New Jersey Q4 Home Sales Up, Prices Down

From the Record:

North Jersey home prices down 5.5% in fourth quarter 2009, to median $434,000

The housing market’s steep price slide appears to be slowing, according to data released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors.

The median price of an existing single-family home in North Jersey and the New York metropolitan area was $434,000 in the fourth quarter of 2009, down 5.5 percent from a year earlier, the NAR said. Nationally, prices declined 4.1 percent in that period, to a median $172,900.

Prices in North Jersey and the metro area are more than $100,000 below the peaks of around $540,000 reached in 2006 and 2007.

Sales of condos, co-ops and single-family homes in New Jersey rose 34 percent in the quarter from a year earlier, to 135,600 units. That’s still below the levels of the housing boom, when yearly sales topped 180,000 in 2004 and 2005.

Real estate broker Vikki CQ Healey CQ of Vikki Healey Properties in Maywood said she thought prices in the area were down a little more than the NAR data suggests — maybe 7 or 8 percent.

“We have such a preponderance of short sales and foreclosures in the market; those prices are really bring down the averages quite a bit,” she said.

But she agreed that the volume of sales was way up over late 2008, in part because of the depressed market activity after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008.

“Nothing was selling; it didn’t matter what the price was, what the interest rate was,” she said. “That was when the financial crisis hit, and we were paralyzed.”

From the Star Ledger:

NJ existing home sales rise on lower prices, rates

Declining regional prices and record low interest rates boosted existing home sales last year.

The National Association of Realtors said today that resales in New Jersey stabilized at the end of 2009 — rising 2.7 percent to about 115,400. Meanwhile, the expanded and extended first-time home buyers tax credit had little effect here because of the relatively high cost of homes.

“Most consumers are sitting down and taking a look at what it would cost them to get the same home three years ago,” said Tom Kunz, chief executive of Parsippany-based Century 21, of New Jersey buyers. “And on top of that be able to finance it.”

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434 Responses to New Jersey Q4 Home Sales Up, Prices Down

  1. Nomad says:

    Wishing you all a snow free weekend.

  2. grim says:

    From the Philly Inquirer:

    Snowstorms stymie home sales

    As if the housing industry didn’t have enough to contend with, this prolonged spell of bad weather certainly has not made things easier – coming as the spring selling season approaches and the tax credits motivating buyers move closer to their April 30 expiration date.

    “Virtually every buyer will cancel or not schedule appointments on days like today, and for even a few days after,” said Jeff Block, an agent with Prudential Fox & Roach in Center City.

    For those deals already done, getting a mortgage commitment has been difficult, if not impossible, this week.

    “Since it is in the D.C. area, which is even worse than here, the Fannie Mae capital-markets sales desk [where loans are approved for securitization] announced it would close at 11 a.m.” Wednesday, said Jerome Scarpello, of Leo Mortgage in Spring House.

  3. grim says:

    From the APP:

    Gov. Chris Christie takes ax to New Jersey budget

    Gov. Chris Christie laid out a series of detailed spending cuts to lawmakers at a special joint session Thursday, including reductions in aid to K-12 schools, colleges, hospitals and New Jersey Transit that kick in starting this month.

    Christie cautioned that the cuts will be followed by more difficult decisions for next year’s budget, which he’ll present to lawmakers next month. The cuts he outlined Thursday are intended to resolve a $2.2 billion deficit in the current year’s budget.

    “So today, let’s begin the process of fiscal reform and discipline. Today, we are going to act swiftly to fix problems long ignored. Today, I begin to do what I promised the people of New Jersey I would do. Today, we begin to give them the change they voted for in November,” Christie said.

  4. grim says:

    From the WSJ:

    Economists Expect Shifting Work Force

    About a quarter of the 8.4 million jobs eliminated since the recession began won’t be coming back and will ultimately need to be replaced by other types of work in growing industries, according to economists in the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.

    While the job market is constantly shifting as some sectors fade and others expand, this recession threw that process into overdrive. Thousands of workers lost jobs as companies automated more tasks or moved whole assembly lines to places like China. As growth returns, so will job creation—just with a different emphasis in the mix of jobs being created.

    Economists in the survey are predicting a slow upswing for the economy as a whole. Respondents on average expect economic growth to settle at about 3% in 2010, off sharply from the powerful 5.7% seasonally adjusted annual growth rate in the fourth quarter.

    This is why job creation has become such a worrisome issue: Based on that growth projection, over the next year economists estimate the U.S. will add about 133,000 jobs a month. That sounds good and it’s certainly better than more job losses. But with about 100,000 new jobs a month needed just to soak up new entrants to the work force, that pace of job creation will only slowly reduce the high unemployment rate.

  5. grim says:

    From Reuters:

    New Jersey governor declares fiscal emergency

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Thursday declared a “fiscal emergency,” allowing him to reserve or freeze state spending as part of his plan to tackle one of the largest 2011 deficits among U.S. states.

    “These are among the hardest decisions any governor could be called upon to make,” said the Republican, according to a copy of his speech to legislators in a special session.

    The deficit in the current budget, which ends on June 30, is $2.2 billion, while the gap in the following budget has spiked to $11 billion from a forecast of $8 billion in November, Christie said in his first major policy address to state lawmakers.

    Next year’s deficit is the largest per-capita budget shortfall of any U.S. state, said Christie who is scheduled to deliver his budget for the coming fiscal year on March 16.

  6. Nomad says:

    #5 –

    Does this mean that Christie will hit up the federal government and hence, US taxpayers to bail out NJ?

    Wonder what would happen if he did the above and the US gov’t told him to figure it out without the help of federal aid?

    I recall speculation that CA would default on it’s muni debt this June or so and a major point of discussion was if the federal gov’t stepped in to help CA, then other states would demand the same.

    Probably time to start weaning everyone off the Federal aid. At some point, we need to start to work through our own problems and in theory, it will make us all think twice about how we live and spend our $. In theory…

  7. freedy says:

    so does this mean the spring selling season is a bust , or do the deadbeats come out to buy on the cheap?

  8. Schumpeter says:

    Hey John-

    Party’s over.

    “Rot of rising yields is starting to eat away at junk. Canceled sales are another indication of changes in investor sentiment. High grade corporates are still holding up, but for how long?

    Corporate bonds are more than fully priced and if they crack, the equity party is over.”

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/02/corporate-bond-yields-offer-hint-party.html

  9. Schumpeter says:

    freedy (7)-

    Spring season is DOA. Oblivion beckons. It is just going to continue getting worse and worse. By Summer, the only sales will be REO and short sales.

    We won’t really notice much of this (other than the jump in property crimes), since the collapse of society will be on the front burner. I think we get plenty of riots this Summer, too.

  10. Schumpeter says:

    From your friends in Georgia, sponsors of Bank Failure Friday:

    BY DAN FITZPATRICK, WSJ, 2-11-10

    “The No. 1 state in bank failures is making it easier for survivors to deepen their exposure to a single borrower.

    Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, a Republican, signed into law Thursday a bill that allows banks chartered by the state to exceed current lending limits if a borrower hasn’t fallen behind on payments.

    For decades, it was illegal for such banks to pour more than 25% of their total capital into an existing lending relationship secured with collateral or more than 15% to an unsecured borrower.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704337004575059823971151054.html?mod=WSJ_newsreel_business

  11. meter says:

    @10-

    If recent history is any indicator, that will end fabulously well.

  12. alap says:

    Feels like deja vu. I remember the same riot talk about last year. Boy as soon as it gets hot, people are going to revolt and riot. Watch out, the end is nigh!

  13. grim says:

    Only demonstrations will be the unions outside the
    statehouse.

  14. Essex says:

    Is anyone else really annoyed seeing the deluge of TV ads ($$$$) from citi and bank of america — the b.s. self-serving crapola….??? YOU are paying for these btw.

  15. Cindy says:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ex-goldman-programmer-indicted-for-trade-secrets-theft-2010-02-11

    Remember Sergey – last summer?

    “Ex-Goldman programmer indicted for trade secrets theft”

  16. freedy says:

    Essex, come on now the banks have our best
    interest in mind. after all look what
    citi is doing for the homeowner.

    you can stay for 6 but then ,, we get
    the joint. you have to leave.

  17. Essex says:

    ….If you got worries…..worries like me….don’t worry now….I won’t hurt you…..(citi ad)

  18. Essex says:

    Brian Austin Green is more than $70,000 behind on mortgage payments for his home in the Hollywood Hills — but according to his rep, it’s all part of a calculated real estate move.

    SunTrust Mortgage, INC has filed legal papers in Los Angeles — which show Green owes $71,251.42 as of January 26, 2010. The docs show Green took out a $2,000,000 mortgage with the company in 2006.

    According to the docs, SunTrust has begun the foreclosure process and has the right to put the house up for auction if Brian doesn’t fork over the green.

    But Green’s rep says Brian has worked out a deal to get rid of the house in a “short sale” — which means SunTrust will allow Green to try and sell the house for less than he owes in order to recover as much money as it can … subject to the bank’s approval.

    It’s unclear if the mortgage company imposed a deadline on the sale.

