Assembly Majority Leader: NJ, like the US, is beset by anxiety
In his State of the State Address, Gov. Chris Christie said America is a nation beset by anxiety. Following the speech, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Voorhees) didn't disagree with the governor, but he did note that New Jersey residents have their own brand of anxiety and that needed to be addressed.
"Let me share with you the anxiety of a woman that I met at the supermarket line in Berlin (NJ)," said Greenwald. "She is nervous because her property taxes have gone up 19 percent in the last five years."
A woman in North Jersey recently asked Greenwald why she can't find a job despite the fact that employment is up in surrounding states. He said that anxiety is real.
"Let me share with you the anxiety of a couple in their 80s outside of our church at St. Andrews in Gibbsboro, New Jersey who is concerned that they have not received their (property tax) Homestead rebate and they keep asking me week after week, 'When is it coming?'" Greenwald saidd. "Well we know the answer to that. It is not coming under the (Christie) administration."
The property tax problem, the economic crisis, funding the Transportation Trust Fund and reforming the public workers' pension system can all be tackled according to the assemblyman.
"The reality is those issues can be addressed," Greenwald said. "If we are here enough to work together to address the problems and not be afraid of the negativity of the consequences."
In his State of the State, the governor also talked about the progress being made in the efforts to revitalize the city of Camden. Greenwald said that is an example of how problems can be solved if everyone is on board and working together.
One of the Democrats' ideas for helping to address some issues is to increase the income tax rate paid by millionaires in New Jersey. That is not likely to happen anytime soon if Christie is to be taken at his word.
"I have vetoed four income tax increases passed by this body (the state legislature) and make no mistake, I will veto any more income tax increases that come before me," the governor said in his address.