Have you heard the latest from jolly old St. Murph? Gov. Phil Murphy is heading down a chimney near you bearing gifts. Yes, it’s Christmas in June. Please don’t let him buy your vote.

Allow me to explain.

During the pandemic months Murphy did something sleazy and in my humble opinion entirely unconstitutional. He borrowed billions of dollars without the approval of voters through a ballot as required by the state constitution. When it was challenged and went before the State Supreme Court they allowed it citing the unusual circumstances of the pandemic. I wonder what other parts of our constitution they’d be willing to waive during bad times?

Why was this a problem? We needed the money, right? That’s just it. Turns out we didn’t. It was speculative and the Goldman Sachs guru of finances misjudged so greatly we ended up borrowing $4 billion we did not need. So what’s the problem, just pay it right back, correct? Because they borrowed it structured in a manner that you could not pay it back early and avoid all the interest. He saddled future generations with deeper debt when it was not even needed.

So between that and the federal money, still billions left of it mind you, New Jersey right now is a naked Demi Moore rolling around in cash on the bed in ‘Indecent Proposal’. We are awash in more money than we seem to know what to do with. How very convenient.

You see, it’s an election year. So what does Murphy announce just 19 weeks before Election Day? A state budget deal that gives four years of free college to families earning under $65,000 a year. An expansion of earned income tax breaks and child and dependent care tax breaks. Up to $500 in tax rebates to middle- and low-income families. How glorious to receive such beautifully wrapped presents!

He’s. Trying. To. Buy. Your. Vote.

Maybe you think I’m too cynical. After all tax cuts would be a Republican ideal. And sure enough Republican lawmakers are actually saying the tax cuts don’t go far enough.

Republican State Sen. Steven Oroho said, “Despite the State receiving a $5 billion tax windfall in recent weeks, Democrats are proposing no significant new tax relief for New Jerseyans.” But he also said, “That stands in stark contrast to our Republican plan to significantly boost tax relief and fix long-standing structural budget issues. It’s likely we’ll see a spending spree of epic proportions for legislative add-ons when the final details of the budget are released.”

Is that just election year talk or would Republicans really have been more fiscally responsible while still giving tax cuts? All I know is I can’t get past the fact we are less than five months from an election and out come the goodie bags like at the end of a toddler’s birthday party. I refuse to put my vote up for sale. I’ll take the tax cuts, and then I’ll vote Republican.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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