Sugar-coated State

From the Philly Inquirer:

Editorial: N.J. Budget – ‘Ugly choices’

Gov. Corzine, who is running for reelection this year, tried to season his “state of the state” address with optimism yesterday. But voters dealing with their own financial problems don’t need the bad news sugar-coated.

For three years, Corzine has been trying to restore fiscal discipline in Trenton. The nationwide recession is making that difficult job even tougher, forcing Corzine to slash the state’s current budget of $32.9 billion by $1.4 billion – or 4.2 percent. More cuts may be needed before the fiscal year ends July 1.

Instead of campaigning on an agenda of popular new programs, therefore, Corzine’s job is essentially to keep New Jersey afloat for 12 more months. When 48,000 New Jersey residents received foreclosure notices last year, it’s best to focus on the future.

“Our best days lie ahead,” Corzine said. It’s another way of saying, as he did moments later in the speech, “We’ve had to make many ugly choices.”

His budget proposals for the coming fiscal year were a hodgepodge from across the political spectrum, all aimed at getting the economy back on track.

There have been bright spots. Among them – education funding has increased, and Corzine has made important strides in ethics legislation.

The full details of Corzine’s budget plans in the coming fiscal year won’t be unveiled until March. But it’s clear in a budgetary sense that this year in Trenton will be about surviving rather than thriving. Corzine need not try to blur that reality just because it’s an election year.

This entry was posted in New Jersey Real Estate, Politics, Property Taxes. Bookmark the permalink.

123 Responses to Sugar-coated State

  1. Essex says:

    New Jersey will be back!!! And better than ever….minus a few thousand folks….

  2. HEHEHE says:

    Frist

  3. HEHEHE says:

    From Mish,

    Massive Taxpayer Backlash Over Pension Crisis Is Coming

    Pension plans are a bubble that is now bursting wide open. Five major factors contribute to the crisis: mounting stock market losses, optimistic plan assumptions, longevity (retirees living longer), overly generous payouts, and a surge of boomer retirements.

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/

  4. grim says:

    Five major factors contribute to the crisis: mounting stock market losses, optimistic plan assumptions, longevity (retirees living longer), overly generous payouts, and a surge of boomer retirements.

    Six factors, Mish is forgetting NJ’s favorite: Pension Holidays/Deferrals.

  5. Essex says:

    Taypayer backlash? Only two things are certain folks….Death….and taxes….you aint gonna escape either one…can’t pay? Don’t. The IRS and other tax collectors are one creditor you do not want in your life.

  6. HEHEHE says:

    Grim,

    Can always count on NJ!

  7. Clotpoll says:

    Tax revolt becomes more and more possible with each passing day.

    The private sector has a breaking point, past which it will cease to agree to fund the lavish benefits of the public sector.

    Trenton should keep pushing to find out exactly where that breaking point is.

  8. HEHEHE says:

    The New Paranoia: Hedge-Funders Are Bullish on Gold, Guns, and Inflatable Lifeboats

    http://nymag.com/news/features/all-new/53372/

  9. yikes says:

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/01142009/news/regionalnews/maniac_attack_150077.htm

    the NY police are going to have their hands full in a couple years if the SHTF

  10. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Surge in homeowners seeking to refinance mortgages

    The recent rush among homeowners to take advantage of lower interest rates showed no sign of abating during the first week of 2009, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest survey released Wednesday.

    For the week ended Jan. 9, the volume of applications filed to refinance existing mortgages rose to the highest level in more than five years, the Washington-based MBA reported. The group’s survey covers about half of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.

    Refinancing filings rose 25.6% last week compared with the week before. The MBA’s refinance index hasn’t been higher since the week ended June 27, 2003.

    Meanwhile, applications seeking mortgages to purchase homes fell a seasonally adjusted 14.1% on a week-to-week basis.

  11. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Deutsche Bank Reports EU4.8 Billion Loss on Trading

    Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s biggest bank, reported a loss of about 4.8 billion euros ($6.3 billion) in the fourth quarter after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression pummeled its debt and equity trading results.

  12. Mikeinwaiting says:

    Retail sales in about 2 min ,this should be a good one!

  13. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    Retail sales plunge 2.7% in December

    Stung by weak demand and falling prices, U.S. seasonally adjusted retail sales plunged 2.7% in December, the Commerce Department estimated Wednesday.

    Stung by weak demand and falling prices, U.S. seasonally adjusted retail sales plunged 2.7% in December, the Commerce Department estimated Wednesday.

    Excluding the 0.7% decline in auto sales, retail sales recorded their biggest drop since record-keeping began in the early 1990s, falling 3.1%. Excluding gasoline and autos, sales fell 1.5%, the largest drop since September 2001.

    Retail sales have fallen for six months in a row, the longest decline on record. Sales in October and November were revised lower.

    Chain stores have reported further weakening in early January as the recession began its second year.
    December’s sales were down a record 9.8% compared with the previous December. Sales excluding autos were down a record 6.7% in the past year.

    For all of 2008, sales fell 0.1% compared with 2007, the first decline in annual sales since 1992.

  14. Barbara says:

    I wonder if there is going to be a long standing culturalk shift in this country from “Home Ownership, the American Dream” to “Home Ownership, An Albatross And Don’t Get Me Started On The Property Taxes.”

  15. grim says:

    Wow! Nortel files Chapter 11!

  16. gary says:

    Why is Corzine worried about revenue flow and the budget? Just raise income and property taxes to offset loses. Problem solved.

