Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Steve Lonegan on the Corzine Budget


-- Codey did the same “cuts” three years ago.

BOGOTA -- Americans for Prosperity New Jersey Director Steve Lonegan called Governor Jon Corzine’s proposed budget a “phony freeze” similar to that done by Governor Codey in 2006 and said the state needs real spending reductions to bring New Jersey back.

“New Jersey state spending has doubled in ten years, gone up fifty percent since McGreevey was elected and even with the alleged reductions will be nearly twenty percent higher than it was when Governor Corzine took office,” Lonegan said. “The Governor’s proposal does nothing to reduce New Jersey’s out of control tax burden, nothing to reduce New Jersey’s ridiculous welfare state and nothing to cap the outrageous pensions and other giveaways to public employees.”

Lonegan said that Corzine’s proposal was deficient and should be corrected with the following steps.

· Immediate layoffs, not “early retirement” schemes that keep employees in the pension system.
· Elimination of “Project Labor Agreements” that drive up the cost of state, county and local government construction projects.

· Stopping billions of dollars in debt already authorized but not yet borrowed.

· Elimination of departments including State, Community Affairs, the Comptroller and the Public Advocate.

· Repeal the 9 percent pension hike passed in 2001.

· End state municipal aid to so-called “Abbott” districts that already receive virtually unlimited school aid.

· Raise the retirement age for public employees to 65 and end longevity bonuses.

· The new war on small towns with less than 10,000 residents must be rejected. These towns are the most efficiently run in the state and Corzine’s proposal attempts to eliminate them.

· Stopping the use of “rebate” programs as income redistribution schemes, instead of looking at permanent tax relief.

· Crack down on out of control pensions, lavish medical benefits and order new and recent employees into 401(k) programs.

· Sunset all state regulations for a complete review.

· Initiative and Referendum to allow taxpayers to take charge of state government from an out-of-control legislature.

· End binding arbitration for public employees, including police officers.

· Stopping subsidies to New Jersey Network and selling the licenses and facilities to the highest bidder.

· Eliminate all unfunded state mandates on county and local governments.

· Announce he will veto the Paid Family Leave legislation that creates a new $130 Million payroll tax and a new open-ended entitlement program.

· Roll back new garbage taxes, the $10 television tax, the $500 S-Corporation tax and other new taxes passed under the McGreevey-Codey-Corzine administration.

· Oppose any new taxes or toll increases.

“New Jersey has the highest state sales tax in the country, the highest property taxes, the worst income taxes and the worst small business climate in the nation,” Lonegan said. “Corzine’s budget is the same phony ‘freeze’ Dick Codey put in before the last election and you can bet that if Corzine somehow gets re-elected in 2009 that the days of big spending, higher taxes, out-of-control debt and more regulations will be back and worse than ever.”

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