‘Trump Wave’ misses NJ — Get ready for new taxes in 3…2… (Opinion)
That's right, the midterm elections were more of a 'Trump Wave' than anything close to a 'Blue Wave'. Of course you wouldn't know that from being in the Garden State. The rest of the nation seemed to get the fact that the economy is humming, jobs are being created in record numbers, we have a relative peace in North Korea, a hands-on President willing to have the tough conversation with enemies and allies and the guts to simply move troops to the border in case of a threat. Oh, and huge tax cuts that will financially benefit MOST New Jersey middle and working class families.
Why do I call it a 'Trump Wave'? Because the gains in the U.S. Senate with challengers defeating four incumbent democrats, in Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana and Florida, take the GOP majority to 53 and possibly 54 depending on the outcome of the still too-close-to-call race in Arizona. If that seat stays Red, then the GOP majority will be 54-46 after the run off election in Mississippi where the GOP contender is likely to win. That's unprecedented in midterm elections for the party of the President to make that huge a gain.
Many of us saw this coming as a backlash to the outrageous antic of the Democrats during the Kavanaugh hearing where they literally pushed lies and rallied around the fake cause of "believe women". How do I know it's fake? Because the same Democrats also rallied around Senator Bob Menendez who was credibly accused, FBI affidavits and all, of activities involving prostitutes who were minors. He is to be believed, even though a bi-partisan committee in the Senate "severely admonished" him for other charges related to the accusations, involving gifts from a friend who he fought for medicare money. Incidentally, that friend was sentenced to seventeen years for medicare fraud. Just sayin'.
In the House, the Democrats did win control as expected. But that margin is not nearly as big as a 'Blue Wave' would make you think. Historically speaking, the Democrats really under-performed. But in New Jersey, they hit the expectations of the media hype. There are several reasons:
First, it's important to remember that NJ has twice as many registered Democrats as registered Republicans. Literally two million to one million. And the Democrats were looking for a way to vent their frustration with Trump. So they came out in droves to send a very clear anti-Trump message. But this rise of Democrats in other parts of the nation were muted somewhat with the D's only picking up 26 seats compared to 63 for the Republicans during Obama's first midterm.
So what else was at play in Jersey? How about the utter failure of the New Jersey Republican Party to support the ideas of their own party? On the Senate side, it was the most obvious. Bob Hugin couldn't run fast enough away from Trump. Believing somehow that in a state that has a very high tolerance for corruption, and very little tolerance for GOP Senate candidates, that all he needed to do was not be a Trump guy and tell everyone how bad Menendez is. It failed. Big. Even after spending about $25 million of his own money, he lost by nearly ten points.
Bob Hugin is a good man, a patriot and a hugely successful business leader who has undoubtedly saved countless lives from horrific diseases. But New Jerseyans are too smart to vote for a GOP-Light, to cautious to say one positive thing about the President and too nervous to engage in the obvious important defense of now Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh.
As far as the House, what a disaster. Lance distanced himself from a tax cut that is working and helping most New Jerseyans. Even Mikie Sherrill, the Democrat who made history turning a Red District blue, essentially campaigned as a Republican talking about lower taxes. I think she's a typical pol willing to say anything to get elected and we'll know for sure if she votes for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. The only really close race was incumbent Tom MacArthur who, as I write this, is behind challenger Andy Kim as provisional and mail in ballots continue to be counted.
So at the end of the day, NJ will likely be left with one Republican Member of Congress. My friend Chris Smith. Chris is a good man. A man of faith and patriotism. A man who gets that politics is local and the job of a Congressmen is to serve the constituents. But when compared to the GOP platform outside of social issues, he lines up with just about every moderate Democrat. What does this mean to the Garden State?
There is no effective Republican Party after Tuesday's election. That means, the Governor, the legislature and nearly all of the voices in DC will be pushing the anti-Trump agenda so far left that dominates the Democratic party of today. Higher taxes. Really high. The bond issue just approved by voters, many of whom were tricked into voting yes, WILL MEAN HIGHER REAL ESTATE TAXES when the sales tax falls short of paying the bond holders. It's the same tricks they used for the gas tax and the state house renovation.
And here's a reminder, it was the Republicans in Trenton who pushed both of those issues. But the list keeps going for the Democrats: free tuition for illegals, drivers licenses for illegals, sanctuary state status to push back against our own government, legal bills subsidized by taxpayers when illegals sue the federal government.
So we're left with a one party state and a weak, disorganized, self-loathing GOP.
Ok. That's the bad news. Here's the good news.
Vote to hold every legislator who voted for the gas tax and the latest borrowing scheme accountable in November 2019. Actually come out and vote against them in the primary in June if they can't commit to NO NEW TAXES. EVERY ONE of them. Yes, we'll have a list for you, call 'em ads ask.
A long winded answer that leaves the door open for more taxes should equate to a vote against in your mind. It's time to rise up and stop the nonsense that is driving good people out of our state and sticking the bill with the rest of us.
Democrats who believe that the high-tax hacks in Congress and in Trenton do not speak for average working families and middle class families need to vote for "affordability" candidates in June and November. Republicans simply need to vote against every person who voted for any of the tax increases I mentioned if they can't seriously commit to vote against EVERY future tax increase proposed by the majority.
Then the real change has to happen. Republicans and 'affordability craving' democrats need to run for school board, town council and mayor seats. The current democrats in charge have been successful turning NJ Blue because they had a long term plan. It took a couple decades, but here we are. If Republicans and moderate Democrats want to take back our state, it will not happen in one election. This is the long game. And we need to get started. Now.
If voters do two simple things, we can turn this state around sooner rather than later:
First, default to a NO vote on ANY ballot question. Force the elite special interests to convince you that the new taxes coming from your yes vote are worth it.
Second, pay attention to local candidates. Don't vote for anyone who isn't committed to lowering taxes. It'll take a few cycles, but if you're #DigginIn...there's no other choice.
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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