  17. kettle1 says:

    can someone give me an address for

    2580232

  18. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    U.S. Retail Sales Decline for a Record Sixth Month

    Sales at U.S. retailers fell more than twice as much as forecast in December as job losses and the choking-off of credit led Americans to cut back on everything from eating out to car purchases.

    The 2.7 percent decrease, the sixth consecutive drop, extended the longest string of declines in records going back to 1992, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Purchases excluding automobiles slumped 3.1 percent.

    The loss of 2.6 million jobs and declining home and stock values are squeezing all American households, hurting retailers from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to Macy’s Inc. The figures will serve as a reminder to lawmakers of the urgency to enact President- elect Barack Obama’s stimulus proposals to combat the recession.

    “Consumers are pulling back,” Michael Gregory, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto, said before the report. “The first half is going to be bleak in terms of consumer spending and economic activity.”

  19. DL says:

    A Cherry Hill council member once explained that the reason school board taxes kept rising is because 2/3rds of the school budget was “non-negotiable.” End of discussion.

  20. Clotpoll says:

    DL (19)-

    “Non-negotiable”? Ha ha. That’s a good one.

    Everything is negotiable. Especially when tens of thousands of taxpayers are ready to cut off the gravy train of largesse.

  21. Clotpoll says:

    Tell me why a teacher cannot have a 401k and make a co-pay at the doctor’s office.

  22. Clotpoll says:

    Looks like an ultra kind of day.

  23. Clotpoll says:

    S&P downgrades Greece???

  24. Barbara says:

    21. Clotpoll
    preach it. Find me a private sector position that gets you your summers off, oodles of days off and breaks PLUS personal and sick days and amazing benefits that include dental.

  25. Barbara says:

    oh and starting at 50k

  26. Clotpoll says:

    I heard Beyonce is going to sing “Brother Can You Spare a Dime” on Tuesday.

    Good thing they have Springsteen, too. That will cover the Woody Guthrie angle.

    Heard a rumor the Capitol police have been told to pepper spray anyone who looks rich.

  27. Clotpoll says:

    Trash barrel fires will also be legal on Tuesday in DC.

  28. Barbara says:

    I have friends who teach, relatives too. I remmeber when their co-pays went from 2 dollars to 10. OH! the outrage. Or when one of them had to pay up on a small deductible for and ER visit. Then I inform them that for many of us “out there” we can to do all that and more, much more AND pay 800 a month in premiums. The attitude is always the same “yah but we’re TEACHERS.”

  29. ruggles says:

    Spending 6 hours a day with brats with a delusional sense of entitlement and idiot parents who feed into that delusion and believe their children are perfect is worth the cost. personally I think we should go back to child labor camps. force kids to work for those cell phones and xboxes.

  30. Clotpoll says:

    How many dopes will skip work on Tuesday to go to the inauguration of somebody who will immediately morph into the same simp who held his job the day before?

  31. Clotpoll says:

    Barb (28)-

    If teaching wasn’t such a relatively lucrative job, would we then get even worse teachers than we have now…or those who truly want to teach?

    Something’s gotta give. My daughter’s taking honors courses at a “Blue Ribbon” (yes, they still use the bogus moniker) HS, and half her teachers are functional retards. Her English teacher is so bad, I’ve just decided to take it on myself to teach her how to write. This teacher is so bad, she even figured out a way to make the kids hate “Catcher in the Rye”.

    At least I will have given the world another homegrown subversive.

  32. ruggles says:

    29 in mod

  33. Victorian says:

    Clot –

    How is the situation at your office? You were missing the entire day,yesterday. Are they still bringing in the wounded on stretchers?

  34. Clotpoll says:

    Anybody hear Omama talk about cutting capital gains taxes?

    Deafening silence.

    Gubmint doesn’t want real wealth created. Wealthy people tend to be informed and motivated.

    Until there is a real incentive to create lasting wealth in this country, the rest is just pandering, graft, theft and white noise.

    Wake me up when it’s time to grease my grenade launcher.

  35. Clotpoll says:

    vic (32)-

    Buried during the bulk of the day lately. Am weeding through who I can and can’t help. Some of the people who’ve contacted me lately are better BK candidates than they are short sale. Multiple accounts delinquent/defaulted.

    Also, a couple of folks who called me last week “own” more than one home. Anytime you have a second home, that is a screaming BK signal. Judges can cram down principal balances on second/income properties.

  36. DL says:

    Gov’t went on a hiring binge and made promises it can no longer afford to keep. If cost-of -living raises kick in whenever the CPI goes up, do the unions give back money when two months of negative growth happen like we’ve just had?

  37. Victorian says:

    Clot (29)-
    “somebody who will immediately morph into the same simp who held his job the day before”

    Sadly, I am beginning to agree with you. The day he nominated Geithner as Treas Sec was the day the alarm bells started ringing.
    I would still give him a month to find out what he is really made of, I truly hope that he is different for our country’s sake.

  38. chicagofinance says:

    OT: The weather outside is standard Chicago winter day. No big deal if you are used to it. What is coming in the next few days is just the colder side of expected conditions for this time of year.

  39. Confused In NJ says:

    80 mg of Crestor each day should solve the Teacher Longevity issue. Or require them to take adulterated Generics from China like private insurance requires.

  40. Barbara says:

    Clot my kinderman goes to a “blue ribbon.” I’m constantly having to correct and/or rephotocopy homework sheets that he brings home that often make no sense. Kindergarten…

  41. make money says:

    Vic(36)

    Check out you boys Geither character!

