Tag Archive: Gordon MacInnes

76ers to Camden: the South Jersey Strategy

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Next City pegs the price of each job coming to Camden with the Sixers practice facility at $1.6 million. New Jersey Policy Perspective’s president, Gordon MacInnes places the number at $328,000. NJ.com says that there will be $76.6 in “direct and indirect taxes”, including “spillover effects,” outstripped by the $82 million in state grants. And Tom Knoche says: “What does this mean for the residents of Camden? Not much.” But this is the strategy. Strong political presence in Trenton means access to state dollars. From the perspective of local actors, these are free dollars. Unfortunately, these free dollars come linked to inefficient policy.

QoTD – MacInnes on Christie Budget Address: “False choice” & “false history”

From New Jersey Policy Perspective’s president, Gordon MacInnes, a former NJ legislator, on the budget address delivered today by Gov. Chris Christie, who presides over a state with the highest unemployment in the region (among highest in U.S.), and slowest economic recovery. MacInnes has served as a member of both the NJ Assembly and NJ Senate. MacInnes:

“The governor’s budget message sets up a false choice based on a false history. The false choice is to suggest that the only way to invest in New Jersey’s assets that made it an economic powerhouse – its highly educated workforce, its location in the center of the largest market in the world, its diverse and vibrant communities, its attraction to striving immigrants, its high-performing public schools – is to reduce support for vital public services and overburdened local taxpayers.

The false history is that the failure to cut taxes explains our economic malaise. The governor has drained the state of billions in revenue through tax cuts and tax breaks, yet this strategy has failed to spur the kind of recovery our neighboring states and the nation as a whole have seen.

Cutting taxes has been the only arrow in our quiver and it has clearly not worked. Instead, we have recovered less than half the jobs lost to the Great Recession, have the highest percentage of long-term unemployed and rank among the lowest states for economic activity. In order to stem the tide and begin sowing the seeds of prosperity, New Jersey needs to invest in crucial resources like education and infrastructure that are the building blocks of a strong economy.”

QoTD: November Jobs Numbers

November NJ unemployment figures are out today. And Gov. Christie, who’s as slick at re-packaging his slow economic recovery as Jersey Comeback as he is hyping up his disappointing Sandy recovery as a TV ad opportunity for himself, will spin it with the usual bombast.  

But check this. US=blue. NJ=black. Track it long-term. We’re still not doing well under Christie. Quote of the Day, from NJPP’s Gordon MacInnes, below.

“It’s certainly good news that New Jersey’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent, but there’s no reason to jump for joy as our state’s economy remains very weak. New Jersey’s recovery is tepid and far behind the rest of the nation; we’ve regained only 59 percent of the jobs we lost in the Great Recession (neighboring New York, by comparison, has regained 150 percent). Worse, this November drop in the unemployment rate is largely attributable to the fact that 30,600 New Jerseyans gave up looking for work and dropped out of the labor force last month – we now have the fewest residents actively looking for work that we’ve had since December 2008, not exactly the sign of a thriving, healthy economy.”

                             Gordon MacInnes, NJ Policy Perspective

NJ’s jobless rate fell to 7.8%. But the national rate is still well below – at 7.0%. With Christie as governor, New Jersey’s consistently had the highest unemployment rate in the region (one of the highest in U.S.) despite all that Jersey Comeback hoopla of his. This week Moody’s downgraded NJ’s credit outlook due to our “sluggish” economic recovery. But what are a few piffling little facts compared to Chris Christie’s star-making machinery?  

What’s Happening Today Fri. 09/13/2013

Following the devastating boardwalk fire in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park, public events today are subject to change. We express our deep sympathy to those affected and our hope for a successful recovery.

The Rand Paul and Steve Lonegan show is comin’ to Clark today: There will be a Champagne Brunch and photo opportunity at 10:30am. Space is limited for this intimate event. Steve Lonegan and Senator Rand Paul will host a Liberty and Victory Lunch Reception at 11:15am. Ticket price is $250 per person and will include a photo with Senator Rand Paul. At Noon, the public is invited to attend a free Rally for Liberty and Victory. Go here for more information or to RSVP for your tickets today! Or read this Blue Jersey diary for the enlightenment we can expect from this event.

Economic Opportunity Act: (A3680) The Senate has now concurred to the governor’s conditional veto, ensuring that the legislation overhauling New Jersey’s business tax subsidy programs will become law. NJ Policy Perspective President Gordon MacInnes says, “This legislation throws more resources at New Jersey’s subsidy programs, despite the fact that tax subsidies have only marginal effects on location decisions. The lack of a spending cap, in particular, is distressing, as it all but ensures the state will continue the surge in subsidy awards that have marked the past few years, further straining future state budgets.”

Legislation to improve the reporting, tracing and collection of illegal firearms: (S2718) sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37) received final approval in the state Senate. The measure was conditionally vetoed by the governor, but maintains key provisions that would require law enforcement officers seizing or recovering firearms to follow a reporting procedure.

Legislation to authorize horse racing on the beach: (S2899) sponsored by Senator Donald Norcross (D-5) and Senator Jim Whelan (D-2) has been approved by the Senate. It now goes to the governor’s desk for his signature. I always thought one should not race horses on the beach because it increased their risk of serious injury.


Public Schedules:

Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: 12:30pm, Barbara Buono: Construction Roundtable of NJ’s 4th Annual Diversity Conference, Merck World Headquarters, 1 Merck Dr., Whitehouse Station.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Gov. Christie: 10:30am, a media briefing to provide an update on the Seaside Boardwalk fire, Lot at Porter and Ocean Avenues, Seaside Park. It is unclear as to whether he will go to Florida today with his wife Mary Pat to celebrate her 50th birthday, as was originally planned.

