For as long as I’ve worked at New Jersey 101.5, we’ve been complaining about the state of affairs in New Jersey government. Although Republican gubernatorial administrations have been able to put a little bit of a thumb in the leaky dike of fiscal irresponsibility, nothing much changes here.

It’s almost to the point where you wonder, are we screaming into the abyss? We’ve been a “tax and spend” state at least since I got here in 1997, just after the debacle of the Florio mess. And things seemed to only get worse with a slim ray of hope through a couple of Republican governors like Christie Todd Whitman, and Chris Christie, and even those faded into the mist like so much smoke from a Newark manufacturing plant.

Now, a watchdog report has placed New Jersey last in terms of fiscal health in the country, which is, of course, no surprise to anyone who has followed the decisions that our Legislature has made as closely as we have. And the Murphy policies obviously make it worse since money seems to burn a hole in the current administration’s pocket.

According to The Center Square, the latest Financial State of the States 2022 report from Truth in Accounting analyzes all 50 states' fiscal health. It calls the 5 states with the strongest economies the “sunshine states,” and the 5 at the bottom the “sinkhole states,” where the taxpayer burden is highest. The report very elegantly designates
us the worst of the worst.

The Garden State ranks dead last among the bottom five for fiscal health, with an individual taxpayer burden estimated at nearly $62,500. In other words, according to the study, we have the highest total burden for any state in the nation.

Connecticut, Illinois, Hawaii and Massachusetts follow closely behind on the top five.

The authors of the report gave New Jersey’s financial condition an “F” grade due to excessive spending and the pension and healthcare debt. According to the piece, this report says It's the 13th straight year New Jersey has been ranked last in the nation and there truly is no end in sight. The report projected further deterioration because of these shocking statistics:

NJ sets aside only a paltry 47 cents for every dollar of promised pension benefits. And get this: We set aside only ONE cent for every dollar of promised retiree health care benefits. You read that right. One penny for every dollar promised actually goes to what it has been allocated for.

And yet, we just keep voting in those tax and spend Democrats. I guess because it just feels good.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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