New Jersey attempting to ween itself from federal teat
The Star-Ledger today, in an article titled, “Gov. Christie’s proposed budget could cost state agencies millions in federal grants” made the case for more dependence on federal stimulus and tax money to balance the books.
But, isn’t that what we’ve been trying for over 20 years now as a state?
Consider: The dire cuts in education are made radically worse by the fiscal slight-of-hand known as the stimulus money. Obama stimulus money totalling $100 billion was directed to states for education. New Jersey was one of the top recipients. Yet the New York Times reports that “of the 20 states in the study by Michael A. Rebell, a professor at Teachers College, and two colleagues, Jessica Wolff and Dan Yaverbaum, six of them — Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, New Jersey and Washington — had allotted all of their education stabilization money to schools for this school year and last, leaving zero to spend on the school term beginning this fall.”
It’s hard to pin down exactly how much money New Jersey got from the stimulus funds, but one article from the Star-Ledger put that number at $609 million as of April of last year. So bad, however, was the financial mismanagement of the New Jersey education system that our then menacing liberal overlord, the befuddled Jon Corzine, chose to spend all $609 million in one shot so as to cook the books and bolster his chances at re-election. Instead of being a good steward of the money given, Governor Corzine simply spent like a drunken sailor to appease the teacher union, buy some votes, and put lipstick on the pig of New Jersey’s fiscal crisis. That’s not leadership, that’s nefarious narcissism at its worst.
This type of budgeting was done across the board and in every department of the state. And while Corzine was a master at this practice, he was not alone. Aided by the crooks and buffoons in the New Jersey senate and assembly, he continued the time honored tradition of fiscal malfeasance set forth by his predecessors Jim Florio, Christie Whitman and Jim McGreevey. Thus, Governor Christie, upon entering office, found the situation much more dire than he was led to believe. Whatever your thoughts of his choices in making ends meet, credit is due for his unwillingness to just join the elite club of the cook-booking governors of yesteryear.
Put bluntly, those folks in New Jersey angry over some of Christie’s cuts might want to re-direct at least some of their ire from the current governor to the ghosts of governors past.
Other state governors, like Sarah Palin, Rick Perry and Haley Barbour chose to refuse at least part of the federal stimulus spending exactly because it was like putting a bandage on a gushing wound. It also, as we see in New Jersey, created unfunded mandates across the board that the state was then left to pick up the tab on when the federal teat became dried up and shriveled. Or, put another way, when our grandchildren’s piggy banks came up empty and China stopped lending us money.
The media misses the across the board cutting that Christie is doing. People are focused only on educational spending as though Christie is singling out the field of education. People pray for Christie’s death and joke about putting a hit out on him while simultaneously lamenting trumped up fake charges against the allegedly “blood-thirsty” tea party folks against Democratic congressmen. No hard evidence has been provided in those cases, although a Republican congressman, Eric Cantor of Virginia did actually have a man arrested for threatening to kill him and shooting his office and Twitter was al abuzz with folks calling for the murder of Sarah Palin. Did you hear about that or was your trusted media too busy pushing the false narrative about congressmen who were allegedly spit on by tea party activists, albeit in such a miraculous manner as to aboid every single one of the thousands of media cameras and individual cell phones capable of recording the incident?
This financial wreckage is not of Christie’s making. Governors from both parties over the last several decades have been putting off till the next governor what needed reform today. Jon Corzine’s dastardly book cooking is obscene by comparison to Christie’s attempts to balance the books, albeit while having to cut funding to some very worthy projects.
The Star-Ledger report also criticizes Christie for cutting funding to the state department of Homeland Security because it would result in losing matching federal funds. Those funds, however, again will only be a one-time gift that the state will end up having to replace in a future fiscal year to the detriment of our taxpayers.
The report then criticizes Christie for cutting funding for “all funding for doctor visits that include gynecological visits, birth control, breast exams and disease testing and treatment.” His woman-hating action also results in the loss of federal matching money.
Of course, they are disguising the truth once again. This funding was exclusively to Planned Parenthood. This was funding that was not going to innocent gynecological visits and breast exams. This was funding of a radical leftist organization that pushes young women into aborting their pregnancies without full possession of facts and in most cases, after being dealt a bunch of half-truths and wrong information regarding fetal development. Given that New Jersey is behind only New York in the rate of teenage abortions, you can understand how the loving and compassionate Planned Parenthood folks are not motivated by their bottom line and only making life easier for their clients.
What more would you expect from an organization that makes most of its bottom line on performing abortions and sells tee-shirts declaring “I had an abortion!” as a fundraising item?
So that Christie would cut all funding to a decidedly leftist organization pushing an agenda that minimally at least half of the population disagrees with is not a scandal, it’s integrity.
While Governor Christie is making tough choices in Trenton to shift the paradigm of fiscal policy away from a spend-at-all-costs and worry about the bill tomorrow mentality to one of restraint and common sense, prominent members of our congressional delegation continue to tug at the federal teat in order to keep the good times rolling (and no doubt to ensure their eternal re-election victories.) Take Rob Andrews, one of the “big dogs” on the healthcare reform, as one example. Andrews is so prominent in the healthcare battle that President Obama is throwing a party to honor him in Cherry Hill. Admittedly, Cherry Hill is not in Andrews’ legislative district, suggesting that perhaps his own constituents who mobbed last summer’s healthcare town hall meeting at Rowan to confront him might not be in a celebratory mood over his legislative victory lap.
Andrews publicly hails Obamacare as a victory for “justice” and “decency” while privately admitting to his liberal pals that the plan is to drive out private industry from healthcare and cede another one sixth of the nation’s economy to government control. Need proof? The government is now hiring 16-17,000 new IRS regulators set to get all up in your business to make sure you are buying into the “free” healthcare or risk losing your tax rebate.
Just as a side note, Obamacare is already having an effect. Countless school employees in New Jersey are being told to be prepared to get dumped into the public health plan as the cost of private insurance will be driven through the roof by this reform. Additionally, countless private companies have announced a slashing of their own benefit plans due to increased fees and taxes. And locally, my own aunt witnessed an older woman refusing to pay her portion of her medical bill because Obama said it was free now. When confronted with the reality that it wasn’t, she simply threw her hands into the air and left without paying.
This will be the legacy of Obamacare.
That’s why common sense conservatives like Dale Glading are standing up to liberal federal teat hangers on like Rob Andrews and attempting to wake New Jersey residents up to the reality that money doesn’t grow on trees, government or otherwise.
New Jersey is beginning a long and painful process to shift our fiscal paradigm from one that indefinitely holds our hands out for string-laden freebies while punting the bills for our out-of-control spending to a later date to one of restraint and common sense. Leaders like Glading and Christie should be applauded for their efforts to save future generations from our disgraceful fiscal gluttony.