    “President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to run the Treasury Department and lead the nation’s economic rescue failed to pay $34,000 in taxes from 2001 to 2004, but the last-minute disclosure didn’t stop Senate Democrats from moving forward with his nomination.”

  42. hughesrep says:

    37

    I hear you. I grew up outside of Cleveland. We didn’t even call it snow until it hit 12″, it was just flurries until then. I’ve been to Indians home openers with colder weather than this.

    People here are soft.

  43. John says:

    My daughters elementary school has the CEO of one of the bluest of the bluest blue chips DJIA companies as an alumni. His quote was when I walked through the front door of the school as a child and read etched in marble “here passes the future leaders of our country” he truly believe it. That is my measure of a solid elementary school. Grades/Smades show me the money. He drops by once in a while. I tell you the fact that a little kid made it that far motivates the other little kids that some day they can do it to.

  44. hughesrep says:

    DL

    How much is the disaster of a development at the old race track hurting Cherry Hill’s tax projections?

  45. John says:

    NORTEL NETWORKS FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION

  46. Hubba says:

    Gottschalks files for Chapter 11 protection

    The wave begins…………

  47. chicagofinance says:

    You heard the quote from Corzine yesterday that something such as 70% of municipalities blew throught the 4% cap on increases and some small amount had the stones to go 10%+. So Trenton comes up with some arbitrary rule and now their bluff is being called. We have to see about enforcement.

  48. chicagofinance says:

    Hubba says:
    January 14, 2009 at 9:58 am
    Gottschalks files for Chapter 11 protection
    The wave begins…………

    Fresno CA based…where is C to give us the poop…

  49. Cindy says:

    Just remember – every job has its good points and its bad points…

    Typical job = 52 weeks times 5 days or 260 days a year. Take away 7 holidays and 14 days vacation and you get 239 days of work per year. Typical – I know many of work work way more than that.

    I am contracted for 185 days per year…add in the typical working person’s holidays and vacation and the total would be 206.

    So, I have 33 more days off per year than the average working person.

    I work an average of 3 extra hours daily/weekends. Many of you do too. But I’d be willing to bet you get to go to the bathroom whenever you want? Do you have a lunch break? I get 30 minutes but that is usually eaten up with prep. while I eat my tuna fish sandwich.

    After 28 years in my profession I make a whopping $68,128. a year. Teachers here start at $36,000.

    I pay $25.00 copays for insurance and the dentist cost me $1500. out of pocket last year.

    So if this sounds like a luxury job to you…by all means – sign up. But remember, you may require tranquilizers to make it throught the day and sleeping pills for the night. You won’t be blogging by day or making weekday plans for the evening. The planned w/e activities in your district may also mess with your Saturdays.

    But if that $68,000 sounds like a fortune to you…and you don’t mind the extra 3 hours once you leave the office – have at it…

    One last note. Prepare to be disrespected by children and parents beyond belief. Nothing you do will ever be good enough. And you have so many bosses you lost count long ago.

    I actually have to leave for work now….

  50. Clotpoll says:

    John (43)-

    Dunno, pal. Is our children learning?:

    ‘“here passes the future leaders of our country” he truly believe it…’

  51. Clotpoll says:

    Cindy (49)-

    No knock on you. The rant here is directed at the NJ layabouts, not CA.

  52. Clotpoll says:

    (43)-

    By this standard, Jay Z and 50 Cent should be running things.

    Heck, maybe they are…

    “Grades/Smades show me the money.”

  53. nj escapee says:

    U.S. military report warns ‘sudden collapse’ of Mexico is possible

    President-elect Barack Obama listens as Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon makes a statement to reporters in Washington, Monday, Jan. 12, 2009. Mexico is one of two countries that “bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse,” according to a report by the U.S. Joint Forces Command on worldwide security threats. (AP photo)EL PASO – Mexico is one of two countries that “bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse,” according to a report by the U.S. Joint Forces Command on worldwide security threats.

    http://www.elpasotimes.com/newupdated/ci_11444354

  54. John says:

    Cindy, 68K is a good deal. I say like 99% of the teachers in my town are women and like 99% of them have husbands who work. That 68K is pure cash on the side. Plus Hubbies don’t have to chip in for medical, dental or worry about it in their retirement and have their wives pension to boot. Heck my local fire dept pays a salary of zero but gives a pension and they have plenty of “volunteers”. However, years ago I had male teachers with stay at home wives but on 68K that is imppossible. Heck in good neighborhoods the teachers make 100K but you can’t support a family on 100K anymore in a good neighborhood.

  55. John says:

    Jay Z is running things. BTW he is smart as a whip. That is just an act. When he was a little playa a girl I knew used to date him and she was just a junior internal auditor in a bank in NYC. He got book and school smarts. However, the smartest playa I know is Mark Jackson who used to play for SJU and Knicks. That guy had a 3.9 in accounting and passed CPA first time. I have no clue how he did that while being on a top 5 ranked college team AND graduating a 130 credit accounting program on time.

    Clotpoll says:
    January 14, 2009 at 10:13 am
    (43)-

    By this standard, Jay Z and 50 Cent should be running things.

    Heck, maybe they are…

    “Grades/Smades show me the money.”

  56. Clotpoll says:

    Don’t even get me started on tenure.

    Or, bonus pay.

    If you suck at what you do, you should be subject to termination.

    If you’re really good at what you do and don’t want merit pay, you’re either being disingenuous, or you’re a communist and shouldn’t be allowed to teach.

