Value in consolidation or just smoke and mirrors?

From the Star Ledger:

At Caldwell town hall meeting, Christie calls on N.J. towns to share services

Gov. Chris Christie today told a hospitable audience at the Caldwell Community Center that after school funding, the duplication of municipal services is most responsible for high property tax bills.

Christie said he understands each town values its unique character, but pointed to Princeton Township and Princeton Borough’s recent decision to consolidate. The state will pick up the transition costs for the first year to encourage more towns to merge. “If you wonder why your property taxes are so high,” he said, “the next culprit after school funding is this proliferation of repetition, everybody having a CFO, everybody having a business administrator.”

Christie said New Jerseyans have a tough time choosing between forms of government and delivery of services, and that adds up across 566 municipalities: “Should we have civil service or collective bargaining? Yes. Should we have municipal government or county government? Yes, we’ll have both of them.”

The Republican governor said forthcoming legislation from Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) would call for shared services and in some cases implement penalties. “All the taxpayers in the state shouldn’t be subsidizing the fact that you just don’t feel like sharing the service of garbage collection with the neighboring town,” Christie said.

Turning to the highest drain on tax dollars, Christie said the state spends roughly $11 billion on education with 63 percent doing to 31 school districts and again took aim at the state Supreme Court. He said spending has little bearing on student achievement.“We spend more than a third of the state budget on aid to schools,” he said.

From the Star Ledger:

Lebanon Borough officials oppose plan for county-wide school district

An initiative to consider consolidating Hunterdon’s 28 school districts into one, K – 12 county-wide district, has run into opposition from Lebanon Borough Council.

The county-wide proposal originated with a resolution adopted by Raritan Township Committee, and supported by then-mayor John King and county Freeholder Rob Walton.

Lebanon Borough Council has responded with its own resolution and, as with Raritan Township, the borough seeks other municipalities and school boards to adopt similar ones.

“Lebanon Borough cannot support these efforts as currently articulated because they do not address the well-known and widely documented underlying causes of our high property tax burden, low state aid,” reads a letter addressed to mayors, freeholders and school boards and signed by the Mayor and Council of Lebanon Borough. “Further, it will impose a significant additional tax burden on thirteen of the twenty six municipalities in Hunterdon County,” the letter reads. It also says that the proposed plan would risk the quality of education.

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

117 Responses to Value in consolidation or just smoke and mirrors?

  1. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  2. Mike says:

    What happen to Funnel?

  3. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    Mortgage Settlement Saves FHA From Bailout

    If you look deep inside the 2013 federal budget (Appendix P. 636-ish) released today, it looks as if the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is asking for a cash bailout for the first time its 78-year history.

    A $688 million bailout from the U.S. Treasury, a.k.a. the taxpayers.

    Well that might have been the case several months back, when the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was running the numbers.

    Now, not so much.

    As part of the $25 billion attorneys general settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers over so-called, “robo-signing” foreclosure paperwork fraud, and a concurrent $1 billion settlement with Bank of America/Countrywide, the FHA nets a cool $1 billion infusion into its Mutual Mortgage Insurance fund (MMI). Add to that increased insurance premiums and the fact that the FHA’s 2010/2011 book of business are performing far better than previous books, and officials at FHA say the previous OMB estimate is, “obsolete.”

    The budget calls for a 25 basis point increase in insurance premiums for higher priced loans (over $625,500). The current loan limit for FHA is far higher than it has been historically, $729,750, thanks to Congressional action to keep mortgage capital flowing. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a conference call today with reporters that FHA premiums, which were raised ten basis points recently to pay for the extension of the payroll tax cut, will be raised even beyond the budget proposal in order to strengthen the FHA fund, “as well as to insure that private capital continues to return to the housing market,” Donovan added.

  4. Mike says:

    happen = happened Guess the govenor was right spending has little bearing on student achievement

  5. grim says:

    From the NY Times:

    Low-End Deals in High-End Places

    A THREE-BEDROOM house in Scarsdale for $500,000? It would have been unlikely five or six years ago when the market was on a roll, with many single-family houses selling at asking price, and with bidding wars not uncommon.

    But that is not the case anymore. Today, buyers on a limited budget like Chip and Katie Rich — who had been determined to find a house in a suburb with a sought-after school system for their three children — are in luck.

    In their 650-square-foot one-bedroom condominium in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn, Mr. Rich, a creative director for a Manhattan advertising agency, and his wife, a stay-at-home mom, made do when their children were little. But after a while, he said, “we were bursting at the seams.” They have two daughters, 8 and 6, and a son, 3.

    Scarsdale was a natural destination, Mr. Rich explained, because the couple already had friends there and were familiar with the community. Still, it took them two years to zero in on the house that would work.