    Read more: http://www.tmz.com/#ixzz0fKM0dNKS

  19. Cindy says:

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2010/02/new-jersey-state-of-fiscal-emergency.html

    New Jersey at Mish today and here @ Calculated Risk. One commenter notes:

    “Well, good. Watching California was getting boring. Nothing was happening.
    Now we can watch NJ.”

  20. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Christie’s Budget Woes —

    This year was easy. He makes a big show of reducing aid to K-12 schools, colleges, hospitals and New Jersey Transit. After years of budget excesses…that was low-hanging fruit.

    What happens next year when the deficit will be $11B and rising ?? He’ll have to go after the NJEA or the Public Pension system. And this will be after the taxes at the local level start rising to replace the aid that the state used to send in.

    OK Big Boy, let’s see you dip your toes in that pool.

  21. Schumpeter says:

    grim (13)-

    Think those won’t get a little “testy”?

  22. Schumpeter says:

    I say NJEA and the pension whores bitch-slap Christie before he even gets started. Meanwhile, towns will try to raise property taxes by obscene amounts, and an all-out tax revolt will begin.

    Lots of civil disobedience and low-level violence in our future.

  23. Schumpeter says:

    Burn the m’f-er down. Down to the ground.

  24. Schumpeter says:

    What is Vancouver doing with all the h00kers and smack for the Olympics?

  25. 30 year Realtor says:

    Take a declining real estate market. Add increased property taxes and soon to be higher mortgage rates to the mix.

    Recipe for accelerated depreciation of housing price!

  26. Alap says:

    OMG the world is over.

  27. Alap says:

    Ah the stock market is going to go down.

  28. John says:

    ALAP GREAT, Today is 401k deposit day. Dollar Cost Averaging baby.

  29. Alap says:

    We’re all going to die someday. Ah!

  30. fundsarelow says:

    should be interesting to see what the current administration does or says when things get desperate by this summer……..

  31. stan says:

    The Kumbaya guy from yesterday was the greatest troll I have ever seen. It was like he was practicing Yoga whilst typing. Whoever called him Hal was dead on…

    RE Christie, he goes for the easy stuff, comes back next year saying we’ve already cut everything else, need concessions from NJEA and everyone else….

    Not saying it will work, but a good strategy. The coming battle will be interesting.

  32. John says:

    I know it is over, for now. I sold a few bonds earlier this week. However, this will be a short lived, China, Greece hicup that has nothing to do with if certain junk bonds like AIG, Kodak and GMAC will go bankrupt.

    A buying opportunity next week in any bond impacted by this nonsense that has an extreme low correlation to Greece, Euro or China.

    Schumpeter says:
    February 12, 2010 at 7:04 am
    Hey John-

    Party’s over.

  33. Yikes says:

    spent over 2.5 hours shoveling yesterday. the snowblower is terrific, but i made the mistake of not jumping in mid-snow so that it wouldn’t be so difficult.

    really hope we don’t get another storm Monday.

  34. chicagofinance says:

    yikes: I dug out Wed at 8PM before the overnight freeze. I was more lucky than smart. I just didn’t want to wake up at the crack of dawn to shovel, but Th morning would have been a heart attack…..

  35. chicagofinance says:

    The end is nigh….

    and you can add the Hudson Tea Building to this list….
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/bumpin_up_the_volume_cXiCp3ioJxtJqvd6CXBVNL

  36. safeashouses says:

    Finally some good news.

    “Kennedy won’t seek re-election, marking end of era”.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_patrick_kennedy

  37. Essex says:

    35. Hilarious. I don’t know what it more gross….the nasal screaming of Noo Yooooikers sexying or the bed bugs.

  38. Essex says:

    shitmydadsays

    “No, I’m not a pessimist. At some point the world shits on everybody. Pretending it ain’t shit makes you an idiot, not an optimist.”

  39. Yikes says:

    if you had to move to Europe for work, and you could pick any country to live in for an extended period of time (10 years), which country would you choose and why?

  40. nw says:

    “Gov. Chris Christie takes ax to New Jersey budget”

    Can anyone explain how this constitutes a cut? Isn’t the state keeping more money than before?

  41. Essex says:

    40. France…near the alps. Why? Wine, Women, and Song….along with great skiing/cycling.

  42. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    The Battle of Christie vs NJEA —

    It will be interesting indeed. I don’t know if Christie’s got the “stomach” for it. Bad Pun, excuse me.

    Facts :
    The NJEA has 205,000 dues-paying members. Maybe they can each round up a few sympathy votes. That’s about a 400K voting block.

    But there were 2.4M votes cast in the last Nov election. And there are over 5M registered voters in the state. And out of a state-wide population of 8.7M….how many taxpayers ??

    Bring it on teachers & pensioners.

  43. Essex says:

    41. Probably not in terms of tax revenue…thus the ‘cuts’.

  44. Yikes says:

    A.West says:
    February 11, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    plg,
    I actually do agree with one thing you said, about raising gas taxes. At least fuel is correlated to road repair expenses, so in the absence of privately owned toll roads (which I’d prefer), it’s one way to levy a user fee.

    and the way NJ gets used by everyone, this makes sense. Hopefully, it never happens. the good life: Getting a place in Bucks County right over the NJ border, but having to drive into NJ daily for a sales job.

    company pays for gas, get the bigger house and more yard in Bucks, and avoid the astronomical taxes. it is win-win-win.

  45. Essex says:

    43….I am going to trot this out every time someone makes a post like this….…Let’s get real about the state’s PERS pension system. It is not about the state workers who contribute every payday. It’s about the corruption of the system. First, Govs Whitman and McGreevey stole 3 billion each for operating costs. A private sector CEO would be jailed for this. The state, except for the one third of the obligation added this year, has contributed zero for the past 13 years. That means all of the money added to the system has come from the employee’s paychecks not tax money. In the mid 1990’s the fund was worth 93 billion when the State Div of Investment prudently invested the money. Then through politics private stock brokers got their hands on the money. They invested in high risk hedge funds and even gave Lehman Brother (some former employees) 800 million from the fund, two months before it went belly up. Another case that should put people in jail. The Div of Investment state employees cost the state 5 million a year, the brokers cost up to 200 million in fees. In total, this move has cost the fund about 2 billion. By the way, the “private” brokers have now managed to reduce the value of the fund to about 53 billion. In addition, you have the politicians getting 3-4 pensions, they make deals for association members and contracted attorneys (not gov employees) to be added to the system. Do they even contribute? Politicians who work in and benefit from the private sector while serving on a board or committee at $1,000 a year get a six figure state job for three years and their pension is based years of service and salary. This means they could walk away with a $60,000 pension for actually paying into the system for three years
    Of course, to protect themselves, they have been “grandfathered in”.
    So what is the legislature’s answer? Cut the benfits of all the state employees that have paid into the system for years with the promise that working for the gov does not pay but at least you will get a decent pension. For the bashers, most major companies and unions offer similiar or better benefits. If you want to lower taxes, stop the corruption…

  46. nw says:

    It’s like a household saying that they’re getting their spending under control by not paying the utility bills.

  47. John says:

    About the only time I would be interested in watching anything Chris Cristie does if he did a sumo wrestling match with Rex Ryan and even better if it ends in a tie followed by a hot wing eating contest.

  48. Fiddy Cents on the Dollar says:

    Triple Dipping the Pension Fund —

    That’s exactly the kind of thing that needs to be tightened up. If I were paying into that pension system, I would have made a little more noise about the plundering that’s going on there. Who sits by idly while they make a major change in the Management Fee structure like that ?? And who allows the loopholes that permit the gaming of the system ??

  49. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    I’m the lead organizer on a 40-year high school reunion so I’ve posted announcements all over, including Facebook discussion groups on my home town and high school.

    I got a “friends” request from the mayor!

  50. I’m the lead organizer on a 40-year high school reunion…>

    My 20 year reunion passed in `08, just had no inclination to see any of those people again.

  51. Veto That says:

    tosh, cmon? You had no friends from hs?

  52. freedy says:

    essex: and we have the same guys still running
    the investment funds.

    nobody gets fired, they get a bonus

  53. #52 – Oh I had friends. A few very close ones who remain friends now. But the rest? meh…
    Also, I only spent a year at the HS I graduated from. I was kicked out of the previous school where I knew a lot of people and went to for 3 years. That reunion I might be tempted into going to, but only might be.

  54. Schumpeter says:

    The only way I’d go back to my HS would be with an AK, some C-4 and a few Molotov c0cktails.

  55. Schumpeter says:

    First bullet would be for that headmaster…who just won’t die.

  56. #55 – Ahhhh, that’s the way I used to be. I’ve mellowed a bit though.

  57. Veto That says:

    i see. why were you were kicked out?

    The thing i remember about my last reunion is that i dislike the same people as when i was in hs and for the same reasons but i just care less now. And i also find the extreme nerdy people way more interesting than i did in hs.
    I think its healthy to have some interaction with your hs/college peers whether you liked them or not.

    Also, i wonder how facebook effects reunion turnouts. Do you think it hurts them since people are already catching up online or do yu think it helps the turnouts since you can get the word out easier?

