Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A suggestion for the budget mess we're in

New Jersey Democrats in the state legislature (Ray Lesniak among them) are suggesting we revisit the millionaires tax to bring $630 million annually in new revenues to our state. I agree with this revenue proposal but I have a different idea of what to do with this money besides restoring cuts for current programs.

Let's put it towards the unfunded pension problem. It would be a small step in the right direction but I would put a condition on this pension fund contribution. The unions have to agree to givebacks to help address government budget gaps.

I feel strongly that government unions must play a major role in solving state and municipal budget woes. But it doesn't seem right that when we are asking our workers to sacrifice, Wall Street is doing quite well and corporate earnings are rising. Those more fortunate, the truly wealthy, need to do their part along with workers. It can't be either or. It has to be both. If not, we will continue to see police and fire services decimated and public education compromised. Governor Christie, are you listening?


olddoc said...

When a community leader makes a sensible proposal he deserves to stand tall. But define the level and composition of income for the millionairs' tax. oo many of the elderly fall out of the " rebate level" because for various reasons they have o sell saved assets which contribute markedly to their income although it should not be charged as "earned".

Anonymous said...

Mr. Lesniak is under the incorrect assumption that the programs that were cut should be restored. NJ is bloat city, and you are correct, the money should go to shoring up the pensions that the city workers were promised.

I am sure Mr. Lesniak would like to restore some jobs that were felled by the cuts also. We have less people in this state, less old business and no new business. So, why should the number of state workers remain the same?

Quite frankly, Lesniak is part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

You make it sound like there has been some type of equal sharing up to this point. The state income tax started out as a relatively low percentage paid by all. Lets look at the facts. Time and time again over the years the state income tax rates have become more and more skewed with the top rate now being 9%, while in Pennsylvania just a few miles away the rate is 3%. In these same decades while the rate has continued to rise what have any of the states unions done to reign in continual cost increases. So your idea of equal sharing seems a little one sided.
The reality is that Christie was elected because the majority of voters in the last election felt that the idea of "sharing pain" is in the past. Let the unions take a few hits, lets bring the state back into solvency and then if needed lets discuss the need to increase revenue.

Anonymous said...

Let the excessively rich take a few hits, too, instead of getting the additional tax breaks our governor wants to give them!

Anonymous said...

Cory, you make good points, but you seem to forget that the state (Governors since Whittman) took [robbed] money from the state pension system to balance their budgets, and left a pile of IOU's in its place. Thus the state OWES [has a debt] the pension and payback should not be held hostage to Union givebacks. That is a separate matter for negotiations. The state should pay its bills to the pension system.

Siddeeq W. El-Amin

Anonymous said...

Is this the tax that expired on 12/21/09 and the Democrats could have passed before Christie took office in 1/10.

My understanding is that Corzine told the Democratic controlled House and Senate that if they got the bill to him, he would sign it. The Democrats did not.

If this is the same bill, I am sick of hearing the Democrats whine about their ineptness.

They complain that the Governor did not sign into place the millionaire's tax, yet they want to raise gas taxes. It appears that they are an equal opportunity taxpayer gouger.

Rob said...

The Democrats who so LOUDLY scream that Chris Christie WON'T TAX millionaires for their "fair share" were the same ones who let it expire.
Chris Christie made NO BONES about the fact he would not sign it when he became Governor. The Democrats, who controlled both houses and the Governor's office watched the clock tick and let it expire because it was MORE IMPORTANT for them to play politics than do what they NOW claim..is only right. Their rhetoric is predictable, laughable and for the small minded.
Those who stand behind what they are saying now are either terribly ill-informed or feeble minded. Please don't tell me Cory that you buy into that nonsense.
The Democrats got exactly what they wanted which was more important than the people of NJ - Political Talking Points. That's what mattered most to them. NOT the average person in NJ.