    They found a small English Tudor on a corner lot that had been languishing at $579,000. It was outdated inside and in poor condition throughout, its siding in disrepair and its roof and gutters clogged with pine needles from nearby overgrown trees. Mr. Rich used Photoshop to envision it with shutters, a fresh coat of paint, an updated kitchen and other improvements. The couple liked what they saw on the computer screen, made an offer and bought it for $500,000.

    In a stronger market, dilapidated condition notwithstanding, a three-bedroom house like this one, with one full and three half baths, would have brought close to $700,000, said Paulette Talley, an agent with Houlihan Lawrence. Even in a down market, the median sale price of a single-family house last year in Scarsdale was $1.225 million.

    The couple had done their homework by vigilantly monitoring falling prices, researching comparable listings on the Web and, most of all, waiting for the right house to come on the market at the right price. In recent months, similar scenarios have been playing out throughout Westchester in expensive towns and villages like Bedford, Armonk, Larchmont, Irvington and Pelham.

    In Bedford, Roselyn Harburger, the manager of Houlihan Lawrence’s Katonah office, said the market for $500,000-to-$600,000 houses had become especially active of late. One in good condition with five bedrooms and two and a half baths on a half-acre lot was recently snapped up for $540,000. Before the market crashed, it would have sold for far more, Ms. Harburger said, noting that the median sales price of $775,000 for a single-family house in Bedford in 2011 represented a 27 percent decrease since 2007.

    Most of her buyers in the $500,000-to-$600,000 price bracket, she said, are young couples seeking a community like Bedford with a country ambience and a high-performing school district. Others are empty nesters who in a more robust market might have left the area but who are now able to find smaller homes at reasonable prices.

  6. Brian says:

    Holy crap. I can’t remember the rates of a utility going down in recent memory. I guess this means I can afford more electricity and therefore post more stuff on

    JCP&L to reduce rates as of March 1

    MORRISTOWN — A rate reduction for customers of Jersey Central Power and Light will go into effect on March 1, with projected savings of just more than $41 per year for the average residential customer.

    Rates are being reduced by a company-wide total of $114 million following approval on Friday by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

  7. Brian says:

    The only way to consolodate towns is to force them to do it. Local politicians self preservation instincts kick in and agreements are never struck. Never mind it’s in the best interests of the pubic. Even though mergers make perfect sense in the long run, they frequently end in a stalemate as was the case in the proposed sussex/wantage merger.

  8. yo says:

    The Euro is killing this countries.Just let them default already

    Greek Economy Shrinking Rapidly
    Greece’s economy contracted at an annual rate of 7% in the fourth quarter, versus a decline of 5% in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, austerity measures are increasingly hitting Portugal’s economy as well.

  9. Brian says:

    Big Wheels…..

    OMG. Who had one of these when you were a kid?

    I hope this company makes it. I have to get one for my son!

    Made in USA too. Cool.

  10. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    Brian only if they dring back the green machine with it.

    Nom wager a six pack on tonights Rangers Bruins game. No spread straight up sixer of choice. I’ll even make a trip to Brigadoon to deliver if my blueshirts lose.

  11. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:
  12. Mike says:

    Brian 10 Hope they make the front wheel out of rubber this time, darn plastic always got a flat spot in it from skidding all over the place. Your son would love it.

  13. chicagofinance says:

    Thank fracking (no joke)….input cost from natural gas has fallen through the floor….

    Brian says:
    February 14, 2012 at 7:31 am
    Holy crap. I can’t remember the rates of a utility going down in recent memory.

  14. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [11] pain,

    You’re on. Be worth it just to keep you in Sams.

  15. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    nom great gives me something else to root for other than than your B’s to lose. I am currently enjoying the Alpine spring, but if the Noble pils starts being released soon that will also satisfy my thirst : )

  16. gary says:

    An initiative to consider consolidating Hunterdon’s 28 school districts into one, K – 12 county-wide district, has run into opposition from Lebanon Borough Council.

    Of course! Think of the poor children that would suffer as this plan would risk the quality of education. :o

  17. yo says:

    Is it the realtors that votes this so called “blue ribbon” high quality education schools in NJ? If you notice,this blue ribbon schools are all in the expensive market of NJ.I don’t see any of the blue ribbon public schools in the top 10 of the National best public schools.

  18. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [16] pain,

    Ha. And I have a reason to root against the blue shirts.

    Ironically I was never a Ranger hater growing up. In Boston we hated the Habs. Ken Dryden was the antichrist. We never thought about the Rangers although the Bruins players did. They hated playing in NY. Phil Esposito said that NY fans threw ball bearings and would heat coins with lighters and throw them on the ice.

    JJ must still remember doing that.