  58. jcer says:

    Essex, thats why pensions need to go, fund people’s retirements but no guaranteed pay, no state management of funds, etc. The state, a cannot be on the hook for a basically incalculable liability and it cannot be trusted to manage money. It is harder to flush out corruption than to avoid it entirely if feasible.

  59. Veto That says:

    “The only way I’d go back to my HS would be with an AK, some C-4 and a few Molotov c0cktails.”

    Shumpt, Were you class of 99?
    Columbine High?

  60. plg says:

    I am just throwing this out there. I think the budget in NJ is clearly bad, but its not as bad as Christie makes is sound. He has every incentive, at this point, to make this budget appear as bad as possible, so these first round of cuts aren’t “his fault.” He can blame them on the “mess” he inherited.

    According to Zeitz (Corzine Aide), a “generous” projected deficit is somewhere between $533 million and $739 million. not the $2 Billion suggested by Christie.

    http://www.politickernj.com/editor/36782/corzine-aid-disputes-christie-math

  61. #58 – why were you were kicked out?
    I spent HS doing a very reasonable impersonation of John Bender. So there was fighting, drugs, fighting and finally starting a fire in the gym… during class. Also it was a Catholic school and they didn’t like the whole Venom, Possessed, The Accused thing I had going on…. but I’m much better now!

    i wonder how facebook effects reunion turnouts
    That’s a really good question. In the same way craigslist affected newspapers you would kind of expect fb to affect traditional social networking situations.

  62. Essex says:

    59. Maybe so, but the fact remains that they were part of the employment contract. You can toss that out too I guess.

  63. lisoosh says:

    Schumpeter says:
    February 12, 2010 at 10:33 am
    “The only way I’d go back to my HS would be with an AK, some C-4 and a few Molotov c0cktails.”

    “First bullet would be for that headmaster…who just won’t die.”

    A sentiment I would second.

    My old headmaster did actually die – fell off a mountain in fact. Wasn’t upset.

    Our old deputy head was really cool– coach of the Scottish rugby team and a damn fine educator. Had a successful life.

  64. lisoosh says:

    Reunions an FB – My old college class is spread out over 4 different continents so it has been very useful. We’d like a 20 year next year but location will be a big issue.

  65. John says:

    The funny part of a 40 year reunion is the most common response to what are you up to is, Dead.

  66. RU says:

    #5 School districts need to do more with less. I was looking on the NJ.com website for active payroll information at the West New York school district. 126 employees in that school district are making over $100k. I am only 1/3 of the way through the payroll but majority are administrators. On top of that, most teachers have assistants in their classrooms to help out. All this with state tax dollars. When will there be some fiscal responsibility on behalf of school districts? More money doesn’t always equal better test scores especially if the money is going to admin. staff instead of to the students.

  67. Anon E. Moose says:

    Yikes[40];

    if you had to move to Europe for work, and you could pick any country to live in for an extended period of time (10 years), which country would you choose and why?

    Germany: Well established and stable economy; centrally located; deep history in my field of expertise; not insubstantial number of American ex-pats; American military presence; spouse has a network of extended family in the country.

  68. lisoosh says:

    40 – One of the Mediteranean ones, France, Spain (not so much), Italy, maybe Croatia. All assuming I had guaranteed employment of course.
    Nice weather, great food, wine, relaxed lifestyle. As long as I was somewhere semi-rural/small town coastal. Not near major vacation centers full of drunk Brits. I’d be midway between our family nations too.
    And I’d want European level vacations. That way I’d have plenty of time to visit family and friend and living somewhere nice would let me host people.

    And I’d need one of those lovely stone farmhouses (nicely renovated of course), preferrably overlooking gentle sloping hills with the odd vineyard.

    Hot muscled farmhands wandering around for eye-candy wouldn’t hurt either. They can even take their shirts off.

  69. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    veto, #58

    It helps turnout, otherwise we wouldn’t have found a lot of people.

    I didn’t go to any of the earlier reunions. Last one was in 1994, for 25 years. But there’s a lot of sentiment for a 40-year. Maybe because a lot of people are already retired, and the kids are grown, so it’s easier.

  70. Anon E. Moose says:

    From CR yesterday: Short Sales: Arm’s Length Transactions

    Code-of-Ethics bound, (second oldest) professional REALTORS® behaving… well just like one should expect them to based on their track record. More Short sales == facilitated short sale fraud.

  71. Painhrtz says:

    Moose Germany for the same reasons. Sprechen zie deutsch?

  72. Essex says:

    67. *sigh* yeah. We’ll see how many administrators get the boot. What will happen is that the will fire the youngest and most promising of the new teachers. They keep the deadweight. Seniority.

    Really none of the administrative stuff is necessary and it sucks up a ton of expenses. Also let’s get the feds out of the education business. Leave it to the states. OR….get rid of the states and leave it to the fed. Not both. Too stupid for words.

    Lisc. teachers nationally and you will get a more portable and more sophisticated workforce. Make it so that a teacher can teach in any state that will open the jobs up to more competitiveness.

  73. meter says:

    @40 – Prague.

    Low cost of living, incredibly beautiful women, decent food, proximity to other interesting places (countries).

  74. meter says:

    Qualifier to 74:

    If the assumption is that the salary provides you the same standard of living no matter the locale, I would change my answer.

  75. Essex says:

    also…testing is fine and dandy….I always tested well, but some kids (good students) do not. My sister was a amazing student and a mediocre tester.

    Also free up the classroom for more discussion and more real education. The best teachers that I had were outspoken. They were smart. I still remember one that told the class….listen smoking is dumb, but if you must smoke….toss the cig before it gets too short at the end…all of the carcinogens bunch up there at the butt…..that and a couple of other statements are about all I remember from grade school.

  76. Essex says:

    Things Your Burglar Won’t Tell You:

    1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

    2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

    3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste … And taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

    4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

    5. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

    6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy.

    7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom-and your jewelry. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

    8. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door-understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather..

    9. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it.)

    10. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

    11. Helpful hint: I almost never go into kids’ rooms.

    12. You’re right: I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.

    13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at faketv.com.)

    14. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

    15. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

    16. I’ll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he’ll stop what he’s doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn’t hear it again, he’ll just go back to what he was doing. It’s human nature.

    17. I’m not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

    18. I love looking in your windows. I’m looking for signs that you’re home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I’d like. I’ll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

    19. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It’s easier than you think to look up your address.

    20. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation.

    21. If you don’t answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

  77. Anon E. Moose says:

    Pain[72];

    Ich sack Platt. (not really) MIL is Frisian.

  78. meter says:

    Proposing we add realtors to the list of those who need to be marched straight into prison cells:

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2010/02/short-sales-arms-length-transactions.html

  79. House Whine says:

    77- Thanks for the list. I especially liked the one about the fake t.v. I have a question for you (or anyone else). I have always hesitated in telling the post office to stop my mail and in telling the newspaper carrier to stop my paper delivery when I’m away. Suspicious me thought that would be a dead give away to come and help themselves to my home’s contents. Do you think I am being too paranoid?

  80. Essex says:

    80. No I do not trust the post office a bit. Too many skanks.

  81. Veto That says:

    “My sister was a amazing student and a mediocre tester.”

    Essex, i wonder what this really means?
    Did she raise her hand a lot and bring the teacher apples while performing avg academically?

  82. lisoosh says:

    Scribe #70, my dad went to his 40 year a few years back. Surprising because he isn’t the sentimental type, is the quinessential geek and didn’t enjoy high school. Had a blast. At that stage everyone has really lived their lives and wants to share news about kids, grandkids etc.

  83. Yikes says:

    Veto That says:
    February 12, 2010 at 10:38 am

    “The only way I’d go back to my HS would be with an AK, some C-4 and a few Molotov c0cktails.”

    Shumpt, Were you class of 99?
    Columbine High?

    i shouldn’t, but LMAO

  84. Yikes says:

    I’m made for this site! Wife and i just talked about that list and we are pretty much aware of all of them.

    never announced facebook trips of any kind. very dumb.

    after the cleaning lady comes, i check all the windows to make sure none were left unlocked. when the bug-spray guy comes, i check the windows in the basement.

    the one issue i have is the small safe … it isn’t bolted down. only contains a gun and a small amount of cash. guess i should get on that.

  85. lisoosh says:

    I always found a dog to be the best deterrant.

    Never put them in kennels when on vacation either -hired a local dog walker who also brought in the mail, turned on lights etc.

  86. Schumpeter says:

    Why the half-measures? Protect your damn house like you mean it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3TPnjtyzNA

  87. chicagofinance says:

    You make it sound as if everyone is so easily fooled. Maybe that is why you expect paternalism in lieu of representation from your government….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1vr16j0CMw&feature=related

    plg says:
    February 12, 2010 at 10:40 am
    I am just throwing this out there. I think the budget in NJ is clearly bad, but its not as bad as Christie makes is sound. He has every incentive, at this point, to make this budget appear as bad as possible, so these first round of cuts aren’t “his fault.” He can blame them on the “mess” he inherited.