Email items for this column the evening before to BillOrr563@gmail.com

Dial Up the Bombast: Your Tax Dollars at Work

More tough talk. More bluster. This little slice of video, paid for with your tax dollars, but pitched to increase your governor’s profile, isn’t marked as to time and place but it looks like the NJ Alliance for Action’s Transportation Conference where he spoke this morning. Christie wants you to frame Lou Greenwald and Paul Sarlo, Assembly Majority Leader and Senate Budget chair respectively, as the “representatives of Washington, D.C. politics in Trenton”[snip] They want to be obstructionists, they want to be pessimists, they want to talk down our state. I’m not going to let them do it. [snip] I’m not going to let them talk down the comeback the state’s in the middle of.”

This is just more of what we’ve already had from Christie, who talks about Washington politics as though obstruction isn’t the middle name of his GOP brethren in the House, as though he can make it be because he says it.  And who can’t really answer the questions of the Greenwalds and Sarlos of NJ’s legislative branch. So he just dials up the bombast.

Watch the video, and then for a more adult and reality-based antidote, read the statement from New Jersey Policy Perspective’s new president – both after the jump.

More “Blowback” – No “Comeback”

On Wednesday State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff will present a Budget Revenue update to the  Assembly Budget Committee. As we receive further economic news for May, it just gets worse. Governor Christie’s “Jersey Comeback” looks increasingly like “Christie’s Blowback.”

The Star Ledger Editorial Board, NJ Public Policy President Gordon MacInnes and others agree this is not the time to saddle the State with the cost of an income tax reduction or property tax relief program. Neither of these competing plans are “free.” Their costs are added into a budget based on a tax revenue forecast which is collapsing amid problems in unemployment, foreclosures, higher cost of borrowing, and slow economic growth. Both Governor Christie and Senate President Sweeney this week appeared resolute in pursuing such a program. Their reasons seem to be for personal political gain as current forecasts do not justify their approach. Instead, we should spend what funds we can realistically anticipate on the basics, such as health, education, social safety net, and pensions.

Some updated/additional facts:

  • 1 in every 1,842 NJ housing units received a foreclosure filing in April 2012, (RealtyTrak) and NJ’s percentage of home mortgage loans in foreclosure continues to rise, as rates nationally have fallen. NJ now has the second-highest percentage of mortgage loans in foreclosure – at 8.4% – behind only Florida at 14.3%. (NJ Real Estate Report)
  • Unemployment in April rose to 9.1%, as opposed to the national average of 8.1%, and NJ was only one of five states to have an increase in unemployment in April. (U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • The state’s seasonally adjusted job count fell by 8,600 in March. In the private sector, the loss totaled 11,600. (Treasury Department Chief Economist Charles Steindel) However, the number of new jobs added in April was insufficient to reverse the March loss. (NJ Department of Labor)

  • Our Indexes of Economic Indicators for March show economic activity grew at a robust pace in New York State, a healthy clip in New York City but a diminished pace in New Jersey. (N.Y. Federal Reserve Bank)

  • Our May general economic index, falling to a minus 5.8%, signals contraction in the area covering southern New Jersey. (Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank)

  • Fitch in August lowered NJ’s credit rating on general obligation bonds to AA-, its fourth step. The downgrade duplicated actions by Standard & Poor’s in February and Moody’s Investors Service in April. (New Jersey Newsroom)

  • Tax revenues through April are $230 million below the forecast for the first ten months of the current fiscal year. (State Department of Treasury)

  • Christie administration is now facing at least a $121 million shortfall in energy tax collections atop the $230 million shortfall revealed on Tuesday. (Assembly Budget Chair Vincent Prieto)

  • Christie administration and the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services are now about $850 million apart on revenue projections through fiscal 2013. (estimate of Senate Budget Chair Paul Sarlo)

    My guess is that on Wednesday the Treasurer will lower the tax revenue forecast somewhat, but leave open the possibility for a tax program to be negotiated.

  • A Man To Watch: Mike DuHaime – A Key Christie Operative

            He’s a remarkable talent. This guy has a lot of raw talent. He’s just got great judgment. – Karl Rove talking about Mike DuHaime in 2008

    Governor Christie who appears to be his own man, speaking from his seemingly singular gut with ideas that he says are his own, has in fact benefited tremendously from the skills and advice of key advisors. One such advisor is Mike DuHaime, who after serving in key positions in three national presidential campaigns, went on to become the lead strategist for Christie’s victory in 2009. DuHaime’s influence has been recognized in the press by both PolitickerNJ and TIME. He was ranked number 7 on PolitickerNJ’s 2010 Power List following Bill Palatucci, Mary Pat Christie, Jeff Chiesa, Steve Adubato, Rich Bagger, and David Samson. In 2010 TIME listed DuHaime in its “40 under 40” where his comments were indistinguishable from those of his boss: “The most overlooked issue these days is the unsustainable escalating costs of pensions, benefits and salaries associated with a public workforce.”

    This week we heard comments from DuHaime complimenting Christie following his speech to the American Enterprise Institute in Washington,“He didn’t go seek the attention. He did big things and then went and talked about it. He’s completely turned Trenton upside down.” Duhaime appears confident but self-deprecating, humble, likable and measured – the opposite of Christie. However, he does not act entirely behind the scenes and has spoken in public occasionally helping us to understand his influence better. Among other matters he has weighed in on strategy in the governor’s campaign, Reform Jersey Now, and has been teaching a popular course on “Political Campaigning” at Rutgers with Maggie Moran, his Democratic counterpart during the Christie-Corzine campaign.

    More beneath the fold