  19. Anon E. Moose says:

    Brian [6];

    Lower rates? Big Ben will be along any minute pushing dollars from black helicopters. Lower prices are bad, dontcha know? That’s we we have to ceaselessly prop up the housing market, and the banks, too.

  20. 3B says:

    Retail sales number disappoint; I am too lazy to post the link, just saying.

  21. 3B says:

    Blue Ribbon is a bunch of nonsense, been saying that for years,just saying.

  22. yo says:

    Another reason why we should open global competition for CEO’s.Our over paid CEO’s can not even get near the success of this under paid EM CEO”s can do.Why pay them 20x than global competition?

    Tata Motors bought the financially beleaguered Jaguar Land Rover brands from Ford Motor Co. in 2008 for $2.3 billion. The luxury brands are now the biggest contributor to Tata Motors’s sales and profit.

    Net profit at Jaguar Land Rover soared 57% in the October-December period to £440 million while sales surged 41% to £3.75 billion.

    Vehicle sales at Jaguar Land Rover rose 37% to 86,322 autos, aided mainly by robust demand for the Evoque SUV. Tata Motors said it sold 32,000 units of Evoque until December.

    The company’s sales of cars and sport-utility vehicles in India increased 33% in the October-December quarter to 85,963 autos.

    “As expected, Jaguar Land Rover volumes are driving Tata Motors’s net profit and we expect this trend to continue,” said Surjit Arora, a Mumbai-based analyst with brokerage Prabhudas Lilladhar Pvt. Ltd. “But the fact that the unit accounts for 78% of the company’s profit makes it prone to foreign-exchange losses now and going forward.”

  23. gary says:

    Where’s my f*cking pony! I want my f*cking pony!

  24. 3B says:

    #24 gary: Do you want a blue ribbon on it?

  25. Jill says:

    JJ #100 from yesterday: There’s a little place just off of the Atlantis property, across the street to the left. Not sure of the name, but it has great drinks and amazing grouper sandwiches.

    And yes, at Atlantis they will try to do a radical cashectomy. And the food isn’t all that great.

  26. gary says:

    yo [23],

    I’m getting closer and closer to endorsing the OWS movement and it wouldn’t phase me if they decided to demonstrate in the form of Greece-style tactics.

  27. relo says:


    From yesterday: Genetic testing, very good.

  28. JJ says:

    Jill thanks, it looks like it is left of the Comfort Suites across the street.

    Jill says:
    February 14, 2012 at 9:26 am
    JJ #100 from yesterday: There’s a little place just off of the Atlantis property, across the street to the left. Not sure of the name, but it has great drinks and amazing grouper sandwiches.

    And yes, at Atlantis they will try to do a radical cashectomy. And the food isn’t all that great.

  29. JJ says:

    Re 19. Never a ranger fan. Actually not that big a hockey fan, maybe been to two or three games. Used to watch Islanders more when they were good. Sadly last time I went to a show at Collisum was Disney on Ice and it sold more tickets than the Islander game the night before.

  30. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    Nom, Never hated the B’s with the vitriol that my mom does. I even hate Milbury the shoe swinging pansy less since he performed such a bang up job sending the Isles into the wilderness for the last 20 years. I would agree that everyone hates the Habs, despite growing up in the 80’s Bobby Orr was definately the greatest hockey player, Gretzky was the greatest scorer.

    I prefer IQ testing, some folks may have good genes and lousy brains

  31. Juice says:

    Anyone care to comment on the 4 garages?

    Was this an attempt to lower taxes by removing the living room(s)?

  32. The Original NJ Expat says:

    Brian [10] Big Wheels – Much of the crowd here, myself included, are too old too have ever ridden a Big Wheel. We did use it as a slang in college, though. If your friends said “Big Wheels” to you it meant that you were getting to serious about a girl. As in, “If you continue down that path before you know it you’ll be married with kids and Big Wheels in the driveway.”

  33. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    I like Richard Posner and think he is a smart guy and all, but had he been reading this blog, this summation would have been dated February 2011, not 2012.

    “Growth-impairing policies that might reduce economic inequality include restrictions on the immigration of wealthy persons and highly educated persons, the promotion of unionization, heavy business taxes, high marginal rates of personal income taxation, government subsidization of business activities (“picking winners”), high government debt, a generous safety net that reduces incentives to work, and heavier government financing of education for members of lower-middle-class families. Such policies—most of them involving turning back the clock to the 1950s—would probably reduce the rate of economic growth. Could the impact of that reduction on future welfare be offset by gains in social peace? At present, the answer seems to be “no,” but if signs of social unrest, such as the Tea Party and Occupy movements, grow, the answer may at some point need to be reconsidered.”