  88. Schumpeter says:

    chi (88)-

    I’m guessing this dolt is somebody fairly high up in NJ academia (it’d also account for his tired, condescending and pedantic writing style). From what I’ve witnessed in my own family, it seems only academics can manage any kind of interface with society while still managing to possess the common sense of a ferret in heat. Also, a goodly number of academics are burdened with massive amounts of self-loathing and white guilt, so they love programs that they know will do them harm.

    I’m having a hard time figuring out who else in NJ- who has the ability to express thoughts in complete sentences- could possibly be so ignorant.

  89. Mr Hyde says:

    Schump

    plg (which i always ready as “pig” at first)isnt nearly as much fun at RE101 is/was.

    He hasnt even threatened any “lists” yet, or called anyone a terrorist.

  90. safeashouses says:

    #89 Schumpeter

    plg is corzine?

  91. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    Essex, #76

    When I was in high school, this one social studies teacher – male – made an off-the-cuff remark that it was more fun to be a girl because there were more things you weren’t supposed to do, so when you did them, they were more fun.

    This was the most memorable moment of my high school education – and the truest :)

  92. Schumpeter says:

    safe (91)-

    Definitely shows the same complete lack of common sense.

    Could also envision Carla kicking his ass nine ways to Sunday.

    I like your guess.

  93. Schumpeter says:

    oops…moderated at 92 for saying “p^ssy”.

  94. John says:

    meow baby!

  95. Schumpeter says:

    scribe (93)-

    Was he on top or bottom when he said it? :)

  96. Schumpeter says:

    You filthy little minx, you…

  97. leftwing says:

    Essex

    Agree with some points on the pension, not others.

    Few of the benefits public employees enjoy exist in the private sector today. Fixed benefit pensions are one of them, so the fact that the State hasn’t contributed anything is probably not going to get a sympathetic hearing.

    Dipping into the surplus is wrong, and should not have occurred.

    And there has been mismanagement, but less so because of the private brokers than politics in general.

    And the individual padding and corruption is phenomal.

    Basically, though, the growth in salaries and pensions combined with the maintenance of historical benefits has made public sector job compensation more favorable vis a vis the private sector than historically.

    You can have some of job security, early retirement, market salary, good pension, and top shelf health care, but not all of the above.

  98. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    lololololol

  99. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    Now that I’m getting involved with my first reunion, I’m finding out all the dirt I didn’t know in the first place ..
    there was indeed a geeky little girl who was supposedly having an affair with one of the music teachers (not me!)

  100. Schumpeter says:

    Writing articles on double-down ETFs is hot.

  101. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    should I post my twirling pic?

  102. Schumpeter says:

    scribe (101)-

    I used to provide cover for a teacher of mine to hook up with a girl from the private school next door to ours.

    Didn’t think anything of it at the time. Dude gave me lots of good weed.

  103. Schumpeter says:

    Not unless you want to get plg all hot.

    “should I post my twirling pic?”

  104. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    We were the class of ’69, but we didn’t have any weed.

    If the big four of high school are sex, drugs, booze, and cars, on a scale of 1 to 10, we were a 2, and that was only because some kids had old junker cars and we could drive across the bridge to Staten Island (drinking age of 18) and buy beer.

    My yearbook – looks like the 1950’s.

    We were amazingly insulated, given the proximity to NYC, and the turmoil of the 60’s.

  105. chicagofinance says:

    scribe: yeah…one of my best friends was kissed by a teacher in the book closet….he was such a scum…..

  106. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    Ok, how do you post a photo from a personal computer?

  107. #107 – easiest to set up a flickr account and link to it

  108. chicagofinance says:

    Good academic high school memory….my physics teacher brings in a Bell Wave Machine
    http://www.wfu.edu/physics/demolabs/demos/3/3b/3b1030.mpg

    and places it on the lab desk at the front of the room. This guy Yong starts messing around with it while the teacher is lecturing the class. Exasperated, the teacher says “Yong quit screwing around! Why don’t you play with your peni$? This thing is actually worth something.”

  109. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    tosh,

    ok

  110. plg says:

    Chicago,

    Yes, I do think people are that easily fooled. Is your average citizen studying the budget? The numbers are very much subject to interpretation, definition and estimation. Therefore, it would be very easy for Christies to exaggerate the current deficit.

    Shumpeter,

    You are a case study in a phenomenon I have been reading about. Amongst the less educated white males there is an increasing distrust of social institutions and feeling of alienation. You feel that “academics” and elites are pulling the rug out from under you. That your country is being stolen from you by immigrants and socialists. You have a very high distrust of “fact-based” thinking and rely on your gut. Obama is a combination of all of these things you fear. Ultimately you want to display strength, but it is ironic because you are operating out of such fear.

    This is why when I present rational arguments you react with personal attacks or try to profess your strength. You are afraid. I understand what you are going through and I really do feel bad for you.

  111. Schumpeter says:

    plg (112)-

    Are you an immigrant and a soci@list?

  112. Schumpeter says:

    I don’t dislike O because he’s a soci@list. I dislike him because he’s a fascist.

  113. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    Here I am, as a 17-year-old.

    I’m the one with the dark brown teased-up bubble-do.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/47509647@N06/

  114. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    I will never live this down.

  115. #114 – That’s adorable!!!

  116. MrDoughnut says:

    Many homes are being offered for sale by owners. A lot of foreclosures under construction because they did not sell unfinished! Some woman near me tried to flip a home previously flipped 3 times an she got stuck when the bottom fell out. The home was offered at over a $225,000 lost off the last sale price even though the remodeling was not finished. Over 2 years now an they got people trying to complete the home!

    I see lots of homes for sale which tells me the inventories are a lot bigger than the industry wants buyers to know.

    Some homes are empty with signs being changed from for sale to rent. Others are trying to rent rooms which is illegal in my zone of single family homes which the courts have backed.

    Over the last 2 decades aliens were using homes in my area for illegal appartments or hotels then flipping the homes when they found a sucker. It took a while but now the town has gotten wise to the scam an is taking them all to court shutting them down.

  117. plg says:

    Scribe,

    That hairdo is phenomenal.

  118. chicagofinance says:

    plg: This comment is one of the most insulting and ridiculous things posted here, and further “You are a case study in a phenomenon I have been reading about.” casts a huge specter of suspicion that you are pure troll. But fine, setting that issue aside….strumpet is easily the most erudite poster here and likely one of the sharpest analytical minds. Add to the fact that he is daily on the front lines of a social upheaval in NJ through his business leaves your comments without any validity hence value. Please stop trolling us intentionally or not…..

    plg says:
    February 12, 2010 at 1:15 pm
    Shumpeter,
    You are a case study in a phenomenon I have been reading about. Amongst the less educated white males there is an increasing distrust of social institutions and feeling of alienation. You feel that “academics” and elites are pulling the rug out from under you. That your country is being stolen from you by immigrants and socialists. You have a very high distrust of “fact-based” thinking and rely on your gut. Obama is a combination of all of these things you fear. Ultimately you want to display strength, but it is ironic because you are operating out of such fear.

    This is why when I present rational arguments you react with personal attacks or try to profess your strength. You are afraid. I understand what you are going through and I really do feel bad for you.

  119. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    I made myself at least 2 inches taller with the ‘do.

    And I didn’t have the biggest teased-up do, either.

    Some real monster ‘do’s in the yearbook.

  120. 3b says:

    #111 Therefore, it would be very easy for Christies to exaggerate the current deficit.

    And was Mr. Corzine exaggerating this very same deficit??

  121. leftwing says:

    Yikes

    Good question on Europe.

    If you’re moving over with family, consider language barriers. Not so much you but your wife while you’re working. While there are large ex-pat communities in most places you will feel very disoriented after you realize you’re no longer a tourist but not yet a resident. Putting a language barrier on top of that – for something as simple as a question while in the supermarket – can send a loved one over the top. Vote London.

    No family? Depends on your desires. Young, like a vibrant social scene, but also want some culture and history? Prague. Not a big fan of Germany despite it being my heritage. Too uptight and modern (given most of it was levelled during the war). Frankfurt to me was always downright depressing. France, maybe, but still very set in their ways and the arrogance is very real. The only country I experienced where if you try to speak their language rather than appreciate your effort they are offended. Italy is fantastic but total chaos in any center where you would find employment. Better to live elsewhere and visit these three countries when you really want to. Others – Vienna, Budapest, Croatia, Nordic countries, Denmark, Switzerland – all nice but will get very small after a short time (Zurich’s marketing line in Europe at one time was “the little big city”). Much less to do, much more insular, and much less accepting of Americans (other than the Swiss).

    Basically, I would (and did) vote South Ken in London. 22 minutes to Heathrow, which puts you anywhere you want to go in two and a half hours.

    From there, in the time it takes to get to Chicago you can be in the Cote d’Azur, Tuscany, or the Alps. An equivalent trip to Texas gets you to Greece or Cyprus, and for less time than a flight to CA you are standing in the Hermitage. Can’t beat it and, other than Frankfurt, flights aren’t nearly as good from other cities.

