Friday, February 22, 2008

A Good Thing and I am not Talking Martha Stewart Here

"...that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing." Thomas Jefferson

“Dear Friend,

Please allow me to share with you my concerns about Governor Corzine’s so- called asset monetization /fiscal restructuring plan also known as his toll hike/ driver’s tax scheme….

Early in January, Governor Corzine held a private briefing for legislators on his proposal. As the Governor and his Chief of Staff, former State Treasurer Bradley Abelow, rolled out the details, it became apparent how convoluted and dangerous the program will be: a seventy-five to one hundred year bonding scheme under the control of two highly paid, newly created not- for-profit boards that will borrow $41 billion dollars for both debt service and NEW spending and will cost nearly $200 billion to pay off. Further, with tolls for commercial trucking nearly tripled in the first six years, it is frightening to imagine how much traffic will be diverted to non- toll roads, like Routes 78, 80, 46 and 31 all of which run right through our District. This is simply one more consequence of the proposal that I find completely unacceptable….” (excerpt from a letter written by Assembly woman Marcia Karrow , February 11, 2008 that was distributed at the town meeting at Hunterdon Central, Wednesday, February 20, 2008)

Expanding on Asemblywoman Karrow’s concerns is that the toll hike increase on trucks and commercial vehicles will be an expense that will be passed onto the consumer in the form of higher priced consumer products. These businesses will not be absorbing these extra costs as a gesture of kindness to their customers, be assured. So the cost of living in general will also increase.

Another major fear here is establishing a state mechanism for borrowing money that is now taken out the hands of the people. The wisdom of the Founders prescribed that the power of the purse remains in the hands of the people through their elected representatives in the legislatures. We can vote the representatives out or into office as we deem fit. This mechanism for borrowing ends our power as voters to control the purse strings. I don’t know about you, but being a serf does not much appeal to me.

Now folks, there is so much wrong here I hardly know where to begin. Even in the mind of this ivory tower philosopher who avoids number crunching passionately, borrowing $41 billion to retire a debt while making more debt and paying close to $200 billion to pay off some $41 billion in the first place, only if the interest rate stays at 2 percent, mind you, for the next 75 years…well this is hardly sound business and is ironically offered by our businessman governor. Surely he jests …but he does not. This is why in a period of some 48 hours I saw about 100 people at a Border's book signing for the book dedicated to exposing the corruption in Trenton, “The “Soprano State “ and some 300 people at the Little Theater at Hunterdon Central Wednesday who are ripping angry, talking of taking to the streets with pitch forks. See for more info.

The bottom line here is that the state for several years now has been spending about $5 billion more than it has. Yet we see the spending increasing all the time. Seniors cannot afford this plan, our next generation cannot. I daresay neither can you. Yet we will be struggling with it, our children will be and so will their children. Not the hope for life we want to pass onto our offspring, is it? It says a great deal to you when a Republican delegation comes to town with little partisan talk, trying to impress on you that the ship of state is being sailed into a quagmire of unchecked debt. NJ, we have a problem. We cannot send a few soldiers into battle alone and think they will win the war against the political machinery well entrenched in Trenton that is at the root of it. These party bosses will not go quietly into the night. Assembly members, Marcia Karrow, Rick Merkt and Mike Doherty need to have the battalions of the taxpayers publicly behind them, showing this governor so cavalier with our money and our rights that we are putting our foot down.

For more information about budgets and NJ spending check ... Here, you can check government salaries and figures by municipality i.e. Flemington specifically.

There are budget cuts to be made that will not adversely affect you. Check, …click on End Government Waste.

Stay tuned.

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