Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Corzine Plans For Shutdown

From the Star Ledger:

Budget standoff in Trenton
BY JEFF WHELAN AND JOSH MARGOLIN

Facing an impasse with Assembly Democrats over his proposed sales tax increase, Gov. Jon Corzine yesterday refused to budge and ordered his Cabinet to prepare for a government shutdown.

It was a day of tough political talk, closed-door meetings and a noisy rally that brought thousands of public employees to the Statehouse complex to cheer the governor's plan. At day's end, legislative leaders stressed that they were working with Corzine to resolve their differences, but there was no immediate sign of compromise.
...
Facing a July 1 deadline to adopt a balanced budget, the Democratic governor sought to cast Assembly Democrats as fiscally irresponsible and said there was no choice but to raise the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to bring in $1.1 billion.

"We are trying to get recurring revenues, the money coming in, to match the money going out, as opposed to just using the same old song about gimmicks and borrowing," Corzine said in a fiery speech to the labor rally. "Now I don't have a choice this year, in my view. It is a last resort."
...
Maggie Moran, Corzine's deputy chief of staff, yesterday dispatched a memo to the governor's Cabinet ordering them to draft contingency plans for a "government shutdown." By Thursday, departments must detail for the governor what services are essential and what are nonessential and come up with plans for a shutdown of up to four weeks.

"In the event that the state of New Jersey does not have a balanced budget passed by midnight on June 30, it is important we are prepared for closure of state government," she said. "In the event of a shutdown, no obligations could be incurred except in connection with essential services."

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a whore this Corzine turned
out to be. Worst than expected.

Well at least he got to bed down
the Katz women.

6/20/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thursday, departments must detail for the governor what services are essential and what are nonessential....

This is funny oh I needed a laugh this morning. Why do we have emloyees that are nonessential? Why don't we just fire the nonessential ones and reduce everyone elses taxes. And who in the world is cheering for his plan to raise the states sales tax.

Now if the government shuts down we will all see how less government is a better government.

6/20/2006 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

And who in the world is cheering for his plan to raise the states sales tax.

The public sector unions are ecstatic with his plan. They enthusiastically cheered him at a union rally for teachers & state police yesterday. After all, their sweetheart benefits don’t get touched under his budget.

A few state senators have put together a website to bring public sector employee pay and benefits back down to earth.
http://www.stopspendingmymoney.com

6/20/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teachers and police ought to have sweetheart benefits, since they don't have sweetheart salaries, no? How sweet are they, anyway? They would be essential workers in my book. They can't afford decent housing, but they traditional have had security to make up for it. Why not go after other heads to cut costs?

6/20/2006 09:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to give credit to Corzine. He's forcing the issue. You guys see the sales tax increase, but what is behind this is the holy grail of Jersey politics -he's going to bust the control the party bosses (Democrats & Republicans ) have at the county level.

What he is going after is the famous double/triple dipping (more than one elected position at a time) and pension reform that will hurt the fat cats, and force regionalization of govermental services, which will kill a lot of public jobs the political machines need to survive.

The pension reform is the tricky one, because everybody focus on the career state employee, but what is really killing is all the fat cats double/triple dippers that are able to parlay all of the their jobs pension contributions into a gigantic check when they retire.

Remember the formula is roughly a percentage of your last three years of income. Well if you are are state senator & mayor, or assemmblyman and freeholder and councilman, or my favorite Mayor Sacco of North Bergen -> School Principal ($130k+), Commisioner-Mayor ($25k+), and State Senator (70k+, you can see you are going to get at least $100K a year in pension when you retire.

6/20/2006 09:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raising taxes is one thing dems can do well. I think income tax rate in NJ should be around 75%. Sales tax should be doubled and pension funds should not be touched.

(I've just escaped from NJ:)

6/20/2006 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger minutesfromNYC said...

does this mean less weekend traffic from NY??

6/20/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

tax tax tax. that's all these incompetent not fit for office bozos can come up with. how about some real imaginative reform?

6/20/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

Teachers and police ought to have sweetheart benefits, since they don't have sweetheart salaries, no?

Actually, no. The cops in my old town just got their payscale raised to $90k for a patrolman (entry level police officer). Plus, a 35 hour work week, excellent pension, retire after 25 years & overtime pay for 1 minute past 35 hours.

The good "benefits to make up for low pay" story is a crock that the unions want you to believe.

How sweet are they, anyway?

Check out:
http://www.stopspendingmymoney.com

6/20/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This seems like thebest thing that can happen to NJ. Shut down the government forever.

6/20/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger RichInNorthNJ said...