    Only issue with London is if you’re single the social scene is pretty tame by NY standards. Ironically, but because of this, we had a tough time keeping junior (25-30 y.o.) ex-pats and an easier time keeping families. It is like NY – food, theatre, entertainment – but without the edge.

    If you are seriously considering a move feel free to get my e-mail from Grim. Lived in Eastern Europe when single in my late 20s and went back to London next time in my late 30s with family in tow.

  122. Schumpeter says:

    scribe (116)-

    It’s like you were the forerunner for Jersey Girl bighair.

  123. Schumpeter says:

    chi (120)-

    Thanks, but this guy is just a low-level troll. And, he’s one of the poorer and unentertaining ones we’ve had here.

    Where’s Reechard? Listen? bi?

  124. plg says:

    3b,

    No,I don’t think Corzine was exaggerating the deficit. Read the article I posted in post 61 and my point will make more sense.

    When Corzine left he said there was a 500 million deficit, which Christies claims is actually 2 Billion. The difference is largely based on definitions and estimations. Christie has an incentive to make the gap sound as a large as possible, so when he cuts he can blame it on an inherited deficit.

    Im not sure what the true deficit is, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is closer to Corzine’s estimate than Christies.

  125. Schumpeter says:

    3b (122)-

    Didn’t Corslime, on his last day, actually claim to have left a surplus?

    “And was Mr. Corzine exaggerating this very same deficit??”

  126. Schumpeter says:

    By this point, I think we can all agree that every time Corslime opened his mouth, it was to tell lies.

  127. Schumpeter says:

    …or to lick Carla’s jackboots.

  128. John says:

    I wish I had a time machine so I could jump your bones!

    scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:
    February 12, 2010 at 1:24 pm
    Here I am, as a 17-year-old.

    I’m the one with the dark brown teased-up bubble-do.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/47509647@N06/

  129. 3b says:

    #125 My point is if the deficit was 500 billion as per Corzine, but Christie said it was 600 billion, would that be an issue? Or for that matter if Corzine was reelected and acknowledged that the deficit was 2 billion, or could be 2 billion, would it be an issue, or is only an issue because Christie is saying it is 2 billion?

    Me personally I believe the deficit is 2 billion,and probably much more. Just take a look around our state. Even better read the local town papers, all the local budget discussions (municipal and school) are being discussed now. Some towns even have Sat morning meetings opended to the public where the budgets are being discussed, and the discussions are sobering to say the least. If many towns in Bergen co do not make major cuts this year you will see total tax increases (municipal, school, county)in some towns increase by $2000 to $3000 a year those numbers are not typos) This was before Christie’s announcement of cutting 450 million dollars in state aid to municipalities.

    Face it the state is broke, and so are many of the municipalities in the state. Your constant harping on about how this is all due to an international crisis is staggeringly naieve to say the least.

    NJ is broke because out of control unions, coupled with corrupt clueless politicans, and, heavily seasoned with clueless voters who said yes to every spending refereundum have destroyed the state. The same state they claim to love so much, and the legacy they want to leave to their children. Nice job morons.

  130. 3b says:

    By the way thanks to all for offering their condolences yesterday. It was much appreciated. It is going to be a tough few days.

  131. John says:

    Our dealer in school was so big the smallest he sold was a 1/4 pound. He went on to bigger things, he bought Geraldines Ferraros son’s pot franchise in one of the state schools and made a fortune.He used to deal out of home, with Mom home. Guy lived in a million dollar home back in day, during free period I drove over there guy had pounds and pounds of stuff all over room, we did a test via the show weeks, his stuff was not “cut” damm thing was so strong I crushed the seeds and twigs to extend it out and people still were like WTF Man. Next time guys was like dude you need to buy a pound at a time and we go from there. I did not want to front all my cash plus I was already in on borrowed money in my ticket scalping business which I owned, the other guys in school already had stolen radios, hubcaps, coke, and beer sales to freshman. Always stay in a lower margin business with no competitors. Oh the good old days, kids today can’t even tell you where to get an eight-ball, bong, tray bag and counterfeit concert tickets. Back them I could have gotten all that at lunch in ninth grade.

    scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:
    February 12, 2010 at 1:05 pm
    We were the class of ‘69, but we didn’t have any weed.

    If the big four of high school are sex, drugs, booze, and cars, on a scale of 1 to 10, we were a 2, and that was only because some kids had old junker cars and we could drive across the bridge to Staten Island (drinking age of 18) and buy beer.

    My yearbook – looks like the 1950’s.

    We were amazingly insulated, given the proximity to NYC, and the turmoil of the 60’s.

  132. plg says:

    Chicago,

    It appears that you and Shumpeter can dish it out, but you can’t take it.

    Your little cry baby post at 119 is totally out of context. You are aware that my “insulting” post was in response to this post from Shumpeter about me:

    “I’m guessing this dolt is somebody fairly high up in NJ academia (it’d also account for his tired, condescending and pedantic writing style). From what I’ve witnessed in my own family, it seems only academics can manage any kind of interface with society while still managing to possess the common sense of a ferret in heat. Also, a goodly number of academics are burdened with massive amounts of self-loathing and white guilt, so they love programs that they know will do them harm.

    I’m having a hard time figuring out who else in NJ- who has the ability to express thoughts in complete sentences- could possibly be so ignorant.”

    You and Shumpeter have a very unhealthy disrespect for opposing viewpoints, but you will have to get used to it because I am not going anywhere. If you dish out insulting language get ready for a response.

    So going forward, lets try to raise the level of discussion here and stop putting your energy into responding to my posts unless you have something substantive to say.

  133. plg says:

    3b,

    To some extent we have budget problems because of unions, overspending and all the things you list. I agree.

    However, every budget has two sides. Spending and revenue. NJ does spend too much. There a lot of examples of overspending. BUT, If you look at the revenue side last year there was an UNPRECEDENTED drop in tax revenue. That can only be attributed to the economic crisis. Therefore, these current budget problems are, in part, due to overspending, but overwhelmingly the result of an unprecedented drop in the sales tax, income tax, and business taxes.

    The 2 billion dollar current year deficit is based on estimates. The state spends money based on estimates of tax revenue for the year. NO ONE knows how much tax revenue will ultimately come in. That is why you have a big variance in estimates on the size of the deficit.

  134. Pat says:

    Gadzooks! First time checking in here after getting addicted to Wii, and I’ve got a rat to kill.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ_OL-ktp0g

    That’s for the one in scribe’s hair in that pic. Where was the fro and the tie dyed shirt?

    Man, I thought the hairspray Farrah “feathers” I had were bad. ;)

  135. Pat says:

    See, aren’t you glad you posted a pic?

  136. Veto That says:

    “Amongst the less educated white males there is an increasing distrust of social institutions and feeling of alienation.”

    PLG, Does this explain why Al Gore thinks the swine flu shots are laced with chlorine?

  137. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    John,

    Thank you, but I would have clunked you with my baton.

  138. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    Pat,

    Did you just insult my ‘do?

    Girl fight! :)

  139. plg says:

    With regard to out little Mass transit discussion the other day. Have a look at this :

    China’s Project to Build Fast Trains Is Spurring Growth – NYT

    The world’s largest human migration — the annual crush of Chinese traveling home to celebrate the Lunar New Year, which is this Sunday — is going a little faster this time thanks to a new high-speed rail line.

    The Chinese bullet train, which has the world’s fastest average speed, connects Guangzhou, the southern coastal manufacturing center, to Wuhan, deep in the interior. In a little more than three hours, it travels 664 miles, comparable to the distance from Boston to southern Virginia. That is less time than Amtrak’s fastest train, the Acela, takes to go from Boston just to New York.

    Even more impressive, the Guangzhou to Wuhan train is just one of 42 high-speed lines recently opened or set to open by 2012 in China. By comparison, the United States hopes to build its first high-speed rail line by 2014, an 84-mile route linking Tampa and Orlando, Fla.

    Speaking at that site last month, President Obama warned that the United States was falling behind Asia and Europe in high-speed rail construction and other clean energy industries. “Other countries aren’t waiting,” he said. “They want those jobs. China wants those jobs. Germany wants those jobs. They are going after them hard, making the investments required.”
    Indeed, the web of super-fast trains promises to make China even more economically competitive, connecting this vast country — roughly the same size as the United States — as never before, much as the building of the Interstate highway system increased productivity and reduced costs in America a half century ago.

    As China upgrades and expands its rail system, it creates the economies of large-scale production for another big export industry. “The sheer volume of equipment that they will require, and the technology that will have to be developed, will simply catapult them into a leadership position,“ said Stephen Gardner, Amtrak’s vice president for policy and development.

    But the high-speed trains, which average speeds of up to 215 miles an hour, have their critics here. Heavily subsidized regular trains, which require 11 hours for the trip from Guangzhou to Wuhan, cost $20.50 one-way. The bullet train costs $72, or one to three weeks’ pay for an assembly line worker.

    “These prices are unreasonable, just like a lion opening its bloody mouth,” said one recent Internet posting, using a Chinese proverb for voracious greed.