  57. Clotpoll says:

    It’s nice to know that every time the bait is dangled, John will take it. :)

  58. Barbara says:

    68.
    Cindy, no offense but pretty much the same list of hassles can be said at any job. Ask a retail manager about full weekends off and extra hours and being disrespected.
    33 extra days is a lot of extra down time.
    And at the end of the day, where are the results? The system is deeply flawed.

  59. kettle1 says:

    NJ escapee,

    this has been obvious for a while. mexico relies on oil revenues for 40 – 50% of its revenue. their oil fields are in an overall terminal decline, and remittances are tumbling. top that with a collapse of global trade and viola!

  60. Clotpoll says:

    Barb (58)-

    Until we get to the point where teachers who are good want crappy teachers gone (and want to get paid more for doing a better job), we’re talking in circles.

    Dysfunctional families always protect the most dysfunctional in their midst. And the NJEA has more in common with the Gambinos and Luccheses than their own rank-and-file.

  61. Barbara says:

    Cindy, also add to that salary a cushy benefits package (talking about NJ) and pension and that 68K is a lot closer to 100k. Most people have to put out weekly for their 401ks and pay heavy health care premiums monthly.

  62. zieba says:

    Clot,
    Sorry for dropping out like that last night. Apparently, the missus has issues with the amount of time I spend trolling the blog. I had to set her str…err.. I mean make it up… err…

  63. Sean says:

    Hoboken teachers contract was passed last night, I believe the teachers got a 5.7% raise for each of the next 3 years.

    Teachers in NJ are scheduled to work 184 days a year, their contracts are also set to 6 hours and 15 minutes of teaching, although it may be less depending on the curriculum.

    I think teachers need to make a living for sure, my issue is that the traditional school-year calendar with early morning start times and two or three month summer breaks was designed when many Americans lived on a farm.

    Oxnard, California school district has a long record of successful year-round schooling. It has been on a year-round calendar since 1976, and lots of analysis has shown significantly improved test scores, without changing the basic education program.

    Seems to me the teachers should switch to year round schooling, after all it is for the benefit of the children, think of those children.

  64. Barbara says:

    60. Clott
    Our super here wore pinky rings and shark skin suits. Not kidding. 260,000 a year and a free car to boot. Our district, in the lower 5 for the state.

    When I was young and stupid, I attended some “education” meetings with small groups of teachers and administration at a local hotel.
    Turned out to be just a union meeting and I was treated with suspicion. Not once were the words “children” and “education” even mentioned.
    And these were the good teachers.

  65. Clotpoll says:

    I’m on the foundation board at a Vo-Tech HS.

    Been doing it long enough to know that 50-60% of the teachers don’t give a rat’s ass.

    However, I now expect the ones who do care to help clean things up. No more free passes to them, either. NJEA won’t be changed from the outside.

  66. Clotpoll says:

    I do think NJEA could be broken- financially- from the outside, but it will be messy and ultra-destructive.

    Hey! My kind of solution.

  67. make money says:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=997775230&play=1

    (LEN) Lennar defending itself against fraud. Does this mean they are fighting back to save themselves from going to jail? Iteresting stuff.

  68. chicagofinance says:

    GARY!!!!!! WE’RE SCREWED!

    Seven Cups of Coffee a Day May Lead to Hallucinations (Update1)

    By Naomi Kresge

    Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) — Consuming the caffeine in seven cups of instant coffee a day may leave you more likely to see, hear and smell things that aren’t there, U.K. researchers said.

    People who drink at least 330 milligrams of the stimulant a day were three times as likely to have hallucinations as those who consumed less than 10 milligrams a day, Durham University researchers found in a study of 219 college students published today in Personality and Individual Differences.

    The study, the first to link caffeine and hallucinations, explored the relationship between high caffeine consumption and an increased release of cortisol, a stress hormone believed to contribute to delusions, lead researcher Simon Jones said. It forms the first step toward examining nutrition as a factor in the occurrence of hallucinations, he said.

    “Given the link between food and mood, and particularly between caffeine and the body’s response to stress, it seems sensible to examine what a nutritional perspective might add,” Jones said in a statement.

    It may also be that people under stress and more susceptible to hallucinations are also more likely to consume high levels of caffeine, Jones said in an interview. Caffeine is also contained in tea, chocolate, energy drinks, and some foods.

    “There would be no real reason for me to stop drinking tea,” said Jones. “I don’t see a reason to change a moderate intake.”

    Starbucks

    The amount of caffeine linked to hallucinations in the study would also be equivalent to about seven 8-ounce cups of brewed black tea or about 3 1/2 8-ounce cups of brewed black coffee, according to the Mayo Clinic Web site. One 16-ounce Starbucks Corp. drip coffee also has 330 milligrams of caffeine, according to the Starbucks Web site.

    Starbucks spokeswoman Tara Darrow declined to comment in an email, saying the Seattle-based company was aware of the research but hadn’t been able to review how it was conducted.

    The U.K. researchers used surveys to assess daily caffeine intake and past experience with hallucinations. Cigarette smokers, known to be more sensitive to caffeine, weren’t allowed to participate, and volunteers’ stress levels and proneness to hallucinatory experiences were taken into account.

    Nine of the 22 people in the highest-caffeine group reported hearing disembodied voices, compared with three of the 22 people in the lowest-caffeine group, Jones said. Participants also reported seeing things that weren’t there and sensing the presence of dead people.