  34. The Original NJ Expat says:

    [33] cringe. I used “to” and “too” wrong in the same post. I’m an engineer but I hate contributing to the destruction of our language.

  35. Juice says:

    #3 – Grim smoke and mirrors? If the FHA has a portfolio of over 1 Trillion in loans what is the default rate? From what I can find it was 8.34% for single family loans a year ago. No way they can cover it, they will be back for more from the taxpayer soon enough.

  36. ricky_nu says:

    place to eat by Atlantis – I liked the “poop deck” (seriously), a short walk from the bridge. or could take a cab ride over to the “fish fry”, a group of small restaurants/cafe’s where many locals eat. The cabbie will know what you are talking about.

  37. yo says:

    A declining labor participation rate from male white 45.54 years old and soaring up to the female.

  38. yo says:

    Labor paticipation rate for female at all ages is soaring compare to the male.Are we getting lazy?Let the female bring home the bacon and beer.We will be here waiting.

  39. yo says:

    Does anybody have the figure for unemployment rate for different income?I wonder what is the UE rate for $75-$100k compare to $20-$30K

  40. 3B says:

    The states Office of Administrative Law has agreed to hear Oradell’s funding dispute with River Edge over the regional school system. River Edge had previously filed a motion to have the case dismissed, which was denied. It is getting uglier and uglier; just saying.

  41. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Mayor Rizzo of Philadelphia once said that a liberal is a conservative that hasn’t been mugged yet. Wonder now if liberal Justice Breyer will see things more clearly or if he views the event as a proper and just redistribution of wealth.

    “Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, his wife and several family friends were robbed by a person with a knife at the Breyer vacation home on the Caribbean island of Nevis, the court confirmed to NBC News on Monday.”

  42. JJ says:

    Well all the white males by me are cops and firemen and they are retired by 45.
    yo says:
    February 14, 2012 at 10:03 am

    A declining labor participation rate from male white 45.54 years old and soaring up to the female.

  43. Juice says:

    re # 39 – Great chart, how things have changed since the 1950s. One could assume that families were larger post WWII and the pre-birth control pill days, perhaps four kids instead of two the average family has today. That education, and women’s lib would be the main reason for flip.

    Funny my wife does not want to work full time, so she isn’t right now, part time with full time benefits. Soon to be part time mommy,part time employed with another one on the way. I won’t be one of those 50+ guys sitting home with the working wife support my lazy butt. Wife eventually will be home full time, whether I like it or not.

  44. Brian says:

    Too bad. They were fun. They’re almost entirely made of molded plastic even the wheels which made them perfect for drifting. They’re not really built to last just built to be trashed. King of the sidewalk baby!

    33.The Original NJ Expat says:
    February 14, 2012 at 9:52 am
    Brian [10] Big Wheels – Much of the crowd here, myself included, are too old too have ever ridden a Big Wheel. We did use it as a slang in college, though. If your friends said “Big Wheels” to you it meant that you were getting to serious about a girl. As in, “If you continue down that path before you know it you’ll be married with kids and Big Wheels in the driveway.”

  45. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom [43];

    Breyer dissented (from the 2d Amendment, ;-p) in both Heller and McDonald. Used to having the police protection at home in DC, I’m sure. Out in the wild, as it were, like the rest of us, having a handgun to protect yourself can come in handy from time to time. Any bets on how he votes the next time the issue comes up?

  46. joyce says:

    justice breyer will just come out in favor of knife permit regulation

  47. Juice says:

    re # 43 – Nom “machete-wielding intruder” big difference between that and a knife. How does he afford a compound on Nevis? Nothing in his BIO says he made allot playing lawyer.

  48. joyce says:

    Yes, there is a big difference between a machete and a knife… but if the would-be-victim had a gun, it wouldn’t make a difference what the intruder had.

  49. Jill says:


    Because the would-be victim would always have his gun, loaded and ready, by his side, and be trained to just jump up and shoot, just like on TV, right?

    Not getting into a legal-gun argument, but the idea that someone who bought a gun and took a training course 20 years ago is going to be in a position to have his wits together and get off a perfect shot without hitting one of his guests is preposterous.

  50. Jill says:

    Ricky #38: Good advice there. Best meal I ever had in my life was fish, vegetables, and rice cooked in a Dutchie over an open fire on the beach in Negril, Jamaica. Guy who had the snorkel boat fished while we were snorkeling, then offered to make dinner that evening for everyone for “whatever you want to chip in.” We gave him thirty bucks for the two of us and considered it a bargain.

  51. Jill says:

    Did I just sound like JJ there?

  52. joyce says:

    When did anyone say gun ownership is a panacea of security? I will answer your question with a question: which person in the following two scenarios has a better of defending themselves?