    Yet many workers traveling home for the lunar New Year, were understanding of the high price. “Based on the distance, the price is not too high,” said a plastic injection molding worker who gave his surname, Li, and was catching the slow train to save money.

    China’s lavish new rail system is a response to a failure of central planning six years ago.

    After China joined the World Trade Organization in November 2001, exports and manufacturing soared. Electricity generation failed to keep up because the railway ministry had not built enough rail lines or purchased enough locomotives to haul coal needed to run new power plants.

    By 2004, the government was turning off the power to some factories up to three days a week to prevent blackouts in residential areas.

    Officials drafted a plan to move much of the nation’s passenger traffic onto high-speed routes by 2020, freeing existing tracks for more freight. Then the global financial crisis hit in late 2008. Faced with mass layoffs at export factories, China ordered that the new rail system be completed by 2012 instead of 2020, throwing more than $100 billion in stimulus at the projects.

    Administrators mobilized armies of laborers — 110,000 just for the 820-mile route from Beijing to Shanghai, which will cut travel time there to 5 hours from 12 when it opens next year.

    Zhang Shuguang, the deputy chief engineer of China’s railway ministry, said in a speech last September that the government planned 42 lines by 2012, with 5,000 miles of track for passenger trains at 215 miles an hour and 3,000 miles of track for passenger and fast freight trains traveling 155 miles an hour. Top speed on the Tampa to Orlando line is supposed to be 168 miles an hour.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/13/business/global/13rail.html?hp

  140. meter says:

    @114, Scribe –

    Props for posting your photo!

  141. Pat says:

    Bring it on.

    After a week of whining kids, including whatever neighbor kids I’ve been finding around the house, then the shoveling, knocking down ice, and generally making my husband’s life a living hell, I could use some fun.

    But I gotta warn you, I fight dirty.

  142. Pat says:

    Hey, John. Watch it, dude. All the talk at the top of the sled hill yesterday was bonds.

  143. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    why, thank you, meter

    Pat,

    I gotta warn ya …that baton is a deadly weapon …and I can wield it like one of those kung fu things …

  144. 3b says:

    #134 Therefore, these current budget problems are, in part, due to overspending, but overwhelmingly the result of an unprecedented drop in the sales tax, income tax, and business taxes.

    No. These current budget problems are due to overspending, and not preparing for a rainy day. The recession just adds to the problem. Like I said start reading your local paper, better yet go to a metting, and see the staggering amounts of money that your local elected officials have wasted over the last few years.

    NJ is broke, your town is broke.

  145. Veto That says:

    “I was already in on borrowed money in my ticket scalping business which I owned”

    John, Are you Damone from Fast Times?

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1dih4_damone-gives-out-dating-advice_dating

  146. Pat says:

    I eat batons with bacon dip.

  147. danzud says:

    I spent most of my 20-year reunion more with people from elementary school times than high school times.

  148. John says:

    Your baton vs. my man-sword, game on!

    scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:
    February 12, 2010 at 2:21 pm
    John,

    Thank you, but I would have clunked you with my baton.

  149. Juice Box Sean says:

    PLG – cumon now answer my question already. Would you rather go naked than wear fur?

  150. meter says:

    Anyone who has moved from NJ to PA:

    I know that the property taxes are lower, but what other taxes/fees/recurring costs might I need to take into consideration when doing an apples to apples comparison (cost only) in real estate cost to carry.

    For example, I believe some municipalities in PA impose an income tax beyond what the state takes.

    Is the difference between NJ and PA state income taxes significant?

  151. plg says:

    Juice Box,

    What is the point of our question? Why are you obsessing over me wearing furs or getting naked?

  152. Juice Box Sean says:

    PLG – it is a simple question of evolution. What more do you need to know?

  153. Barbara says:

    I’m not really getting my window busting end-of-society-as-we-know-it visions of the near future on in here today. Could you people kindly step it up?
    Thanks,
    me

  154. plg says:

    Juice Box,

    I don’t wear furs, don’t see the need. I have a nice Patagonia.

  155. A.West says:

    plg,
    How much good did high speed trains do for Japan’s economy? They sure spent lots on them, and they could even conceivably afford them, with the typical Chinese certainly cannot. These are vanity projects, like granite countertops in a POS cape.

    Here, by the way, is an analysis of Chinese rail spending from someone who actually knows something about China and economics:
    http://mpettis.com/2009/10/chinese-railways-and-speculating-pig-farmers/

    “It is easy to get excited by this building program, but are those high-speed rails, which may be fast, exciting and fun to ride, economically justified? Even if they were justified in the US or Europe, where the economic value of every hour saved is many times the value in China, they are probably not justified in China. After all an American might gladly pay $100 a month to cut his daily commuting time by one hour, but for most households in Beijing or Shanghai this would be the equivalent of paying one-third to one-fifth of their income – probably not worth it. And note that I am not even mentioning one of the sub-stories in this article – that China’s airline industry may be seriously hurt by the high-speed rails even as China is splurging on a massive airport investment program.

    So does it matter if we waste a little money? Of course it does. Remember that if the total economic benefits are less than the cost of the investment, we can’t simply assume away the difference. We need to figure out who will pay, and it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise if Chinese households ultimately pay for this waste, as they always have, through all the “normal” channels – sluggish wage growth, very low returns on their savings, indirect taxes on income and consumption, and so on. If they do pay, not only will this make it very hard for them to sustain the consumption splurge that we are all demanding of them, but it represents a transfer of resources from those that must pay for the railway to those that most often use it – all Chinese must pay for benefits that accrue mostly to the wealthier segments of China’s wealthiest cities.”

  156. 3b says:

    #152 Freagair an ceist.

  157. A.West says:

    On a different subject, plg, since we’re speculating about each other’s personalities, this is the sort of person I suspect you’re like, given that your whole life and your every action are devoted to serving all of humanity:

    http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/152221

  158. Painhrtz says:

    Barb because of ______ you should stock up on the following______, ammo, and penthouse forum. I made a mad lib for you.

  159. plg says:

    A.West,

    Interesting piece. There is an argument to be made that the Chinese are way ahead of themselves.

    Problem is they have 2 trillion dollars, a slowing economy and many people to employ. Rail seems like a rather wise investment to make for the future. The Chinese don’t have the economy to support this network of trains, but they will in 2020. They are building infrastructure not for current demand, but for the future. That is something we use to do in the U.S., but stopped doing.

    To say that Chinese rail will hurt the airline industry is thinking circa 1990. In the future carbon emissions will matter and the everyone else in the world knows it except your average American. In order to get a few billion people around without increasing emissions air travel is not an option. Rail is a must.

    You are also overlooking the economic benefits of building the expertise in high speed rail. Despite what Americans are doing, the rest of the world is investing and thinking in terms of low-emission transportation and high speed rail will be a major part of that. The Chinese will be way ahead of us if we don’t start competing. They will have the technology, the know-how and the experience.

    One of my major complaints with high speed rail is the cost. Here in the US, Acela is too expensive for your average user. This will not always be the case. As the technology gets adopted the costs will decrease the same way that air travel did. We have to start thinking long term, not how high speed rail works right now.

  160. John says:

    China sucks, everytime I make a phone call it is too easy to wing the wong number.

  161. Barbara says:

    painhrtz thanks. I am going to fill in the blanks with naughty words!

  162. Veto That says:

    The everyday doom and gloom talk does nothing for me — unless the dow is crashing down below 7k. Thats when the doom and gloom here takes on a whole other level of credibility and i start hoarding seeds, batteries and astronaut ice cream by the box.

  163. Schumpeter says:

    plg (134)-

    You are a nit and a bore.

    Kill yourself.

  164. Schumpeter says:

    Pat (144)-

    That’s how you know bonds are dead meat.

    “All the talk at the top of the sled hill yesterday was bonds.”

  165. Essex says:

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Ford Motor Co. (F 11.16, -0.02, -0.20%) will take back its spot as the second-biggest automaker in the U.S. this year in the wake of Toyota Motor Corp.’s (TM 76.70, +0.70, +0.92%) damaging string of recalls, according to a report from Edmunds.com on Thursday. Toyota is expected to lose more than 1 percentage point of U.S. market share to 16.45% because of its accelerator and brake problems, while Ford continues to build on recent product successes to garner 16.57% of the U.S. market this year, the study showed. General Motors Co. is expected to hold its lead with 18.12% of the market.

  166. plg says:

    Oh Shumpeter,

    Your turrets is acting up again! You really need to get that checked out.

  167. Schumpeter says:

    pain (160)-

    Is the correct answer, Vienna sausage?

  168. Schumpeter says:

    plg-

    It’s spelled “Tourette’s”, sphincter.

  169. plg says:

    Shumpeter,

    Regardless you have a problem.

    Sphincter? HA! You have the wit of a 2nd grader. I am embarrassed for you.

  170. Nomad says:

    Any funds composed of NJ munis I can short?

  171. Painhrtz says:

    Schump Wiener Schnitzel

  172. make money says:

    PLG,

    He’s obe crazy SOB. Are you sure you want a peace of him?

