Senator Tom Kean, Republican leader of the New Jersey Senate, made the following comments after reading the details of the concessions that Jon Corzine made to a state employee union before Vice President Joseph Biden appeared at the governor’s campaign rally. The concessions included the promise of a 7 percent pay raise made during a recession that has robbed thousands of New Jersey workers of their private sector jobs.
“New Jersey’s middle class will pay for years because election-year politics led Governor Corzine to abandon them,” Kean said. “This agreement trades one year of modest benefits for ill-advised concessions that may force tax hikes and service cutbacks for years to come.”
Senator Kean noted that the agreement makes it far more difficult for future governors to make the kinds of common-sense budget choices that taxpayers and voters deserve by locking in large pay increases, promising not to make program cuts that would lead to layoffs or furloughs, and adding a holiday and guaranteed time-off at taxpayer expense.
“Taxpayers all over the state are asking whether this agreement will leave future governors with no other choice but to raise taxes again,” Kean said.
Governor Corzine already has asked for nearly $1 billion in allegedly “temporary” tax increases this year, in addition to increases in motor vehicle fees to balance the budget. Past tax increases have driven private sector jobs from the state and made life more difficult for those who stayed. The governor has pushed billions of dollars of today’s expenses into future years by delaying pension contributions, restructuring debt on terrible terms, and delaying education aid -- moves practically guaranteeing that Democrats will loudly call for tax increases and cutbacks in services to the middle class again after this election year is over, the senator said.
“Middle class taxpayers are paying dearly today for the governor’s weak leadership,” Kean said. “They will pay even more unless change comes to Trenton after 8 disastrous years.”
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