  69. RentinginNJ says:

    If teaching wasn’t such a relatively lucrative job, would we then get even worse teachers than we have now…or those who truly want to teach?

    With most lucrative jobs, there are plenty of people ready to move in and take your job if you don’t perform. This provides motivation to perform. With teachers, once tenured, it’s simply a matter of showing up and not doing something illegal. And even if you can’t follow those two simple rules, the union will back you up anyway. With the hoops and expense a school district need to jump through to fire you, you’ll probably just end up getting paid to count paper clips.

  70. Clotpoll says:

    chi (68)-

    This explains a lot about Gary:

    “Participants also reported seeing things that weren’t there and sensing the presence of dead people.”

  71. Stu says:

    ChiFi:

    It says instant coffee. I only drink fresh ground pure Kona. Though, I did have a hallucination a few minutes ago that my SRS was approaching 70.

  72. DL says:

    hughesrep: Ref 44: I though about buying there when they first announced it. But they promised single family homes and ended up cramming as many townhouses in as possible. They promised a town center but surrendered to the big boxes and ended up devouring their own tax base. Then some people put down payments on townhouses, sold their current homes, and the builder could not deliver. Even the RE agents I spoke with couldn’t believe the taxes the township wanted on the town houses. Last time I looked at it was last April and it was still empty.

  73. comrade nom deplume says:

    [8] HEHEHE,

    Interesting story.

    I will tell you that the boat idea in that story was what led to my idea for The Compound. A few years ago, I suggested to friends that Manhattanites should have access to a small boat, like a zodiac, to escape Manhattan if need be, with BOVs (Bug Out Vehicles) housed in Jersey. I raised this as a possible business model where a small business could enter into “extraction” agreements with Manhattanites. The business would keep boats and vans on standby in Jersey, and if TSHTF in Manhattan, they could pick up their clients and their families at predesignated spots, ferry them across, and shuttle them out to their compounds in the Poconos (for those w/o BOVs).

    It was a post-9/11 idea that eventually morphed into my idea for the Compound. It is also why the ideal demographic group for the Compound are higher earning Manhattanites.

  74. hughesrep says:

    72

    DL

    It’s still empty.

    There are builders working on the site.

    The Park Place section has more townhomes ready than they can sell. I think they sold 25 or so of the original 220 townhomes planned. They are trying to get approval for smaller units, more condo’s and apartments rather than townhomes.

    The project next door only has two buildings up, they had massive construction problems, litigation, etc. A real mess.

    Both projects are screwed.

  75. Sean says:

    We should stake them and then burn them that is how you get rid of vampires correct?

    Citi and the free lunch.

    http://thereformedbroker.com/2009/01/13/the-quesadilla-that-changed-my-mind-about-the-bailout/

  76. grim says:

    From MarketWatch:

    J.P. Morgan raises Q4 U.S. economy outlook to -5.5% from -6%

    J.P. Morgan cuts Q1 U.S. economy forecast to -5% from -3%

  77. comrade nom deplume says:

    [42] hughesrep

    “People here are soft.”

    So true. I grew up in N.E., and you never hear the level of b1tching about weather that you hear in the Corridor. When it comes to winter, nearly everyone south of New Haven and within an hour of the coast is a pussy.

  78. comrade nom deplume says:

    [8] HE

    “Preparations, in Lange’s case, include a storeroom in his basement in New Jersey stacked high with enough food, water, diapers, and other necessities to last his family six months; a biometric safe to hold his guns; and a 1985 ex-military Chevy K5 Blazer that runs on diesel and is currently being retrofitted for off-road travel. He has also entertained the idea of putting an inflatable speedboat in a storage unit on the West Side, so he could get off the island quickly, and is currently considering purchasing a remote farm where he could hunker down.”

    I soooo should have started pushing this model 2 years ago. I would have the Compound fully invested by now.

  79. jcer says:

    When discussing teachers, and education budgets there are few things that I see as a problem. In NJ education budgets are where politicians give out basically no show jobs, there are more highly paid, do nothing administrators in NJ education than anywhere else. I have no problem with teacher salaries, I do think all government benefits are a little much and pensions don’t get me started on that. With all respect a GOOD teacher is worth their salary and probably more, they are entrusted with children and it is not the easiest, stress-free job in the world especially today with ridiculous parents and children. The other big issue is tenure, it keeps the crappiest teachers in the system and they are not working hard, jut merely coasting. What needs to be eliminated is redundant do nothing administrators and tenure, I think at that point I think costs could be controlled and the learning environment would be better.

  80. All Hype says:

    Nice retail numbers today, the recovery is only around the corner,

  81. comrade nom deplume says:

    [30] Clot, et al.

    I am truly concerned about my children getting a decent education in the public schools. I also have met certified teachers that can’t spell and don’t know the things I knew in 6th grade. Already, the gulf between the kids in private kindergarten and public is apparent (every child I know in private kindergartens can read and read well. Public, no real reading at all, and this is Brigadoon).

    When it comes to public school teachers and the power of the NJEA, my real concern is how to address their shortcomings and “persuade” them to do their jobs w/o a backlash? My real fear is that when I unload on some incompetent, tenured, hack of a union rep/teacher, my children will be made to suffer.

    Doubtless the teachers (no offense to you Cindy–I am sure you would not do this) would deny that they would ever punish the little ones for their parents, but call me skeptical (with a small “s” there, Skep).

    Is there any precedent for parents banding together and either using an “outside” intermediary to complain about poor teaching, or complaining to administators on behalf of other parents so that the actual parents are not identified?