    If you’re not Albabian or a suicide bomber then please stay away from Clot. You’ll need some serious hairy ones just to stay alive.

  173. Painhrtz says:

    Clot I thought he was thinking defensible perimeter not the obsessive noisemaking syndrome. I would,t have even made that connection.

    Barb, I forgot your welcome for the mad lib! Enjoy being naughty

  174. plg says:

    Calculated Risk is pretty impressed with the Chinese high speed rail program.

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2010/02/china-stimulus-high-speed-rail.html

  175. Essex says:

    A prig (pronounced /ˈprɪɡ/, sometimes spelled prigg) is a word people use to describe someone they believe shows an inordinately zealous approach to matters of form and propriety; especially where the prig has the ability to show superior knowledge to those who don’t know the protocol. They see little need to consider feelings or intentions of others, relying instead on established order and rigid rules to resolve all questions.
    Priggish-ness can be viewed as a symptom of institutionalisation, whether it be in politics, the armed forces or public school.
    A prig is generally a passive-aggressive, instigating fights rather than partaking of them. The prig is a survivor and will unconsciously attach to any group that seems to further their prospects.
    The prig undertakes all projects with a definite sense of smugness.

  176. Essex says:

    Clot did install turrets on the split level. One neighbor complained and they haven’t seen him in 7 aught months.

  177. Schumpeter says:

    sx (177)-

    Dunno. That seems to be the OED alternative definition of “douche”.

  178. morpheus says:

    what no talk of TSHTF or TEOTWAWKI?

    Seriously, we all should talk what scenario is likely (peak oil, credit collapse, dollar collapse, collapse of civilization, ect.) and how to prepare for it.

    More importantly, what weapons are needed. For example, if civilization collapses,a revolver would be more handy than an semi-auto pistol (easier to care for and less likely to jam).

    right now facinated by Dan Wesson revolvers (with interchangable barrels). Sounds like a good survival weapon.

    Anyway, feel free to discuss (ok, I am bored at work. . . toxic work environment has me drained)

  179. John says:

    Funny, GMAC, AIG, Citi, HIG etc. bonds are doing fine, safe as t-bills with 5 times the yield.

    Schumpeter says:
    February 12, 2010 at 3:45 pm
    Pat (144)-

    That’s how you know bonds are dead meat.

    “All the talk at the top of the sled hill yesterday was bonds.”

  180. chicagofinance says:

    plg says:
    February 12, 2010 at 2:01 pm
    So going forward, lets try to raise the level of discussion here and stop putting your energy into responding to my posts unless you have something substantive to say.

    plg: So disagreeing with you fails your “substantive” test?

  181. Schumpeter says:

    John (182)-

    Hogs with cholera roll in their dung, just like the healthy ones.

  182. chicagofinance says:

    as we have said numerous times…purely specious argument….spending during the last ten years has ramped up tremendously…the worst years being 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008…..and unlike you, we have been posting here since 2005 and further posted through the financial crisis that began in June 2007. Your arguments play here like an old newspaper….SIR…

    plg says:
    February 12, 2010 at 2:12 pm
    BUT, If you look at the revenue side last year there was an UNPRECEDENTED drop in tax revenue. That can only be attributed to the economic crisis.
    Therefore, these current budget problems are, in part, due to overspending, but overwhelmingly the result of an unprecedented drop in the sales tax, income tax, and business taxes.

  183. chicagofinance says:

    plg says:
    February 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm
    Calculated Risk is pretty impressed with the Chinese high speed rail program.
    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2010/02/china-stimulus-high-speed-rail.html

    so? In China the government can connect two points with a straight line and level everything in the way…..

  184. chicagofinance says:

    Nomad says:
    February 12, 2010 at 3:59 pm
    Any funds composed of NJ munis I can short?

    Not a good idea….

  185. Mr Hyde says:

    We should get this on a bubmper sticker Schump:

    Hogs with cholera roll in their dung, just like the healthy ones.

  186. Mr Hyde says:

    Therefore, these current budget problems are, in part, due to overspending, but overwhelmingly the result of an unprecedented drop in the sales tax, income tax, and business taxes.

    And this is why we are royally F’d.

    This is the sentiment of a substantial number of people. I understand, its certainly easier to believe this then that the system has been consumed from the inside out and the shell can no longer support its own weight.

  187. Punch My Ticket says:
  188. Ben says:

    The fact that our state still ran these record deficits with a 10 year bubblelicious economy speaks volumes. Tax revenues spike during bubbles. NJ’s government was probably spending at least 50% more than they should have been the past 10 years.

  189. chicagofinance says:

    plg: You are trolling, yes? If this statement actually reflects your opinion then you are idealistic and naive beyond compare……

    plg says:
    February 12, 2010 at 3:17 pm
    To say that Chinese rail will hurt the airline industry is thinking circa 1990. In the future carbon emissions will matter and the everyone else in the world knows it except your average American. In order to get a few billion people around without increasing emissions air travel is not an option. Rail is a must.

    You are also overlooking the economic benefits of building the expertise in high speed rail. Despite what Americans are doing, the rest of the world is investing and thinking in terms of low-emission transportation and high speed rail will be a major part of that. The Chinese will be way ahead of us if we don’t start competing. They will have the technology, the know-how and the experience.

    One of my major complaints with high speed rail is the cost. Here in the US, Acela is too expensive for your average user. This will not always be the case. As the technology gets adopted the costs will decrease the same way that air travel did. We have to start thinking long term, not how high speed rail works right now.

  190. plg says:

    Ben,

    The state cannot run deficits. They are constitutionally required to balance the budget.

  191. plg says:

    Chicago,

    Post 193.

    Why is that comment naive and idealistic. That is a claim without any substance whatsoever.

  192. Juice Box Sean says:

    PLG – Patagonia nice weekend hippie wear. I happen to be wearing a pair of Rangers today.

    FYI – you still did not answer my question. I’ll repost it for you again. I am cooking several nice thick cut dry aged sirloin steaks this weekend for family on my grill. Does this make you gag?

  193. chicagofinance says:

    plg: From my professional experience, your point-of-view reflects someone who specifically choose a career which leads to a life of austerity, or else, if you are financially well-off, you have inherited a substantial amount of your worth. As a result, you specifically abhor capitalists either due to self-selection, or an indirect classism against the nouveau riche.

  194. chicagofinance says:

    choose = chose

  195. Schumpeter says:

    chi (196)-

    I’d prefer to think that he’s just a goddamned idiot.

  196. chicagofinance says:

    plg says:
    February 12, 2010 at 4:44 pm
    Chicago, Post 193.
    Why is that comment naive and idealistic. That is a claim without any substance whatsoever.

    plg to fill in the gaps since the self-evident appears to be required for you….the Senate provides a forum where the less populated states in the Union are placed on equal footing with the northeast. NJ and like states send way more money to the federal government than dollars in return. You mean to tell me that we are supposed to invent an expertise in high-speed rail where we have none. We need to focus on oil shale, coal, natural gas, wind and solar technology. We are a car culture. Rail becomes feasible only with sustained oil and gasoline prices north of $100/barrel – $4/gallon. We ignore the Kyoto protocol and have no compelling reason to abide by it. China and India will wreck anything we do anyway.

    Your timelines are way off. No government will have the guts to step up, and the legislation is not going to allocate expensive programs that benefit both coasts…..

  197. Ben says:

    “The state cannot run deficits. They are constitutionally required to balance the budget.”

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAA

  198. safeashouses says:

    200!!!!!!!

  199. Outofstater says:

    #197 I’m thinking he’s just a plain old, garden variety a##hole.

  200. scribe, The Princess of Paramus says:

    let’s get back to what matters …

    John has tossed out a baton vs. man-sword challenge …

    For that one, I will buy a new baton so long as he agrees not to put onion rings on it.

    Once I’m armed with my wildly revolving baton, am I qualified to stand next to clot and his grenade launcher?

    And what about BFF? where are those bank failures?

  201. plg says:

    Chicago,

    Your post at 200 is a substantive argument. Thank you. I just happen to disagree with some of it. That doesn’t make my argument specious or make me an asshole. I agree that wind and solar are key. However, I think the car culture is a disaster and should die.

    If the US doesn’t get competing in rail we will be left behind. China is becoming the leader in car battery technology and high speed rail. Do you suggest we just cede those markets to the Chinese?

    If the US remains a “car culture” burning fossil fuels we will not be innovating and will not be able to compete in the next century. The car culture has made this country a bunch of diabetic suburban fatsos. The car culture has turned our countrysides into condo developments. The car culture turned our counry into a big strip mall big box store culture. It is an utter disaster.

  202. skep-tic says:

    #111

    “You are a case study in a phenomenon I have been reading about. Amongst the less educated white males there is an increasing distrust of social institutions and feeling of alienation. You feel that “academics” and elites are pulling the rug out from under you. That your country is being stolen from you by immigrants and socialists. You have a very high distrust of “fact-based” thinking and rely on your gut. Obama is a combination of all of these things you fear. Ultimately you want to display strength, but it is ironic because you are operating out of such fear.”

    to the extent this phenomenon is real, the distrust and anger does not seem irrational to me. If you are middle class in the USA today your options are generally (1) to go massively into debt to pursue some form of higher education that is of increasingly dubious practical value or (2) go the blue collar route which is equally as bad if not worse given that manufacturing continues to bleed jobs every month and there is a massive black market for labor of (you guessed it) immigrants. Maybe people aren’t as dumb as you think.

