Saturday, September 13, 2008
The residents of the Garden State elected the bearded hard-core liberal Jon Corzine as their Governor back in 2005 in a virtual landslide. Corzine won by a 53-43 margin over Republican candidate Doug Forrester. This was expected, as New Jersey is generally considered to be one of the strongest Democratic Party states in the nation.
That's fine, the residents there can vote for whomever they wish. Problem is, they stick with the Democratic Party over and over and over, the Dems continue to shaft them with tax and toll increases while lessening the actual services delivered, the voters then scream and holler and wring their hands...and then they go back out the next election and vote for more Democrats! It's always amazing to me when people continue to do things that hurt them over and over again.
Now comes the news that the toll bridges connecting Philadelphia and South Jersey are going up by a full dollar beginning today. Who will be hurt the most by this? New Jersey residents, who use the bridges far more than their Philly counter-parts.
Jersey residents come across into Philly to work every day. They come across to attend sporting and cultural events at places like Lincoln Financial Field, Citizens Bank Park, the Wachovia Center, etc.
The toll increase is a de facto tax on New Jersey residents, yet another by the Democrats in charge there.
Jersey residents seem to be infatuated with Dems like Corzine who spread their own personal wealth around to get elected (Corzine has spent tens of millions from his own vast personal wealth to overwhelm his political opponents, in effect buying his elections) while hurting the constituents' pocketbooks.
During just his first six months in the Governor's office, Corzine raised New Jersey residents taxes by $2 billion dollars. He forced into law a measure to get mandatory health care to Jersey residents, but did so without specifics. His measures are expected to cost at least $1 billion dollars. Where do Jersey residents think the money is going to come from to pay for this program?
Corzine shoved a full 1% state sales tax increase down the residents throats, raising the rate from 6% to 7% by shutting down the state government in the summer of 2006. While 1/2 of the tax goes to the state budget directly, further bloating the size of their government that will need repeated tax increases to support, the other half went to 'property tax relief' in the form of checks mailed out to residents.
The fact is, the folks who received the checks paid it out of their own pockets. The vast majority of New Jersey sales are to New Jersey residents, and every single purchase that they now make inside their state costs more, funds a bigger government, and will far-oustrip the brief happiness that getting one check in the mail created. Everything they pay for every day costs more.
But hey, they got a check last year, right? Fact is, they will continue to pay for that check every single day, and it is only the beginning.
Corzine proposed an 800% toll increase earlier this year, and when the public nearly revolted he sunk into the background, now quietly supporting a plan in the state legislature to double tolls in the coming years.
New Jersey residents have a chance to begin to make a change in November, when they can vote for Republican Dick Zimmer in the U.S. Senate race over more of the Democratic taxation in the person of Frank Lautenberg.
History would suggest that Zimmer has little chance, and that Lautenberg will win with about 50% of the vote or so. New Jersey residents will then assure that there will be at least six more years of Democratic influence over their state, six more years of liberal policies that will severely hurt their households.
They will probably vote for Barack Obama for President as well, and his policies will raise their taxes even more from the federal level. They will then complain yet again. But they never seem to complain when it most matters - at the ballot box.
The 'Retirement Living Information Center' recommends good places for folks to retire based on tax policies in that state. Their recommendations can also explain the reasoning that businesses normally use when deciding where to locate.
Their website instructs folks that: "If all other things are equal, a state with a lower burden is a more attractive place to retire than a state with a higher one. To get a true sense of which state is less expensive, you need to look at state and local tax burdens. Only then do the low tax states stand out...New Jersey residents paid 11.8%, topping the charts (as the highest taxation state)."
Which state is at the bottom, the best state for residents, the one that taxes the least? Alaska, home state of Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican Veep nominee. John McCain's home of Arizona is in the bottom ten, another great state for residents to keep their own hard-earned money.
The bridge tolls are going up, taxes are up, services show no improvement for regular folks, Jersey residents are once again digging deeper into their pockets on a daily basis, but they continue to do nothing about it.
For whom does the bell toll? It clearly tolls for the residents of the state of New Jersey.