    This may be paranoid, but I could easily envision the flacks from the picket line deciding to hold little miss Nom to higher grading standards, withhold credit, or refuse recommendation letters simply because Daddy irked them by insisting that they earn their pay.

    Thoughts?

  82. Pat says:

    Cindy, I’ll give you the kid control challenge/value. It’s worth a lot to have somebody direct your uncontrollable kid all day while trying to teach two dozen kids what to memorize in order to get a decent score on a state assessment test.

    I’m so sick of the memorization push for assessments, that I wrangle myself into the school on my belly, SAS-style.

    The county has a program with resources, but not enough volunteers.

    So I’m in there “facilitating” an after-school science class with no qualifications other than two year’s worth of Kettle’s posts.

    The two kids with behavioral issues who keep all the others from learning are the reasons I’m not going to complain about teacher salary from now on.

  83. quickquestion says:

    This is off topic. I was hoping someone could answer this.

    When looking at the current mortgage rates, I see whatever percent (5% for example), up to 417K. Anything over 417K is a higher percent (lets say 6%).

    My question is, is this for multi-family houses as well? I’m looking at 2-family homes, but remember something about rates that I now can’t recall.

    I guess, can I get the lower conforming rate for a loan above 417K for a 2 family home?

  84. make money says:

    It says instant coffee. I only drink fresh ground pure Kona. Though, I did have a hallucination a few minutes ago that my SRS was approaching 70.

    Stu,

    Help! I’m having the same halucinations!

  85. Sean says:

    nom – first who do you complain to, and a better point is why do so many private schools exist in the first place?

    The Union has this state locked up tight, to complicate complaints against teachers towns in Jersey and the school boards rely upon outside council for advise behind closed doors when it comes to all teaching personnel matters. You won’t be allowed to attend, your statement won’t be read and neither will your “outside” intermediary get to participate.

    The best you can do is private education where such rules of engagement do not exist, you simply go up to the Nun or administrator that runs the private catholic or other private school and air your grievances.

    Think of it this way private schools must cater to parents who, if unsatisfied, will search for services elsewhere, while public schools have a “captive” clientele and they know it.

  86. HEHEHE says:

    “January 14, 2009 at 10:16 am
    U.S. military report warns ’sudden collapse’ of Mexico is possible”

    I mentioned this the other day. Chihuahua is were many of the maquiladores are located. My brother said it’s turning into a warzone.

  87. Stu says:

    I agree with Jcer.

    Yes there are some lousy teachers in the system, but by enlarge, the problem is the size of the administration in most towns. If you compare the number of teachers on a town’s payroll to the number of administrators from 15 year’s ago till now, your jaw will drop.

    It pains me to hear stories of teachers doing fund-raising for basic office supplies as the administrators feel it is necessary for 5 of them to take a tour of China to start a 6th grade Mandarin Language class that will be taught by an American teacher (happened in Montclair). If you saw the state mandated paperwork involved to get $10 for a class trip approved, it would leave you in complete disbelief. Check out your local BOE meeting minutes. You will see years and years of bloated administrators efforts at work. It has reached the point where nothing can get done. The saddest part of the whole ordeal is that you could slash their numbers by half and no one would notice. And don’t forget, every administrator has an office with one or two assistants on the dole.

    Outside of the memorization-centric curriculum, this IMO is the biggest problem with our public education system. Just try to fight it though. Good luck!

  88. kettle1 says:

    Nom,

    My parents had an issue with the teacher in one of my sisters classes in high school (circa 1990). They complained. a few weeks later my sister starts coming home from school crying. The teach has now targeted her and has been suggesting that she go ahead and drop out because she was going to fail his class and was better of barefoot and pregnant.

    My sister was a student who was all A’s and B’s.

    It took multiple heated discussion with the school admin and eventually a call from my parents attorney to work that out.

    your fears are justified din my opinion

    Clot. This was at the same school your daughter goes to.

  89. kettle1 says:

    Stu, Nom,

    Hence why kettle jr will NOT be entering the public education system. I look at the 15K/yr on private school as an investment that i will see a very real return on.

  90. Renter says:

    I choose the words I use with my children’s teachers very carefully and make sure I am respectful. I don’t think antagonizing a teacher who has your child for 6 hours a day is a good idea.

    We found a scale on a geography sheet that was not internally consistent therefore useless for the assignment. We pointed this out to the teacher in a letter using neutral language.

  91. Barbara says:

    81. Nom
    you’re not paranoid, it happened to my big sis when she was in grade school. Total revenge, picked on by the teacher for the rest of the year.

  92. jamil says:

    7 clot “Tax revolt becomes more and more possible with each passing day.”

    I firmly believe that within the next 10 year we’ll see actual tax revolt in state or city level, ie people refuse to pay property or income taxes. Maybe somebody (like Ron Paul) organizes it and get people to join at the same time. If enough people do that, there is little state can do.

    Besides, if CA already send tax refunds and payments with IOUs, why couldn’t you send IOU to state, instead of actual money.

  93. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Manhattan Office Vacancy Rises to Highest Since 2004

    Manhattan office vacancies rose to 7.6 percent in the fourth quarter, the highest since 2004, as the recession led companies to give up space, brokerage CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. said in a report.

    Rents fell 2 percent to $67.20 a square foot, according to the world’s biggest commercial real estate services provider. The vacancy rate was 2.7 percentage points higher than the same period in 2007.