What he is going after is the famous double/triple dipping (more than one elected position at a time) and pension reform that will hurt the fat cats, and force regionalization of govermental services, which will kill a lot of public jobs the political machines need to survive.

Do you have a link to Corzine's proposed pension reform?

6/20/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Grim Ghost said...


Now if the government shuts down we will all see how less government is a better government.


Terrific -- I'm sure we can find places (say in Somalia) that are indeed Nirvana because of the absence of a government.

I actually didn't vote at all in 2004, but the real reason the state is in this mess is because of huge spend and borrow by previous administrations (both Democratic and Republican). Now the piper has to be paid. THe correct time to rant was during the Whitman and McGreevy administrations.

And really, a 1% increase in sales tax is not that big a deal. It doesn't impact essentials. I would like to see more spending cuts as well, but I think it would be pretty hard to bring the budget back into balance just with that.

I hope NJ Transit isn't impacted by any shutdown. That would be a major, major headache.

6/20/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, was posted on wrong thread:

Corzine needs to wake up and smell the coffee on those public employee benefits, and stop dreaming that a sales tax will benefit/fix the state.

I heard a report today, and one state employee said, basically, to stop attacking public employees' pension and health benefits, because it's all they have because they make less than the private sector employees.

If she only knew the net present value differential on those benefits, she would understand the problem.

How I wish an oversight board could limit total compensation (at least until the budget was balanced) to a system of equity with private total packages.

For example, every public employee gets rated into a comparative scale to "like" private employees.

The public employee total package can then not exeed 1.45% the total package of the equivalent private sector employee's total package until the budget is balanced.

The additional .45 is to compensate them for their services to humanity as public employees (I suppose.)

Pat

6/20/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

Terrific -- I'm sure we can find places (say in Somalia) that are indeed Nirvana because of the absence of a government.

There is a huge spectrum of possibility between anarchy (Somalia) and Communism (former USSR).
NJ needs to shrink the bureaucracy and spending and stop with “the government knows best and can solve all social ills attitude”. Shrinking it’s nonessential payroll would be a nice start.

And really, a 1% increase in sales tax is not that big a deal.

Actually, it’s a 17% increase in the sales tax. If this were any other state, it probably wouldn’t be a big deal. NJ, however, is already buckling under the weight of its taxes. This is just another nail in the coffin on NJ’s future.

I hope NJ Transit isn't impacted by any shutdown.

It won’t. NJ Transit is considered essential.

6/20/2006 03:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grim Ghost you and New Jersey seem perfect together. You didn't even vote so you should keep your comments to yourself. Next election vote and then come back and talk with us. You are actually part of the problem by not voting.

6/20/2006 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Roadtripboy said...

I agree with Grim Ghost. While I generally believe that sales taxes are regressive, it is hard to think that there is going to be a huge difference between 6% and 7%. In fact, when I moved here in 1989, the NJ sales tax was 7%. It was lowered shortly thereafter during the Florio administration or the first Whitman administration along with the creation of "urbanized tax zones" where sales tax is only 3%. Raising the sales tax back to 7% is only going back to 1989 levels.

I'm generally very pro-union since unions generally look out for the rights of lower income citizans. I'm fine with paying police officers 90K, since they risk their lives everyday in the performance of their duties. But at that salary, I can't see paid overtime.

Question: do all police officers in NJ make 90K? I can see paying police officers in towns like Paterson or Newark this much since they are literally risking life and limb everyday. But do the Far Hills or Bernardsville Police depts have the same level of crime to fight? Perhaps 90K is an overkill salary (pun intended!) for these towns.

6/20/2006 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

Question: do all police officers in NJ make 90K? I can see paying police officers in towns like Paterson or Newark this much since they are literally risking life and limb everyday.

No, because police are paid from local property taxes. Wealthier, lower crime, towns tend to have higher paid police departments. The police in Franklin Lakes make more than the police in Newark, even though Newark police put their lives on the line, while most small town suburban police write seatbelt tickets all day.

6/21/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

State employee salaries are hot media these days, but like any issue a more detailed look is needed. what jobs are we talking about? A lot os us work in developmental development centers, mental institutions, prisons, hospitals. We take care of the people you would prefer not to see in our society. so when your paying your tax think about what your world would look like if you didn't pay us. And speaking of pay, published salaries are not "average". I could make more in the private sector. Talk about benefits - the state hasn't paid it's share of our pension since Gov. Whitman decided to stop paying the states contribution.
But I bet more people are worried about A.C. shutting down.

6/30/2006 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Corzine begins the shutdown...

grim

7/01/2006 09:27:00 AM  
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