Sunday, August 19, 2007

A State for Sale

New Jersey is for sale, going to the highest bidder.

Right now, it is the New Jersey Turnpike, next it will be the Garden State Parkway, and who knows possibly NJ government itself.

We need to ask ourselves, “why, as a state we are selling off our assets?”

Is it because of the pork barrel spending, is it because of nepotism, and is it because of mismanagement and misappropriation of our money? Is it because ethics in New Jersey is at such a high level?

Does it really matter whose fault it is? At what point do we stop placing the blame on why or who caused us to get here? When will the finger-pointing stop and government take responsibility for their own actions?

In a business environment, you are hired to fix the existing problems, not to point fingers at the last person who created the situation. If that were the case, the last person would still be there.

Government needs to take a step back and take a serious look at how our money is spent and where it is going.

If we cannot manage the money we already have, how would generating new taxes help? The raising of taxes must stop. Either we find a different tax formula to pay for what we already have, or take what we already have, set priorities and redistribute it differently.

Some ingenious ways we have come up with to deal with the many issues facing our state:

Removing the front license plates from New Jersey vehicles . . . this would possibly save enough money to pay for the cost of manufacturing the back plates.

Jumping into the pork barrel and grabbing a $100,000 for the Arts Council . . . this would help many generate more sales tax revenue from all the ticket sales.

Naming of state dirt . . . Downers Soil will help give us a better appreciation of our farms.

The banning of aluminum bats, naming the tomato as a state vegetable, asking a state college to spend their money updating their logo with the letters NJ, after cutting millions from their budget . . . will go a long way in helping many families and students with tuition costs.

Excess lottery money was to be used in a bill for a voter drawing? By going to vote you would have a chance to win a million dollars. If we are going to touch the excess lottery funds, would it not be put to better use towards a student tuition program? Alternatively, a State College showing outstanding Academic Achievement might qualify for extra funds.

I suggest raising the tolls on the Parkway and Turnpike for a few years until we generate enough revenue to put us back in the black. Then drop the tolls back to where they were before the increase, or adjusted to the rate of inflation. However, we all know that in New Jersey once an increase in instituted, it will never go down. New Jersey government will figure out a way to spend it.

We had to shut the state down because we had no spending plan? How about coming up with a Savings Plan? To ask our legislature to go into session for weeks on end to come up with a new tax program, then shut the state down, and then tell everyone to go home because as a governor I have a better idea was a waste of time, energy.

Since 2002, it has been on financial crisis after another, because those in power refuse to address the real problems. After sending 45, 000 state workers home, closing state government for a week, $1.8 billion in tax increases, implementing a one percent sales tax increase, millions in lost revenue we are no closer to a balanced budget than before we started.

When we cannot agree on what is best for the welfare of our citizens, when we no longer care about common sense, we as a state and as a people lose.

Government is supposed to be there for the general welfare of the people, not to consistently take money out of their pockets.

We are at sea in a sinking ship, our citizens are treading water to stay afloat, and now New Jersey government wants their life jackets.

Incomes have not risen to keep pace with inflation, yet New Jersey government keeps taking money from the very people that are struggling everyday to make ends meet.

Taking money from the businesses that employ our citizens slows down growth.

Property taxes, affordable housing, education, eminent domain, loss of jobs and homes, are the real issues the people are facing. Giving the people an opportunity for an affordable place to live, not having to worry if their homes will be taken, the security of knowing their jobs will not be leaving the state, letting them keep a larger share of their income, education of their children are the real issues.

If New Jersey were a business, we could not sell it with all the debt we have. As a business, we would be bankrupt.

Going once, going twice! Sold to the highest bidder; who will be deemed the person or persons nominated as the buyer or buyers . . . unless there is someone else offering more.

Joe Sinagra
NJ 18th District
Assembly Candidate

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