    A: Justice Breyer exactly as described in the article
    B: Justice Breyer exactly as described in the article with a gun (in his home somewhere if not on him)?

  53. Juice says:

    re: # 53 – Jill did you cliff dive at Rick’s Cafe sans outerwear?

  54. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    Jill, even not to get into a spat but with less than ideal handgun skills I can hit center mass at less than 20 feet in a split second without thinking. If this communist Utopia called NJ let me carry a weapon I certainly would.
    Since the laws are so screwed up here and tilt towards the victim, my guns and ammo are securely locked up in separate locations in the home. Should somebody be dumb enough to enter my house and get past the barking 120lb German Shepard. My wife or I then have enough time to lock and load. Where the would be intruder would be met with a loaded 12 gauge under their noses.

    At which point if one of us is forced to actually pull the trigger we expect to fully be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law by the fine well to do folks in this state.

  55. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    The gun meme with respect to Breyer is not relevant. He was on Nevis, so it matters not if he was pro- or anti-2A.

  56. joyce says:

    Out of curiosity, do you know anything about the gun laws in Nevis?

    Yes, he was out of the country… but still karma

  57. gary says:


    I asked again when my conversion from “right-to-hire” to permanent status might happen and today’s excuse was they’re doing a “re-org” so we’ll have to wait and see. I used to ask on a monthly basis but I think I’ll ask now every week. I want to see when they start reaching for excuses. Maybe next week they’ll tell me the dog ate the paper work. A lesson to all: you’re never too old to fall for a dupe, there’s always a new one being invented. Needless to say, my resume is being revamped as we speak. If any of you have any suggestions or a link on the resume format for an IT “consultant,” please let me know.

  58. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Been researching the NEWT Act introduced by Rep Stark. Idea is to eliminate the “John Edwards subchapter S corporation” (though he took the partisan shot of naming it after Newt instead of the democrat that popularized it). This one is going to hit small businesses in the “disqualified” range quite hard.

    It also punishes family businesses that are also service businesses as it has an atttribution rule so that if your kids or wife have shares in your S corp, their dividends would be considered earned income to you. Ironically, this attribution rule would not affect law firms like John Edwards’ firm because nonlawyers generally can’t hold equity interests in law firms.

    I expect that there will be those that can easily negate the effect of this legislation while others will get hammered by it. Accordingly, it is a poorly designed piece of tax legislation.

  59. Happy Renter says:

    [43] “a liberal is a conservative that hasn’t been mugged yet”

    That’s the exact quote that came to mind when I read the news yesterday.

    I suppose the more likely outcome is that Breyer will use his new-found “street cred” to (in his mind) speak with more moral authority on the evil of firearms, and how We The Sheeple should just let the government handle the unsavory business of defending hearth and home from those poor disadvantaged souls who are merely expressing their frustration at the inequity of American society.

  60. Brian says:

    That’s carrot on a stick BS. They just want to keep you working.

    Gary, I wish you the best of luck in your search. No matter what, don’t get discouraged. Stay positive and project that in an interview. Continue to post for new positions. I found one of the best job sites for technology workers. Look at every interview as an opportunity to sharpen your interview skills if you don’t get the job.

    There’s work out there and you can find it if you are detirmined. Also, take the time to look over your resume and maybe try to obtain some new certifications while you’re on the hunt.

    It took me about a year of constant searching, posting to several jobs a night. I only scored maybe two or three interviews and a couple more call backs. I switched jobs during the height of the financial crisis…December 2008 to a company that manages mutual funds. People told me I was suicidal. They said I was an idiot for switching from a good job. Now the company is doing fantastic and paying us good bonuses. Gotta stay positive and be confident in yourself.

    59.gary says:
    February 14, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I asked again when my conversion from “right-to-hire” to permanent status might happen and today’s excuse was they’re doing a “re-org” so we’ll have to wait and see. I used to ask on a monthly basis but I think I’ll ask now every week. I want to see when they start reaching for excuses. Maybe next week they’ll tell me the dog ate the paper work. A lesson to all: you’re never too old to fall for a dupe, there’s always a new one being invented. Needless to say, my resume is being revamped as we speak. If any of you have any suggestions or a link on the resume format for an IT “consultant,” please let me know.

  61. toomuchchange says:

    Justice Breyer is 73.

    It seems to me that obtaining and learning how to shot a gun is probably not in his future. A gun in this case probably would have ended up in the hands of the much younger, stronger and quicker thief.

    Then what?

    Best thing for someone at his age and his position is to let the thief take what he wants. He did exactly the right thing: No one got hurt and he lost nothing that cannot be replaced.

