Phil Murphy’s wish list…get ready to pay
Phil Murphy will be taking office as the new governor in New Jersey in a couple months. His priority list is long and his desire to change New Jersey into the "California" of the East Coast is a reality given the support he's got in the legislature.
New gun regulations in the most heavily regulated state in the nation. New taxes on the most heavily taxed people in the country. New business burdens including a $15 minimum wage and a general idea to equal the pay of men and women, regardless of skill, experience and capabilities. Jim Gardner from ABC news in Philadelphia, who did an outstanding job moderating the first debate between Murphy and his GOP opponent Kim Guadagno, asked a question that has yet to be answered. "How are you gonna pay for it?" It's a valid point.
Billions of new spending including free college, pension payments in excess of $6 billion a year and a vague notion to "fully fund education" costing well more than an additional billion a year are all a part of the new governor's wish list. What's troubling is that with tens of billions of new spending as he makes good on his promises to the special interests who helped him win, including many public worker unions, have to come from somewhere, or more accurately, someone. Tens of billions in new spending with only a promise of $1.3 billion in new taxes doesn't add up.
Now if you looked at it from the perspective of generating new business tax revenue by boosting the economy, we could be OK. Problem? The new governor is proposing everything by making business development viable in New Jersey. Other than a continuance of onerous regulations there is the proposed $15 minimum wage, a closing of the so-called "gender pay gap" and mandated sick pay. Any of these alone would be a burden to small businesses, but all together will surely result in business closings, layoff and relocation to tax friendlier states.
With a rubber stamp legislature headed by political hacks and special interest skills like Senate President Steve Sweeney, the legislative branch will likely be a rubber stamp on new spending. So, revenue shortfall by design, struggling businesses and billions in special interest spending. Let's face it, the public worker unions didn't put him in office for nothing. Guess what all that means? Yup, new middle class and working class regressive taxes.
Remember, this is the candidate who promised that in order to provide real estate taxes reductions and relief, we'd have to increase education spending. Oh boy! And Governor Christie thought I was bad at math...
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