    New York landlords are being squeezed as financial services firms seek to slash 170,000 jobs in the Americas amid the worldwide credit crisis. Total employment losses across the city may hit 243,000 by the end of next year, the New York City Independent Budget Office has forecast.

    “Availabilities from financial firms are virtually everywhere in the Manhattan marketplace,” said Michael Geoghegan, a vice chairman of CB Richard Ellis.

    As companies including Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Merrill Lynch & Co. consolidate offices, spaces for rent with at least 250,000 square feet could reach unprecedented levels, Geoghegan said.

    “We could be flush with large-block opportunities within the Manhattan marketplace like we haven’t seen in a number of years,” he said.

  94. kettle1 says:

    HEHE

    was reading a report the other that said the drug lords have hired professional gun smiths and are now building their own militray grade weapons (i.e 50 cal, 240’s, machine pistols etc).

    The local police have come across several well equipped gun smithing machine shops in buildings they have raided.

  95. PeaceNow says:

    Comrade:

    “It is also why the ideal demographic group for the Compound are higher earning Manhattanites.”

    Really? Most higher earning Manhattanites that I know have no ability to sew a button, hammer a nail, cook or clean. Perhaps you’re counting on them being able to pay the illegal immigrants to do all of those things….

  96. SC says:

    make money says:
    January 14, 2009 at 9:41 am
    Vic(36)

    Check out you boys Geither character!

    “President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to run the Treasury Department and lead the nation’s economic rescue failed to pay $34,000 in taxes from 2001 to 2004, but the last-minute disclosure didn’t stop Senate Democrats from moving forward with his nomination.”

    It says nothing about his character. Do you think this guy prepares his own tax return? I’d bet that this is just a case of someone needing a new CPA.

  97. kettle1 says:

    nom

    Besides, if CA already send tax refunds and payments with IOUs, why couldn’t you send IOU to state, instead of actual money.

    whats the legal perspective behind this ( your personal opinion not professional). Yes the town/city would come for your head, but what are the real legal ramifications?

    if a town offers you and IOU could you somehow have a lien put on the town for non payment?

  98. Barbara says:

    87. Stu
    Agree with everything you posted.

  99. John says:

    School is just a parking lot for people. In fact college is just a big parking lot. Federal Financial Aid and GI bills to pay for college were mainly based on the high unemployment rates of the time. If people work 18-65 that is 47 years of work. If unemployment is 13% with nobody going to college then just ram everyone into collge and make it a pseudo requirement to get a job even if you don’t use what you learned in college at work and you made 13% unemployment into 5% unemployement.

  100. Ben says:

    As someone who is currently involved in academia, I’ll tell you that our current education system is doomed. Tenure breeds complacency and eliminates any competition (and it’s given 3 years into employment). We don’t allow parents to choose where their kids go to school, which would also create competition. The school system has morphed into an institution designed to pass kids through the system (no child left behind) which eliminates the incentives of students to learn. We worry more about teaching our children Spanish than teaching them English. Our US History courses are taught through textbooks that ignore and rewrite American history. We don’t teach the kids what the US Constitution says. And now, yesterday’s mediocre student is today’s new teacher. The system will only get worse unless we revamp it. We are hovering around 25th in the world in reading and Math. Your only hope for revamping the school system is that so many people become unemployed that your smart people from private industry gravitate over to education for the time being. But with your average bureaucratic principal making the decisions, chances are, his incompetent 21 year old niece will get the job over a 40 year old with a PhD.

  101. Sean says:

    A mini tax revolt is already occurring in Hoboken, where the Cosa Nostra have managed to raise taxes by 47% this quarter by illegally overspending the budget, the town is now being run by the state monitor.

    http://www.hobokenrevolt.com/

    Hard to tell if they will win any concessions after all they passed the school budget with huge raises just yesterday. Hoboken is locked up tighter than any other town in NJ in my opinion. If they can successfully do a tax revolt in Hoboken there is hope for NJ.

    I for one have no hope for NJ, I am expecting additional tax increases and may “move” to PA if I have to.

  102. John says:

    Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) — U.S. home prices, already down 23 percent from their July 2006 peak, will continue to fall until the third quarter of next year, PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. said in a report.

    Ninety-seven percent of the 381 U.S. metropolitan areas surveyed are likely to have lower home prices in September 2010, according to the Walnut Creek, California-based insurer’s Market Risk Index, which assigns a score to every region based on the likelihood real estate values will be lower in two years.

    “The two primary drivers of increased risk scores across a broader segment of MSAs are the continued high level of foreclosures and rising unemployment,” David Berson, PMI’s chief economist and strategist, said in a statement.

    The three-year-old housing recession has spurred a credit crisis that’s making it harder for borrowers to qualify for home loans. With home values tumbling, homeowners who are unable to refinance or sell have pushed the U.S. foreclosure rate to a post-World War II high. The lending crunch has, in turn, made it more difficult for companies to pay their bills, driving the jobless rate to a 15-year high.

    The 10 regions with the highest risk for lower home prices were in California, Florida and Nevada, PMI said.

    The 10 with the lowest risk for lower real estate values were Denver; Indianapolis; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Charlotte, North Carolina; San Antonio; Pittsburgh and three Texas metro areas: Houston, Fort Worth and Dallas, according to the survey.

    Mortgage issuance declined 23 percent last year from 2007, according to the Washington-based Mortgage Bankers Association.

    Home prices will fall another 15 percent, according to economists Michelle Meyer and Julia Coronado of Barclays Capital Inc. in New York.

