Saturday, July 21, 2007

What happened to the other $29 billion?

Senator Ray Lesniak says cutting spending won't solve our state fiscal problems because the "the operating budget of the state is less than $4 billion."

In a post on the Star Ledger's NJ Voices blog, Lesniak acknowledges that he has been part of the problem in Trenton, but says, "No more. I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem." Yet he offers no solutions. He says he wants to reduce the $100 million in debt piled up by Whitman, DiFranceso and McGreevey, but doesn't say how.

Of course he wants to be part of the solution. He still has a state pension to pad.

Letting Lesniak, and his ilk, "be part of the solution" is akin to a junkie going to his crack dealer for rehab advice.

Lesniak chides "All those geniuses" who say the solution is to cut spending. He has a point. Cutting spending alone won't do it. We also need to cut taxes, reduce regulation and cut the waste from the $29 billion that Lesniak implies is off limits.

Lesniak's post is a lame attempt to build support for and reduce the overwhelming resistance to "monetizing" the toll roads and the lottery. He says his Democratic colleagues don't want to talk about this because it is "unpopular and difficult to explain."

It's not difficult to explain. "Monetizing" means borrowing more money! It really is that simple. It is unpopular because it is a stupid idea! It's just another gimmick and more of the same crap that got us into this mess.

Here's an idea that will generate even more money than selling, I mean monetizing, I mean borrowing against the future revenues of the toll roads and the lottery. This idea will also solve the property tax problem, urban blight in Camden and Newark, and improve education:

Sell the schools. All of them. Make every school a private school and have the state issue tuition vouchers for every school age child in New Jersey. Every child gets the same amount.

How's that for genius Senator? I know, you don't like it. It makes too much sense. It's not difficult to explain. And, the unions you are beholden too would never go for it.

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