California cut $11 billion from its budget, hitting colleges and affordable housing programs. Georgia cut spending by 10 percent, pulling back spending on preschools and programs for the disabled. Tennessee lawmakers cut $1 billion, including transit programs.
If we are outliers on spending, we are also outliers on borrowing.
So far, just one state has tapped into the Federal Reserve’s loan program for help. That’s Illinois, the only state that’s a worse basket case than New Jersey, with an even lower credit rating. And Illinois borrowed $1.2 billion with an agreement to pay it back in one year, a trifle by our standards.
New Jersey is about to borrow $4.5 billion, with a promise to pay it back over 12 years. That will cost us about $450 million a year, considerably more than the new millionaires’ tax will raise.
The Democrats, folks, are off the leash.
Even the party’s budget chairman, Sen. Paul Sarlo, seemed a bit embarrassed by the lack of discipline. “There is a point in time where we need to stop taxing and to do reforms,” he said, after a decade with the gavel. “We’re at the tipping point.”