1 Unemployment 1 point higher than the national average.
2. Dollars for family planning centers zeroed out
3. $6 million for training women & minorities put into general fund rather than training.
4. 9000 children no longer in wrap-around day care
5. Affordable Housing Trust funds taken from municipalities to help balance the Christie budget.
6. Revenues coming in well below anticipation.
7. One in four New Jersey residents sink into poverty!
So that’s a “come back”??? But it’s Governor Christie we’re talking about here, so we need to keep it in “truth-o-meter” land. I just saw his commercial claiming tax cuts (note: for millionaires); balanced budgets (mmm: falling revenues); putting people back to work (note: higher unemployment rate than the nation). We can go on.
Competing tax cut plans and can we afford any tax cut with these low revenues?
Governor Christie proposed an across the board 10% income tax cut for all residents. More than $7000 for millionaires and $80 for those earning in the $50,000 brackets. Assemblyman Lou Greenwald and Assembly Democrats plan covers a 20% property tax reduction for those earning under $250,000 to be funded by increasing taxes on millionaires. Senator Sweeney and Senate Demoratic plan covers a property tax deduction for those earning under $250,000 to be capped at $1000 and to be funded by the same revenues certified by the Governor to fund his millionaire’s tax cut.
The three major problems with all these plans are: 1. Governor’s plan is too heavily aimed at the wealthiest NJ citizens – you know – “the job creators”. 2. Assemblyman Greenwald’s plan is basically a non-starter because the Governor will veto the millionaire’s tax, so there will be no funding. 3. Sweeney plan could become a non-starter if revenues continue to fall. And no, friends, there are no “deals” in place on any of this until our leadership in both houses come together and our respective caucuses have the opportunity to talk. If we can afford a proerty tax cut, Democrats should be able to come together on a compromise. Yes, we belong to “no organized political party – we’re Democrats”!!
The “Pick on Me – Pick on Me Tour”: I’ve been having a bit of fun making DNC press calls to states where our “travelin Governor” has been going to help the Republicans nationally. I was invited by DNC to give a more “balanced” view (or the other side) of the “so called” Jersey comeback, and particularly its effect on women and middle class families in NJ.
On the Calendar: Today in Trenton will be meeting with folks from the anti-poverty network on New Jersey’s priorities. May 31st Judiciary Committee meeting to consider Governor Christie’s second nominee to the Supreme Court – Bruce Harris.
And how exciting to hear the NAAP endorsing marriage equality. “Evolution” is taking place all around us – except in the Governor’s office.