  62. Shore Guy says:

    Get used to it. Obama is a shoe in for reelection. God help the Republican party if we nominate this putz in August. If we do, I am writing in a name. I can’t vote for this guy and I can’t vote for the guy we have. 340,000,000 Americans and this is the best we can do?,0,6883737.story

  63. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [58] joyce,

    No. I don’t.

  64. Brian says:

    I’m not really inspired by either of them too but a write in really is a wasted vote. Sometimes I say i’m going to do that too but, who knows, maybe Romney or Santorum will surprise us.

    I read on wikipedia that Ronald Regan once considered himself a liberal democrat. A lot of conservatives consider him to be a great president today right?

    64.Shore Guy says:
    February 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm
    Get used to it. Obama is a shoe in for reelection. God help the Republican party if we nominate this putz in August. If we do, I am writing in a name. I can’t vote for this guy and I can’t vote for the guy we have. 340,000,000 Americans and this is the best we can do?,0,6883737.story

  65. njescapee says:

    Shore, welcome to our ever-growing group of disillusioned amerikans.

    “I can’t vote for this guy and I can’t vote for the guy we have. 340,000,000 Americans and this is the best we can do?”

  66. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    Shore your right, but I hope they nominate Santorum, maybe it will finally put an end to the idiotic tail wagging the dog the party has taken from the Pat Robertson fringe. Seriously though Santorum is about as conservative as Rupaul.

    either way I’m wasting my vote on Gary Johnson. Chairman O is going to win with the monkey’s in the lead for the elephant party.

  67. JJ says:

    Here are the basic Case-Shiller stats for the New York City commuter area* as of November:
    November 2011
    Month to Month: Down 1.1%
    Year to Year: Down 2.3%
    Prices at this level in: February 2004
    Peak month: June 2006
    Change from Peak: Down 23.2% in 65 months
    Low Tier: Under $282,779
    Mid Tier: $282,779 to $455,812
    Hi Tier: Over $455,812

  68. Doesn’t matter who’s president. The wheels are coming off.

    Next to come: packs of armed gangs, marauding across the US.

  69. Mocha says:

    NJ CCW petition for those who care:

    PS. just rescinded offer on the Oradell house with the 83 year old tile roof. Sellers wanted deposit up front in 10 days, June close, negotiate the cost of the appliances and 430k price.

  70. Shore Guy says:


    I almost always write in at least one name or election. Wasted vote is one cast for someone just because they are on the ballot.

    As for mentioning Satantorium in the same breath as RR is not even funny. I was a Reagan foot soldier and one of his appointees. RR stold and stands head and shoulders above RS.

  71. 3B says:

    #71 Mocha: They paid 388k in 2002, if they get that, they should be happy. The school funding situation with River Edge is really heating up. If Oradell prevails it will be a huge tax savings for the town, if not Oradell will continue to subsidize River Edge. In addition RE has v a number of multi-family projects waiting for approval financing etc, thus adding potentially even more kids that Oradell may be subsidizing.

    You should keep an eye on this.

  72. joyce says:



    Check out the market ticker for some of Gary Johnson’s latest
    I used to think he was pretty decent, not any more

  73. JJ says:

    Interesting over one million members. Being a hot young girl job seeking is apparantly pretty easy.

    According to Brandon Wade, the Founder & CEO of – the largest Sugar Daddy dating website in the United States, sugar relationships in the workplace are more common today than ever before. In fact, over 12% of the Sugar Daddy members on his website have added a Sugar Baby onto their payroll.

  74. Brian says:

    Should Mortgage Rate Shoppers Care What Happens to Greece?

    People in the mortgage business know that rates are holding record lows here in the United States, but why?

    As mortgage-backed securities (MBS) rally ever higher, rates drop, and the bid on the Fannie Mae 3.5% security has been …relentless. It’s at a staggering 104.13 as of now — over a 4-point premium above par.

    But will it stay there?

    If one looks at the most recent U.S. jobs and manufacturing data, it’s a picture of modest improvement. Normally, this would mean higher rates as investors shift out of safe bets into riskier assets, but the overhang of the Eurozone debt crisis proves to be too much. The bond market rally has continued relatively steadily, despite Greece trying to get private investors to agree on a debt deal, and positive or negative news moving our rates.

    The proposed deal in Europe calls for Greek bond investors to exchange outstanding bonds for new ones with coupons as low as 3.6-3.75%, and take losses of about 70% in the process. If most private investors don’t agree, it could trigger credit default swaps (CDS) on these securities, leading to a European bank liquidity issue.

    At this point, and bank liquidity issues in Europe have far-reaching impacts; that, plus the fact that the deal may not save Greece. This has caused investors to seek refuge in MBS and Treasuries yielding 1.84 right now (also staggeringly low). Our borrowers benefit — up to a point.

