Last month, state politicians “rescued” Atlantic City government with more unsustainable debt and spending–and 10 year tax breaks for casino hotels.
This month, it’s another Titanic “rescue”. ? This time it’s for the mismanaged NJ Transportation Trust Fund Authority and holders of its high-interest, tax-free junk bonds. ?Once again, lifeboats for the rich. ?Everybody else drowns.?
After months of secret meetings, Trenton politicians just announced their plan to ?rescue? the NJ Transportation Trust Fund Authority.
All of the $1.5 billion per year collected from current tolls and gas taxes will pay back $16 billion previously borrowed .? The state will nearly triple the gasoline tax to collect another billion dollars per year.??? This will let the Authority borrow another $20 billion to build and fix things until that money runs out and we have another ?crisis?.
In return, a handful of political insiders will get big rewards.? Investors with high yield, tax-free bonds will be bailed out and paid in full.??? Rich families living on tax free income will get tax breaks when they die and give their fortunes to their kids.? The 2,000+ retired public employees getting $100,000 plus pensions per year will also get big tax breaks.
Like with the Titanic and Atlantic City ?rescue,? it’s lifeboats for the rich. ?Everybody else drowns.
We don?t have to do this.? The Transportation Trust Fund Authority never got voter approval for its $16 billion debt as required by our State Constitution.??? There is no legal or moral obligation to pay it back.?? Investors were clearly warned that Authority bonds were irregular and risky.
Nearly 180 years ago, New Jersey recovered from a financial collapse known as the ?Panic of 1837? by adopting a new State Constitution.? It required voter approval for all state government borrowing and gave us years of liberty and prosperity.
Since the 1960?s, state politicians and clever lawyers created dozens of ?authorities? to by-pass this safeguard.??? That explains much of our high debt, corruption and taxes in NJ today.
To fix our economy and our roads, tell Senator Whelan, and Assemblymen Brown and Mazzeo ?Enough?.
No more payments on debt not approved by voters.??? Let the rotten NJ Transportation and Trust Fund Authority go bankrupt.??? No gas tax hike.? No bailouts.??? Use every dime of the $1.5 billion we pay in tolls and gas tax each year to fix our roads and bridges.
To most NJ politicians, this is business as usual. ? They whack the voters today. ? They assume most voters will forget by the election next year. ? ?The only way to change this is to begin and sustain a protracted struggle that will last until the primary elections next June.
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Seth Grossman, Executive Director.