  103. HEHEHE says:

    Kettle,

    What’s California, Texas etc going to do when Mexico blows up?

  104. John says:

    BTW 16% more does not sound like much but with upper saddle river homes often selling for two million that is a $320,000 drop in value in just a little over 18 months. Even rich folk don’t like that.

  105. schabadoo says:

    How many dopes will skip work on Tuesday to go to the inauguration

    You do know that people take days off to sit around and watch soccer games, or go drink nine beers at a Yankee day game?

    But you’re right, witnessing an inauguration is idiotic…

  106. grim says:

    New thread, move it up.

  107. kettle1 says:

    Re olympics,

    the whistler area is an incredibly beautiful area, maybe the financial crash will reign in the development of the area. here’s to hoping!!!!

    Need to go back to whistler, been a while

  108. Shore Guy says:

    ” failed to pay $34,000 in taxes from 2001 to 2004, ”

    This is described as a “mistake.” It is NOT possible for it to be a mistake and for him to have paid his half of the payroll taxes and forgotten to have paid the employer’s share for his self-employed income. These taxes are accounted for at the bottom of the first page of the 1040 form and if one honestly reports ones income on the worksheet the total amount due is calculated and then transferred to page one of the 1040. Other than attempt to fly his income under the radar screen, perhaps the IMF did not produce a 1099-misc, it is hard to see how his omission of the income in his tax calculation could be an honest mistake. It may be time to have folks call Grassley’s and Hatch’s offices to point this out.

  109. Shore Guy says:

    “Ninety-seven percent of the 381 U.S. metropolitan areas surveyed are likely to have lower home prices in September 2010”

    Clearly, NY, Newark, and Edison will be amongst the 3%. Things ARE different here, after all.

  110. SC says:

    Shore Guy says:
    January 14, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    This is described as a “mistake.” It is NOT possible for it to be a mistake and for him to have paid his half of the payroll taxes and forgotten to have paid the employer’s share for his self-employed income.

    Do not post about things you obviously don’t understand. Self-employed individuals pay all of the self-employment tax. If you work for someone else, you pay half and your employer pays half.

  111. comrade nom deplume says:

    [86, 89, 92]

    I figured that this would be the case; I could probably raise a number of cases where school districts were sued and that this allegation was raised.

    Time to nannycam a few of these hacks and post it on Youtube.

  112. Shore Guy says:

    “Do not post about things you obviously don’t understand. Self-employed individuals pay”

    SC,

    I know all about this. Both my wife and I have been self-employed for years. We pay taxes in about 20 states and a number of foreign nations. I understand the issue. As a self-employed person I pay my share and my employer’s share, even though they are one and the same.

  113. Barbara says:

    104.HEHEHE

    “Kettle,

    What’s California, Texas etc going to do when Mexico blows up?”

    Are you kidding, what’s NJ going to do? Come visit my town, its the front line of an impeding sh*t storm on that topic.

  114. comrade nom deplume says:

    [86] sean,

    When reason fails, that is how it is handled. But the object is not to get a teacher punished or fired, just to get them back in line or get your kid out of their orbit.

    One course is the courts. Of course, this is a nuke, and you had better get your child away from the offending teacher, but it is an option.

    Another might be for the PTL, or an aggressive PT group not co-opted by the teachers, to put together their own evaluation guides. This is becoming common in colleges, and even where not official (my university had its CATE guide back in the early 80’s), websites now allow students to dish on profs.

    A local teacher evaluation and rating website would be instrumental in fighting sloth and raising town awareness. Needless to say, NJEA would sue but there would be great press for the attorney defending that suit on behalf of anonymous parents. Hmmmm…

  115. SC says:

    SG,

    Then why did you say it can’t possibly be a mistake? It could easily be a mistake made by a bad tax return preparer.

  116. comrade nom deplume says:

    [96] PeaceNow

    No skills??? There are no manhattanites that are doctors or nurses? No technicians? No tradespeople? No commercial cooks or chefs?

    Of course, one can buy the skills too. I don’t expect that sweat equity will be a major requirement for the Compound, and even useless Hedge Fund Managers can be taught to split logs, paint clapboard, weed gardens, and dig pipe trenches and post holes.

    Besides, the folks far-sighted enough to undertake these measures are also far-sighted enough to stock up on skills as well as supplies. So I am not worried.

  117. schabadoo says:

    No skills?

    A lot of the Manhattanites I know can’t even drive.

  118. comrade nom deplume says:

    [98] Kettle

    “Besides, if CA already send tax refunds and payments with IOUs, why couldn’t you send IOU to state, instead of actual money.

    whats the legal perspective behind this? Yes the town/city would come for your head, but what are the real legal ramifications?

    if a town offers you and IOU could you somehow have a lien put on the town for non payment?”

    These are separate transactions with separate rights. The fact that the state is stiffing someone does not give a reciprocal right to stiff the state.

    About the best one can hope for is a right of setoff. Take the IOU from the state and return it as payment for taxes. Won’t fly unless all agree to do it this way, but it is worth a try.

  119. comrade nom deplume says:

    [119] shab,

    “A lot of the Manhattanites I know can’t even drive.”

    Then they won’t make it to the Compound, will they?

    Besides, why’re you concerned? It isn’t as if it’s your compound? You can have whomever you like in yours.

    If there are a handful of folks in Manhattan that are actually able to survive and manage their lives outside of the borough, they would be good candidates. Out of several million, I should be able to find a few.

  120. Clotpoll says:

    plume (81)-

    Private school?

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