    Few want Greece to fail, because the ripple effect would be far reaching.

  75. Happy Renter says:

    [70] “packs of armed gangs, marauding across the US.”

    So New Jersey’s “family” of municipal (cough) “employees” is going national?

  76. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    Joyce crap looks like Mickey is getting my vote again

  77. Painhrtz - I ain't dead yet says:

    hiding in the wilds of morris county

  78. Anon E. Moose says:

    Brian [76];

    >The proposed deal in Europe calls for Greek bond investors to exchange outstanding bonds for new ones with coupons as low as 3.6-3.75%, and take losses of about 70% in the process. If most private investors don’t agree, it could trigger credit default swaps (CDS) on these securities, leading to a European bank liquidity issue.<

    Isn't that exactly why the investors bought CDS? Its like buying fire insurance and then having the insurere tell you there was no fire as you stand amid the embers. In fact, didn't TIMMAY say in no uncertain terms during the TARP fiasco that the AIG had to be bailed out AT PAR because anything less would trigger default provisions?

  79. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    Tax Planning Tip of the Day (future maybe edition)

    “President Barack Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2013 may be calling for new taxes on the wealthy, but it includes a perk for older people with relatively small IRAs.

    Deep in the budget is a provision that would eliminate required minimum distributions for people who are at least 70½ years old whose tax-deferred retirement-plan balances do not exceed $75,000.

    “This would simplify tax compliance for these seniors. They do not ever have to worry about RMDs and can withdraw at their own pace without worrying about calculating the RMD or taking the right amount at the right time,” says Ed Slott, a consultant who specializes in individual retirement accounts in Rockville Centre, N.Y.

    Keep in mind that the $75,000 limit refers to the total balance of all IRAs. That means no splitting up your holdings into a bunch of different accounts – they all count as one.

    This follows a short-lived proposal last week by Sen. Max Baucus (D.-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, to force people who inherit IRAs to empty the accounts within five years, triggering income-tax payments more quickly than if the distributions were spread across their life expectancies.

    But people who have smaller IRA balances “are also not likely to leave amounts over to the next generation, so the government is not worried about them exploiting this for estate-planning purposes,” Slott says. “They will probably need the money and withdraw it all during their lifetime.”


    Were this to come to pass, I have a self-employed 401(k) plan. Before retirement, I can transfer IRAs into it to get below the 75K threshold and take all my RMDs from the 401(k) plan instead of the IRAs. At least, I think that would work.

  80. Juice says:

    Moose – Sovereign CDS undermined by Politicians or the Banks? Methinks since there is no bailout by the EU Central Bank or our very own Bergabe here in the US the banks themselves who created the market for it are undermining it, after all ISDA panels and committees are not stuffed with Realtors and Lawyers.

    “Determinations committee” for Europe

  81. Juice says:

    re: #82 – Moose to further clarify my theory on ISDA in Europe. I think the FIX was in for Europe and all the heavy hitters bet big (just look at Corzine and MF) until the politicians balked at bailing out the PIGS now the banks are left holding worthless CDS, and angry Hediges and others who bought naked CDS on sovereigns. Just ask Jon Boy Corzine and his cohorts over at MF Global, they are in the mix here too those margin calls that did them in. Too bad they haven’t been fully identified yet (Soros and other Hediges?) since the Bankruptcy trustee hasn’t disclose the identity of the counter-parties making those margin calls.

    Soverign CDS soon to be an illiquid market for sure.

  82. Shore Guy says:

    “just look at Corzine and MF”

    Let me get this straight. There were a bunch of MFers, who were messing with the markets. And the biggerst MFer of all was Jon Corzine. So, Jon the MFer Corzine and the other MFers bet wrong and improperly cost many people their money; and, now, the people who lost their money want the MFers to give it back. Is this about right?

  83. Shore Guy says:

    Washington, DC, February 14, 2012 – The U.S. Department of Justice has won the infamous Rosemary Award for worst open government performance over the past year, according to the citation posted on the Web today by the National Security Archive ( The award is named after President Nixon’s secretary, Rose Mary Woods, who erased 18 ½ minutes of a crucial Watergate tape.

    The Rosemary Award citation includes a multi-count indictment of Justice’s transparency performance in 2011, including:

    * selective and abusive prosecutions using espionage laws against whistleblowers as ostensible “leakers” of classified information, with more “leaks” prosecutions in the last three years than all previous years combined, at a time when expert estimates of over-classification range from 50 to 90%;

    * persisting recycled legal arguments for greater secrecy throughout Justice’s litigation posture, including specious arguments before the Supreme Court in 2011 in direct contradiction to President Obama’s “presumption of openness”;

    * retrograde proposed regulations that would allow the government to lie in court about the existence of records sought by FOIA requesters, and also prevent elementary and secondary school students – as well as bloggers and new media – from getting fee waivers, while narrowing multiple other FOIA provisions;

    * a mixed overall record on freedom of information with some positive signs (overall releases slightly up, roundtable meetings with requesters, the website collating government-wide statistics) outweighed by backsliding in the key indicator of the most discretionary FOIA exemption, (b)(5) for “deliberative process,” cited by Justice to withhold information a whopping 1,500 times in 2011 (up from 1,231 in 2010).

