Only Government Grows in Slowing Economy
By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist
??? New Jersey’s income is going down.?? Gross revenues in Atlantic City’s 11 casinos fell $31.3 million (7.9%) from April, 2007 to April, 2008.?? That was after gross operating profits fell by $435 million (9.6%) from 2006 to 2007.?? The three Trump properties lost $18.6 million in January, February, and March of this year.?? Last year, they lost “only” $8.1 million.
??? Pinnacle is not rushing to spend $1.5 billion on a brand new casino hotel.?? Nobody is in a hurry to pay a mere one billion dollars for the pre-owned Tropicana.?? Delta Airlines stopped flying to Atlantic City.
??? Statewide, the Rutgers University Economic Advisory Service predicted ten years of a “worsening job market and growth slower than in the rest of the nation” for New Jersey.?? And this was BEFORE $3.54 per gallon gas, Paid Family Leave, and the ban on smoking in casinos.
??? Mark Zanid, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com, recently advised consumers that when the economy stalls, “you have to begin living within your means, or you’ll be forced to do so”.???
??? That advice also applies to government.?? But our New Jersey officials don’t believe that, and so they continue to increase spending.
??? The budget of Hamilton Township (Mays Landing) went up by 11.1%, Northfield by 12%, Brigantine by 11%, Ocean City by 12%, etc.
??? Most school budgets also went up.?? Mainland High School went up by about 7%, even after cuts by town officials.?? Ocean City public schools went up 5% per year over the past two years.?? Ditto for Atlantic Cape Community College.?? And of course the College and Atlantic County’s Vocational High School are planning multi-million dollar expansions.
??? We don’t yet know what will happen with the state budget next month.?? But already, state legislators are talking about toll hikes, salt water fishing licenses, and new taxes on fast food, beverage bottles, and water.
??? Governor Jon Corzine and the public employee unions want you to believe these “structural” tax hikes every year are caused by too many small towns and school districts.
??? But in spite of some expensive duplication (which can be easily fixed without consolidation), small towns and school districts are much more efficient than big ones.?? It is hard to hide waste and corruption in small organizations.
??? The proof is that New Jersey state government, the biggest and most consolidated part of government hired 54,800 new people in the last seven years, while private business created only 3,801 new jobs.
??? The problem is our public “servants” and the powerful unions we force them to pay dues to.?? New Jersey cops, firemen, and teachers are already the highest paid in the country.
??? But they still demand and get more.?? Right now, the NJEA teacher’s union is fighting for (and getting) “$50K from the first day” — $50,000 a year starting salaries for 22 year old teachers just out of school with zero experience.?? (There are already hundreds of qualified applicants for every job opening!)
??? How will this end??? There are two possibilities.?? Either New Jersey citizens will wake up, organize, and take back control of their government.?? I again invite you to get involved with www.libertyandprosperity.org.?? And learn how to be an effective free citizen by signing up for Steve Lonegan’s leadership seminar on May 29.?? The tax-takers are already well organized and constantly attend seminars to sharpen their political skills.
??? Or the problem will fix itself in a more painful way.?? When enough of New Jersey’s wealthiest and most productive people move out, those few who remain will be unable to pay.?? When that happens, many of our public schools and our state, county, and local governments (including the pension funds) will be insolvent, and “unable to pay their debts as they come due”.?? Then our local papers will report stories like this:
??? “The City Council of Vallejo, (near San Francisco) voted to declare bankruptcy Tuesday. . . . The Council voted 7-0 to declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection as a means to reorganize its finances, which have been shattered by spiraling public employee salaries and the plummeting housing market. . . . What’s unknown is whether bankruptcy will dissolve the city’s labor contracts, which most City Hall staffers say is the primary reason for the city’s financial mess. . . . Cities and counties throughout California are in a predicament similar to Vallejo’s, and many are watching to see what happens in the North Bay city of the next few? months.”?? (San Francisco Chronicle, May 7, 2008)
For more information, visit www.libertyandprosperity.org or contact Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-927-7333.??? Seth Grossman hosts a two way talk radio program every Saturday from 8am – 9am on WVLT Vineland, 92.1 FM.