New Jersey Governor-elect Phil Murphy has joined with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and California Gov. Jerry Brown in blasting Republican legislators' federal tax plan.

During a telephone news conference Monday, Murphy said the proposal would have a potentially devastating impact on the people of New Jersey, giving huge tax breaks to the rich and crumbs to everybody else, widening our inequalities.

“It’s continuing down this awful path of us vs. them leadership from Washington,” he said.

Murphy said the tax plan espouses the "trickle down" economics theory, and “we know it doesn’t work."

"We know executives get paid better and the gap between the very top of the corporate food chain and those on the factory floor widens," he said.

He said under the proposal — actually, two proposals, one approved by the House and another by the Senate — the rich will get richer while those who need more jobs and a higher wage will get left out in the cold.

“It is a scam at the ultimate extreme, it’s as bad as it gets.”

The Senate and House plan would need to be reconciled into a version both could agree upon before a plan would go to President Donald Trump's desk. But Murphy said Republican members of Congress need to reject it.

He said they must ask themselves “are you representing your constituents who elected you, and who you claim to represent, or are you in with President Trump and this wrong-headed leadership in Congress? It’s black and white.”

“We have five Republican members of the House in New Jersey. The last time this came up, four of them voted the right way. We need all of them to vote the right way," Murphy said.

Murphy said right now it’s not even clear if some elements of the proposed tax cut plan are legal, but “the more people understand what’s in this thing, the more we have the potential of folks waking up and saying, 'wait a minute' and really actively pushing back.”

“The more people realize what’s at stake, I think we’re collectively hoping the more people will say you know what, this can’t go forward," he said.

New York Gov. Cuomo said the tax plan is a long way from done and a long way from being a positive.

“It is a fraud on the American people. What they’ve given us so far is a tax cut for the rich. Fifty percent of the benefit goes to the top 1 percent. That’s an inarguable fact,” he said.

He referred to plan, which in the Senate version would cap property tax deductions at $10,000, as “trickle-down on steroids.”

The governors and governor-elect argued the proposed cap, and the elimination of other deductions, was simply not fair.

“It will be devastating for the states that are affected. It will be in essence an increase in people’s property tax and state income tax,” Cuomo said.

California Gov. Brown said “the most immediate evil of this cynical maneuver called the tax bill is to further divide America.”

He also said the tax proposal will make the deficit worse, and said those in favor of the proposal are acting like “a bunch of Mafia thugs.”

Following the telephone news conference, republican Congressman Tom MacArthur issued a release attacking Muprhy:

“If Phil Murphy is so concerned about higher taxes in New Jersey, then why is he planning to raise them? Perhaps Phil Murphy should get his ducks in a row in Trenton, where legislative leaders are already questioning his disastrous fiscal policies, before he attacks a bill that reduces tax rates, doubles the standard deduction, provides tax credits for childcare and care of adult dependents, and preserves the property tax deduction. The reality is simple: The bill I voted for will cut taxes, while Phil Murphy wants to raise them.”

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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