    “Justice edged out a crowded field of contending agencies and career officials who seem in practical rebellion against President Obama’s open-government orders,” commented Archive director Tom Blanton. “Justice’s leading role as the government’s lawyer signals every bureaucrat they don’t have to stretch as much as Rose Mary Woods to cover up the government’s business.”

    “The Department of Justice – which is responsible for enforcing FOIA government-wide – was supposed to be the change agent and role model for President Obama’s FOIA reforms,” said Nate Jones, the Archive’s Freedom of Information Act Coordinator. “But, despite the president’s clear instructions, the DOJ has embraced a ‘FOIA-as-usual mindset’ that has failed to transform the decades-old FOIA policies within its department, much less throughout the government.”

    The Emmy- and George Polk Award-winning National Security Archive, based at The George Washington University, has carried out ten government-wide audits of FOIA performance (see the most recent Knight Open Government Surveys), filed more than 40,000 Freedom of Information requests over the past 25 years, opened historic government secrets ranging from the CIA’s “Family Jewels” to the Iraq invasion war plans, and won a series of lawsuits that saved hundreds of millions of White House e-mail from the Reagan through the Obama presidencies, among many other achievements. The Archive founded the Rosemary Award in 2005 to highlight the lowlights of government secrecy.

  84. Bocephus says:

    Hard at work again i see!

  85. Shore Guy says:

    This photo MUST, somehow, apply to RE or the current economic/political situation:

  86. yo says:

    Romney just keeps on shooting himself in the foot.He keeps on saying his mind that the voters do not want to hear.Latest,he is against the bail out of US car companies.This companies are creating jobs right now.American car companies are in again.How can he let this companies go down?How can he win votes from people relying their livelihood from this car companies?

  87. Shore Guy says:

    Hey, Clot. You might want to keep an eye to the sky:,0,5726973.story

    Pentagon working with FAA to open U.S. airspace to combat drones

  88. Bocephus says:

    Romney is a classic silver spoon rich kid. Santorum is just plain weird. Newt is a douche. Ron Paul is just skeery. Looks like 4 mo years of Obanksta.

  89. Shore Guy says:

    “Romney just keeps on shooting himself in the foot.”

    My party is inept and has bowed to the wackos onthe far right who are far removed from where the swing voters are.. Consequently, B.O wins. Just what we need, sixteen-straight years of inept presidents.

  90. Shore Guy says:

    At a key historical inflection point, we have thrice in a row, and soon to be four times, elected the people least equipped to be the effective leaders that we need. God save us from ourselves.

  91. yo says:

    Why award jobs to foreign firms,when we need jobs here in the US?

    Lockheed Protests $638M U.S. Navy Award to Northrop

  92. Bocephus says:

    It would be nice if the GOP left their faux moral high ground at home and actually focused on the ‘Real needs’ of the country. We have systemic issues which everyone who reads this board knows will eventually cause our potential implosion.

  93. Comrade Nom Deplume says:

    [92] meat,

    I think my wife used to work with that guy.

    As nompounds go, that is an ideal structure and site. And since he lives there, no need to spread the cost amongst an association.

  94. Shore Guy says:

    Someone sent me this link, at first I thought it was The Onion, alas, it seems to be real:


    Ms. Polgar, a grandmaster and a former women’s world champion, was hired by Texas Tech University in 2007 to create an elite chess program. The university even named the program after her, calling it the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence, or Spice.

    Last April, Texas Tech won the Final Four of Chess, a competition in Herndon, Va., among the top collegiate teams in the country. It was Texas Tech’s first championship since Ms. Polgar arrived at the university.

    Now Ms. Polgar and her husband, Paul Truong, the manager of the chess team, are leaving Texas Tech, which is spread over more than 1,800 acres in Lubbock and has more than 32,000 students. They are heading to Webster, a university mostly geared toward postgraduate students around the world, whose main campus in St. Louis is 47 acres. The chess program at Webster will be called Spice.

    The top 10 players at Texas Tech — eight grandmasters and two international masters, some of whom had just committed to the university — are also switching. They are scheduled to start in the fall; Ms. Polgar is to begin on June 1. On paper, Webster will have the No. 1 ranked team in the country.


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