Tired of getting so little for such high taxes? Get informed, then angry, then organized!
By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist
It took me over? ten hours to drive from Atlantic City to my Duke University
Reunion? in North Carolina last? weekend.??? I? avoided rush hour in
Baltimore and DC, but the 442 mile trip? routinely takes me two hours longer
now, than when I was a student in the 1960’s.??? I-95 is a mess from the
Maryland House to Fredericksburg, Virginia? almost any time you drive.?? The
two lanes of most of Route 40 between Atlantic City and Delaware are as slow
as when President Warren Harding built them as a favor to “Nucky” Johnson in
?????? Visiting my mom in New York is no better.?? Whether by car or bus, I
am usually stuck outside the Holland or Lincoln tunnels for half an hour.
And? that final merge from? eight lanes to two just before those tunnels is
a nerve-wracking ordeal.?? Train service to New York flopped because the
tracks go more than 40 miles out of the way through Philadelphia.
There is a simple reason for all this.?? We have the same three tunnels and
bridges from New Jersey to Manhattan that we had 70 years ago when America
had only 130 million people.? (Now we have 310 million).?? The Holland
Tunnel was built in 1927, the Lincoln Tunnel? in 1934, and the George
Washington Bridge in 1931.?? No major railroad tracks were put down in New
Jersey since World War I.??? The hundreds of millions of dollars in extra
tolls collected by the Delaware Memorial Bridge in 50 years to build our own
bridge-tunnel between Cape May and Lewes Delaware (to? bypass Washington and
Baltimore) were wasted.
When you gas up your car,? the Federal government gets 18.4 cents a gallon
and the state gets 14.5 cents.?? That gives roughly $900 million to the
state and $1.1 billion to the federal? government? for new highway and
bridge construction in New Jersey every year.?? And, of course, we also pay
a fortune in tolls.
But our transportation system did not keep up with our growing needs and
population.?? We have no money to fix the roads and train tracks we already
have-let alone build anything new.
Unions, politics, and environmental laws today are so expensive that the
state borrowed against 20 years of future gasoline tax collections just to
pay for what it built in the last few years.? All of the $900 million we pay
in gasoline? taxes? this year will just pay interest on debt for things like
running near empty trains between Trenton and Camden, renovating “historic”
train stations with no trains or passengers in Tuckahoe and Richland, paying
$400 million for? 2.6 miles of bridge and causeway between Somers Point and
Ocean City (twice the cost of the? 17.6 mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel
to Virginia Beach), etc.
We gave our politicians all the money they needed for? safe and adequate
roads and bridges.?? But they used that money to get themselves political
support and campaign cash instead.?? Now our state government is broke and
in debt.?? We are stuck with a transportation system that? is falling apart.
The same thing is happened? to higher education.??? Last week,? our daily
newspaper reported that a new $65 million Campus Center at Stockton College
was “designed to wow”.?? During the past two years,? Stockton College
borrowed more than two hundred million dollars for things like fancy new
dorms, with nearly a million dollars just to transplant large trees.? It
bought and rebuilt the failing Seaview Country Club, new buildings in
Hammonton, and tried to buy the NJ Network television station.
Who benefits from all this???? It is normal for a? private college funded by
private donations to spend money in ways that make its donors happy.??? But
when? a government run college gets its money from citizens who are forced
to pay taxes, shouldn’t that college serve a public purpose?
Are we in LibertyandProsperity.org the only people who think that the public
purpose of a public college is to give our kids a no-frills, but high
quality college education for less than $12,000 a year???? If parents want
to crush themselves and their kids with debt and pay more than $25,000 per
year for college, they are free to do so.?? But should a taxpayer funded
college like Stockton financially ruin families who don’t send their kids to
those private colleges?
You can change all this.? But only if you?get yourself informed, angry,
and organized.?? LibertyandProsperity.org can help you with all three.