Jersey guy Greg Schiano is back. After posting a coaching record barely above .500 with 68 wins and 67 losses during his time at the helm of Rutgers Football and an abysmal 11-21 record as an NFL head coach, he's taking the reigns at Rutgers once again. This time with an 8-year deal paying him $4 million a year plus thousands for a car and clothing allowance. Even if he fails to move the numbers, his guarantee is $25 million. Wow. That's a sweet deal for a mediocre coach.

Looking at the Rutgers budget of more than $4 billion annually, NJ taxpayers subsidize between $900 million and one billion dollars of the spending with nearly $3 billion going to salaries and benefits.

Rutgers could certainly be a shining example in our state. A source of pride and a magnet to draw talent to the Garden State. That's the fantasy world that Governor Murphy will likely be pushing over the next few weeks as he does a victory lap on hiring the now highest paid state employee, possibly in the history of our state!

In the real world, nearly half of New Jersey residents want to leave because it's not affordable to live here. In the real world, property taxes continue to rise, unfunded mandates on special interest pensions and benefits threaten our state's financial future. Regressive taxes like the gas tax continues to rise and yet our roads and bridges are still in disrepair. In the real world, our debt is too high, our taxes are too high and our politicians don't care.

Working and middle class families are moving out when they can. Many are stuck with no relief in sight. Many are giving up as is evidenced by the lack of voter participation. The solution is simple. Cut the NJ taxpayer subsidy to Rutgers. Monetize the assets of NJ Transit. Immediately change all state employee new hires to a 403(b) retirement plan. Change health benefits to lower the cost per family and have higher paid government workers contribute more. Incentivize small and medium size companies to relocate here and hire NJ residents. Incentivize students to stay in the state after graduation with tuition assistance and tax breaks. Restore funding to school districts with the caveat of a mandatory real estate tax reduction.

All this can be done if we have a Governor who leads instead of hiding behind sound bites and headlines that are designed to deceive you to think we live in a state that is growing and thriving. It's long past the time for NJ voters to take the red pill.

Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.

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