  203. Schumpeter says:

    skep (205)-

    Don’t rattle plg’s ivory tower. This guy couldn’t function for one day in the real world.

    You know somebody’s brain has shut down when they start stating that a bunch of bacon-rind addicted, civil service-shuffling gubmint bags of blood can accomplish anything other than sailing the ship of state directly into the rocks.

    I doubt plg has ever been inside any NJ state office building. Those people are like the zombies in I Am Legend.

  204. Schumpeter says:

    Me? I’d just like to see Christie force people in state gubmint to answer the phone within 5 rings and address people with something other than complete contempt.

  205. plg says:

    skep-tikc,

    I don’t disagree that opportunity as eroded in this country and understand the frustration. It pisses me off too. However, I worry more about where that anger is directed.

    For example, the healthcare debate was odd. One of the major reasons for the erosion of the middle class is the rising cost of healthcare. Trying to reform healthcare would help the middle class enormously. It would help those that are angry, but they reject reform out of fear. Instead of finding a way to reform healthcare to help the middle class, fear took over. Immigrants getting coverage, death panels and socialism fear mongering killed reform that would alleviate some of the struggles of the middle class.

  206. njescapee says:

    Speaking of government run healthcare…

    Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams is set to undergo heart surgery this week in the United States.

    Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2010/02/01/nl-williams-heart-201.html#ixzz0fMxCBLsA

  207. skep-tic says:

    Again, people are not as dumb as you think. Their fear of government is rational because our government at every level has proven itself beyond a shadow of a doubt to be totally and irredeemably incompentant. Even if we had money to burn, government run healthcare would be a disaster because of the people who would run it, but on top of that, we are beyond broke. You might as well light every dollar in your bank account on fire if this thing somehow manages to become law.

  208. Stressed says:

    Looking for some guidance on this one??? I found a bank owned property listed for 555K. I spoke with the listing agent who was at the house when I stopped by to walk the property. The listing agent asked if I was working with a realtor. I said yeah…a family member. He politely implied that deals don’t always go through when people don’t use the listing agent of a bank owned property because of they want the commission. FYI..commission split is 6%. He also told me a starting offer might be 510K since no one has called yet.
    Question #1 Do I explain to my realtor that I have a better chance on this deal without him?
    Question #2 Is there an average percent deduction that people use as an offer on bank owned property.
    Any guidance would be appreciated.
    Thanks

  209. still_looking aka Tan-Less says:

    OT (sort of)

    Spoke to our plan manager today about allocations today.

    Things he told me about today. 1/5 workers is a public employee (vs 1/14 back 50 yrs ago)

    30 yr over 5% is gonna be a big warning shot…

    He fears deflation worse than inflation…says WW2 was a mechanism to pull workers (soldiers) out of production.

    He mentioned that when >50% of “we the people” are on the public dole — whether by employment or supplement (unemployment, welfare, SS, etc) that we are are ‘Done’ for real… The voting powers now belong to these groups and productive folks will be taxed out of existence.

    I have to go to work now, so I will try to write the other stuff later.

    If I was worried before, I am frightened now.

    sl

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  211. plg says:

    njescapee,

    That Canadian dude who came to the US for a procedure is a good example of exactly what is wrong with the US healthcare system. If you are a millionaire you get the best healthcare in the world.

    Despite what shumpeter thinks I am not a trust fund kid, so I am not getting healthcare like that. neither are most of you.

  212. 3b says:

    #206 Amen My brother.

  213. njescapee says:

    plg, no, it’s what’s wrong with the canadian healthcare system. don’t mix facts if you want a “fact-based” argument. If canadian government run healthcare was adequate, this dude would not run to the US. US and Canada are apple and oranges.

  214. 3b says:

    #213 If you are a millionaire you get the best healthcare in the world.

    So Canada’s is not good,and ours is the best? So could we argue that if we “reform: it, it will no longer be the best? After all Canada is the model that is often held up for the USA for a govt run health care system. Just asking.

  215. Mr Hyde says:

    Sl 211

    the die is cast. Batten the hatches. This event will progress at the speed of a glacier.

    And for morpheous:

    buy guns, ammo, freeze dried food, and gold

  216. plg says:

    njescappe,

    My point is the US has the best healthcare in the world for those with the money to pay for it. So a wealthy Canadian would come to the US if he wants the best healthcare in the world.

    Your average US middle class citizen is not getting the quality of care that Canadian guy is getting. He is a millionaire paying a fortune for that care.

    Your average Canadian middle class citizen is getting decent healthcare. Most americans I know struggle to get even adequate healthcare coverage.

  217. njescapee says:

    plg, many of our friends here in the peoples republic of key west are liberal progressives. i know enough to stay away from politics, and many other controversial topics because it literally wears me out. they are for the most part nice people but thick as bricks. we went to see that al gore movie with a retired hot shot aclu dc lawyer and a rhodes / fullbright scholar. they literally stood up and applauded at the closing credits. oy vey!!

  218. Essex says:

    I very much like the Winter Olympics.

  219. safeashouses says:

    Olympics baby!!!

    too bad I’m all out of soda and pork rinds.

  220. Essex says:

    Just ate some pizza and bought a nice pair of gloves at Eastern Mountain Sports on route 10….paid full price. Gotta keep him around. REI just moved in nearby.

  221. Mr Hyde says:

    plg et al

    let’s look at the bigger issues….

    No non-1st world nation is willingly going to restrict carbon emissions. The only way that happens is if the 1st world nations bribe them heavily.

    What’s the point of all this growth. As stated by the UN and governments around the world want to bring as many people to 1st world level as possible. That’s a fools errand with a population of 7 billion. Try calculating the global energy and raw material consumption if even 50% of the 7 billion humans lived at european standards.

    The last 100 years was predicated on massive amounts of cheap energy at eroei (recovery efficency) rates of 100 and we are running at about 10-20.

    How about china?
    They are building ghost cities and highways to no where in order to keep people employed and artificially juice their GDP #’s.
    The aquifers that supply china’s primary wheat producing areas is beginning to run dry and they are having problems with desertification due to over farming marginal land.

  222. Mr Hyde says:

    plg 219

    how, pray tell, do you pay for full body scans and world class orthopedic surgeons for 300 million people on demad and for treating self induced conditins such as obiesity based diabetes?

    You can’t. That’s why any national system must have limits.

    You can’t afford to have e ery drive a Porsche. If we are going to provide cars for all then it’s civics all round.

  223. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Interesting notes from McNews (a.k.a. USA Today)

    First, the US Mint is going to produce a penny that will replace the tails side with a “preservation of the union” motif.

    Interesting timing, given that the union hasn’t been in this much peril since the mid 1800’s.

    Second, some conservative western legislators want to start seizing federal lands by eminent domain. That would be another “canary in the coal mine” moment.

  224. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [179] morpheus

    i feel your pain (of course, not this week as I am skiing in Utah).

  225. cobbler says:

    nom [226]
    The metal in a penny had been worth more than a penny for a while a couple of years ago; soon we’ll be there again – so all of the newly minted coins will go to scrap in China… To make the preservation of the union idea more long-lasting, it has to be at least on a dime. I think our sticking to pennies and single $$ bills, btw, is part of the same philosophy that messes up most other things in the U.S. (teachers unions, high-speed trains, health care, homeland security, Wal-Mart culture, you name it…)

    Western legislators, though, better think twice… NJ and NY taxpayers give mucho subsidy to these guys. And besides, eminent domain requires payment of the fair value; with the states broken, how they will pay for the taking?

  226. sas says:

    remember what I told way back when… I never did like the term “bank failure” i always called it a bank takeover.

    “You won’t believe the sweetheart deal that the Indymac boys were given by the FDIC”
    http://www.thinkbigworksmall.com/mypage/player/tbws/23088

  227. Essex says:

    Checked out Richard Prior Live on the Sunset Strip —

    Haven’t seen it for years. Man that guy was BRILLIANT.

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  229. Sam says:

    It really does not matter which Team Jersey the Governor is wearing…..NJ is in a mess. Prior Governors (D and R alike) starting during the Whitman term began pilfering the State workers pension fund and also the Unemployment Trust fund.
    Regardless if their Team Jersey had a large D or R on it they all wasted hundreds of millions of dollars every year pulling out trees and building walls down the sides of our highways. They turned the Garden State into the Walled State. They also wasted hundreds of millions on Sports Complexes.
    We all wish Christie the best of luck and he is going to need it because like it or not NJ is now watching payouts for Unemployment benefits increase far faster than budget cuts can be made. Along with that income tax revenue and sales tax revenue is declining faster than offsetting budget cuts can be made.
    This is what happens when funds are not set aside for a rainy day. There are no reserve funds to fall back upon, so the deficits grow and grow___even with ongoing budget cuts.

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