Press of Atlantic City: With or without Murphy, Legislature must fix NJ finances - Garden State Initiative

IN THE NEWS

Governor Murphy, Economic Opportunity for All

Press of Atlantic City: With or without Murphy, Legislature must fix NJ finances

January 23, 2020

FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

The pain of New Jersey’s unsustainable finances is being relieved temporarily by the robust U.S. economy. That has helped residents and businesses, and boosted state government revenues.

But the fiscal sickness has worsened and when the inevitable next national downturn comes, the combination of extremely high taxes, nation-leading debt and government employee pension/health promises will bring excruciating pain.

The $48 billion in state debt and $152 billion in politicians’ promises that future officials and residents pay for lavish health and pension benefits already put every New Jersey family of four on the hook for $72,464. That’s the biggest such burden in the nation, a ridiculous amount compared to the less than $3,000 liability for each resident of New York and Pennsylvania.

Yet Gov. Phil Murphy insists on raising taxes, letting the debt grow and making more promises to the government unions that provide money and workers for political campaigns. His first two budgets, even after compromises forced by the Legislature, increased New Jersey government spending by $2.6 billion.

Legislators see the state’s dire fiscal condition and are moving slowly to address it.

Last week they overwhelmingly voted to establish a legislative New Jersey Economic and Fiscal Policy Review Commission.

Read the full editorial here.