More government spending will create nothing but higher taxes
By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist
(Reprinted from October 13, 2010 Current-Gazette Newspapers in Atlantic
and Cape May Counties, http://www.shorenewstoday.com/index….her-taxes.html)
The tea party movement is giving us some exciting elections this Nov 2. But
are they all in Alaska, Florida, Nevada and other states and congressional
districts far from South Jersey?
The tea party movement was not organized or disciplined enough to give
16-year incumbent Republican Congressman Frank LoBiondo the challenge he
Some local tea party folks did get involved in the contested Republican
primary elections in Cape May County last June. But they helped Republican
insiders led by Michael Donohue and Gerry Thornton defeat another bunch of
insiders led by long-term Republican County Chairman David Von Savage. How
did this advance the tea party agenda?
In Atlantic County, Republican lawyer and freeholder for the
Folsom-Hammonton-Mullica-Mays Landing District Jim Curcio is running to
unseat the current surrogate, Republican-turned-Democrat Jim Carney. And Art
Schenker, president of Local 322 of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union, is
challenging Joe McDevitt for freeholder of all Atlantic County.
It is hard to get excited over the county surrogate. The position should
have been eliminated when the new Constitution of 1948 stripped all 21
county surrogates of the power to act as judges in cases involving wills,
estates and guardians. The current surrogate, Jim Carney, admits he switched
to Democrat to run for surrogate five years ago so he could boost his
pension before he retired.
Ditto for Atlantic County freeholders. Unlike in most other counties, they
have little power. They don’t hire, fire, or supervise the various county
departments. That is done by the powerful county executive, Republican
Atlantic County freeholders do little but approve budgets and bond issues
that spend and borrow money. But in today’s world of bailouts and
“stimulus,” that is very important.
When you think about it, you understand that government does not and cannot
create jobs or stimulate the economy by borrowing or spending money.
Every nickel government spends to give a job to one person is taken from
someone else by taxing or borrowing. This takes away jobs. When government
borrows money, any benefit created when the money is spent is lost when the
money has to be paid back. (See http://bastiat.org/en)
Politicians, union teachers and the media fool people into thinking that
government spending stimulates the economy and creates jobs because they
only show us when government spends money to prop up some store or business.
They are never around to explain how the high taxes and debt caused by
government stimulus force other factories and businesses to close, and put
other people out of work.
During the past 12 years, Atlantic County government went deeply into debt,
mostly to create jobs for highly paid union members. Now we are paying
roughly $20 million each year (11 percent of our county budget) to pay that
money back. With Atlantic City casinos, and beachfront luxury homes in
Brigantine, Margate and Longport taxed at a fraction of their previous
values, the rest of us are paying higher taxes to pay back this debt. The
new Revel Casino will be exempt from paying most county taxes for 20 years.
Jim Curcio and Joe McDevitt were the first Atlantic County freeholders to
recognize the danger of this debt and to urge caution on future borrowing.
McDevitt opposed borrowing $40 million to expand the Atlantic County
Institute of Technology. He pointed out that the county school was
duplicating programs already offered by many local high schools. Curcio and
McDevitt also opposed having Atlantic County taxpayers bail out the debt of
the Atlantic County Utilities Authority with higher fees for dumping trash,
and guaranteeing the debt of Boscov’s.
Meanwhile, Democrat Art Schenker was on the “Pinky’s Corner” radio program
last week promising to have county government “stimulate the economy” and
“create jobs.” He would do this by borrowing and spending millions more on
new government construction projects that would give most of us nothing but
higher taxes for years to come. Only a handful of the 1,000 members of Art
Schenkers Plumbers Union and some members of the other building trades
unions would benefit. They would be paid far more than what others get for
doing the same work.
If Curcio and McDevitt lose on Nov. 2, both Democratic and Republican
leaders will assume that most Atlantic County voters agree that more
borrowing and taxes “creates jobs” and “stimulates the economy.” And that is
exactly what both parties will give us.
Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman appears live on WVLT-92.1FM, heard
throughout South Jersey 8-9 a.m. every Saturday. For information see
www.libertyandprosperity.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or
call (609) 927-7333. Breakfast discussions are held 9:30-10:30 a.m. every
Saturday at the Shore Diner, Tilton and Fire roads, Egg Harbor Township.