Don’t forget to buy your tickets for the I.O.U.S.A. Screening GTG
Thursday, August 21st at 8:00pm
AMC Clifton Commons 16
405 Route 3 East
Clifton, NJ 07014
Tickets can be purchased online, click here.
From the NY Post:
From 2003 through 2007, while the nation’s private economy soared, only tax-supported government jobs grew robustly in Jersey. Private employment increased a meager 1.8 percent, mostly in low-wage service jobs. In 2006, when the country was in the midst of an economic boom that produced government surpluses everywhere, Jersey faced a crushing $4.5 billion budget shortfall that prompted an embarrassing shutdown of state government.
Jersey’s decline has been rapid and astonishing. In the ’60s, one study judged it to be among the most business-friendly states because of its light tax burden. That helped attract a steady stream of businesses and residents from New York and produced robust economic growth.
Although there were occasionally signs of trouble over the years (like the pension shenanigans of Gov. Christie Whitman, in which government shirked its long-term obligations), the state’s real decline started with the election of Gov. Jim McGreevey and a Democratic-controlled Legislature in 2001.
McGreevey, aided by the Legislature, raised taxes and fees an astonishing 33 times, totaling $3.6 billion, amid a recession. The state also passed a heap of new labor-friendly, anti-business laws that rapidly worsened conditions.
The fallout has been swift. In 2002, the Beacon Hill Institute rated Jersey 26th among the states in overall competitiveness; by 2004, it had plummeted to 44th. Recently, corporate executives surveyed voted it one of the states where they’re least likely to expand.
Despite the constant stream of bad news, reform has been difficult because the kind of big-government, tax-consuming politics ruining Jersey have given too many residents a stake in the system.
The rapid growth of state and local government – whose employment increased by 15 percent from 2000 through 2006 alone – has created a huge public work force not about to vote for eliminating its perks and benefits.
Meanwhile, the state’s recent tax increases have fallen almost entirely on upper-income residents, so that those earning more than $200,000 a year (just 4.9 percent of households filing tax returns) are paying 60 percent of all income taxes. Jersey has even managed to make its onerous local property-tax system progressive by instituting a state rebate program – but only for those earning below certain incomes.
The effect of all of this is to make Jersey a place where businesses and a few residents pay the freight. So many people are on the public dole that reform becomes virtually impossible.
he question for New Yorkers is whether their pols learn anything from this. While for years people pointed to Jersey as a business environment New York should emulate, Jersey now stands as a cautionary tale. With Albany’s own dysfunctional politics, only Wall Street’s enormous earning power and Gotham’s international tourist appeal has insulated New York (and only Downstate) from Jersey’s fate. But with a prolonged crisis now possible in financial markets, New York may face the prospect of a Jerseyfication of its own budget and economy.