Let’s say you’re dying for a car for your birthday. Your parents agree to give you one as a gift.

What if your parents then took out a loan to buy you the car but then forced you to pay back the loan?

Some gift, huh?

Well, I’m essence that’s what Republicans think Gov. Phil Murphy is trying to do with his latest scheme.

New Jersey law allows the state to borrow money for budget deficits caused by the COVID-19 shutdown. For obvious reasons, Republicans are against this law and even filed suit to get rid of it but lost when the State Supreme Court sided with Murphy. So Murphy got the green light to borrow $4 billion dollars and could borrow nearly $6 billion more, depending on budget shortfalls from the pandemic.

All the while, he's planning on big state spending for his scurrilous “Baby Bonds” program, to buy savings bonds for newborns. Republicans say it would cost the state $16 billion — a lot to ask when we're already taking on so much debt.

You may ask, “Who’s gonna have to pay all this money back?” Well, who do you think?

According to an article on NewJerseyGlobe.com, the Republicans believe that Murphy, an inveterate borrower, is purposely over-borrowing in order to “squirrel” money away so that he can portray the budget as robust come re-election time. That way, while he’s running for re-election, he can gloat about not having to raise any taxes. He will already have cleverly stowed away the billions that he borrowed, if he gets his way, the theory goes.

But, says the article, the Republicans aren’t falling for it. State Sen. Mike Testa (R-Vineland) contends that none of the money Murphy is seeking to borrow will actually be allocated for COVID-19-related relief.

“It has to do with squirreling away money for next year’s budget so he can play Santa Claus as he runs for reelection,” says Testa.

I don’t put it past the governor to pull a trick like this. Do you?

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

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