Saturday, December 1, 2007

Bleeding Red

Just in time for Christmas New Jersey's wacky Governor Jon Corzine is planning to choke business further in the debt-ridden state by signing a 10-week family leave bill over the near-unanimous objections of the business community. As the Camden Courier-Post has rightly editorialized: " New Jersey's business climate, with its high taxes and plethora of regulations, stinks, and New Jersey business owners know it." In fact, businesses and residents are fleeing the state. The New Jersey Business and Industry Association's just-released annual business survey found that businesses are giving the state poor grades, with the leading worries being property taxes and health insurance. Most of the business people who responded expect state economic conditions to weaken further next year. In this climate you would think that Corzine would cozy up to business. Fuhgettaboutit!
The tax-happy Governor is ready to slap an additional $1.00 per week onto the disability insurance deduction that workers pay. If only one-third of the workers take advantage of the 10 weeks paid leave it will not take long to bankrupt the fund. All this for a state that is already drowning in a sea of red ink. And speaking of that red ink, Corzine says he’s prepared to stake his political future on a loony plan to tackle the state’s $32 billion dollar debt by forming a non-profit agency that would manage toll roads and issue bonds to generate cash for the state. The plan is called monetization but the fancy title simply means higher tolls. How much higher? At least 150 percent higher on state toll roads.
Reality bites. But somehow New Jersey's "I know better" Governor never feels the sting.
Dollar sign art print: Andy Warhol

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