research that I did that New Jersey's State proposed budget is $28.3 billion. New Jersey has 8.7 million residents.

Would you be interested to know that Louisiana (population 4.5 million...roughly half that of NJ) is operating under a $28.9 billion budget this year? Yep! Half the population...same outlay.

Of course, we are the original Socialist US State due to the programs, entitlements, etc. established by Huey Long 80 years ago, and built upon by every Democrat governor since. And, we are last in almost every "quality of life" category in the US.

Texas has eaten our lunch attracting business, industry, etc. for one reason. Rich folks can make money, and keep it in Texas. Literally millions of jobs have been lost to Texas in my 30 years of paying attention.

Maybe that's what Christie is trying to do...hold what he's got, and entice others to come.

Eve said...

Paul Mitchell, that's awfully presumptuous of you. I am paying for my education entirely out of my own pocket. That's not the issue. The issue is that due to the state budget deficit, the cost of my education is rising while classes are being cut right and left (over 200 this semester alone). Being a hard-working A-student, I can likely succeed in my education anyway, but it increases the likelihood that I'll need to take out a large student loan to finish either one of the bachelor's degrees I'm working on, let alone my master's. Do I not deserve a higher education just because my family and aren't wealthy?

I also find it odd that you say you love libraries (unless you're specifically referring to privately owned libraries only) because you oppose all public funding of those services. No taxes mean no public library.

As an aside, in regards to what you said to One Salient Oversight, that is, again, presumptuous. One would almost think you believe IQ based on one's opinions, as opposed to an definitive numerical score from a standardized test. (duh, you're saying anybody who likes Obama is stupid because you disagree) Well, speaking as someone with an IQ over 150, I think Obama is intelligent. Have fun with that. That's not to say that I think he's a wonderful president, or that I agree with his policies, or that I think he's doing a good job (I won't go into that here), but I do think he's intelligent.

Anyway, that's all beside the point. you seem more interesting in insulting people than carrying out any kind of civil discussion. As Andy has demonstrated, it's quite easy to express a dissenting opinion without being rude (and people are much more likely to take you seriously). Unless you're interested in expressing your opinion in a civil manner, I see no point in continuing this conversation. Trolls are hard to take seriously. Have a good day.

Andy, I think you make a valid and interesting point. I don't know that I agree with the entirety of it, but I certainly think it's worth thinking about. Also, thank you for demonstrating how to express disagreement politely. The internet could use more people like you.

paul mitchell said...

Eve, I have insulted no one, if you took it that way, I am sorry, maybe you should try to have less of a defensive mind. I made no value judgment on your financing of your education, I simply told you why the cost of higher education was going up. If you choose not to believe the reason, then that is your prerogative, but you were told.

As far as public funding of libraries is concerned, that is a relatively new idea, one that is destroying our libraries quickly. Check your library for the history of libraries. For libraries in this country, I suggest you research a man named Andrew Carnegie. He also had a pretty big impact in Europe, too. I think that the left commonly refers to him as a "Robber Baron." you see, the left has big trouble understanding things that deals with mathematics, science, and history, but again, that is their choice.

Since you readily admit that you are intelligent, then obviously you are not paying attention to the president. He is quite the intellectual midget, You Tube is overrun with examples of how stupid Barry Obama is. My blog is also a good source.

Being intelligent comes with responsibilities, Eve, assume them and try not to defend Communists like OSO all your life, they have only killed millions of innocent people.

Occasional Professor Tom said...

Of course, Christie isn't actually cutting taxes, but merely allowing them to remain where they would be set by the current law. That is, what's actually going on is that he's refusing to raise taxes during the middle of a recession - which seems like a sensible thing to me.

The reason why this was an issue was that the original tax had a sunset provision that caused it to shut down this year.

That being said, up to a point, tax cuts are generally a good thing. When you actively discriminate against the rich, they tend to take it personally and move elsewhere. This leaves the poor to shoulder more of the tax burden.

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