We're not. We are confronting the fact that we can no longer afford, that we really never could afford but tricked ourselves into thinking we could, the excesses of government that we've come to think of as necessities and requirements.
County and municipal governing bodies, and school boards are suffering from the shock of a shattered fantasy of unlimited funds.
That the cries of "unfair" are coming from both the left and the right, from the unions and the suburban conservative activists, tells me that Governor Christie's cuts are probably on the mark.
To those on the left, the government workers and teachers unions, I really don't have anything to say. They more than any group got us here. They wouldn't listen to me anyway because I'm a wingnut. They should just keep spending their members dues money on shrill ads and use scare tactics on the kids they are supposed to be educating. The public is not buying it anymore and the tactics will backfire. The sooner they spend all their money on propaganda that isn't working the sooner they will shut up.
To my friends on the right who are screaming "the suburbs who elected Christie are getting screwed" I say, You just noticed? Of course we are getting screwed. We've been getting screwed for decades...since the state income tax was implemented, the Abbott and Costello decision and the sermon on Mount Laurel decision.
For people who espouse to be politically savvy, I'm amazed that you still can't count votes.
Christie has to get his budget passed by the Democratic legislature and the State Socialist Supreme Court. Do the math.
Our fiscal problems have been built over decades. They are not going to be solved in one budget cycle. Four cycles maybe if we're extraordinarily lucky, but definitely not one.
Here in Monmouth County we are fortunate. We have excesses that we need to cut. Excesses that we think are necessities but aren't. But we are in much better shape than many places.
I was talking with a lawyer who lives in Montclair (Essex County) yesterday. He happens to be a Democrat. He was praising Christie's leadership and bemoaning the fact that Montclair, a town of about 30,000 (half the size of Middletown) has 112 police officers and a paid fire department of about the same size. When you call the non-emergency police phone number the voice message tells you to hang up and call 911 if you have an emergency. It then says to press 1 to hire an off duty police officer. That is excess.
Still, we have excesses at every level of government here. We just can't see it yet because we think somethings are necessary that are not.
I'll offer some harsh suggestions to my friends who are grappling with budgets over the next few days and weeks. For today I'll offer a light hearted revenue generating idea that would work but I highly doubt any will take seriously.
This morning on app.com I noticed this jersey shore moms (not to be confused with Christine Hanlon's GOP moms) posting about a 50 something Colorado couple that caught the attention of their neighbors while they were gardening in the front yard of their public housing complex wearing only thongs. Turns out the local anti-nudity laws prohibit only genital exposure. The couple was covered.
Just as March goes out like a lamb leading to April showers and May flowers, thousands of people who are like that Colorado couple start flocking to Monmouth County every year to visit Sandy Hook were there is a beach designated for them to let it all hang out. People drive hundreds of miles every weekend in the summer, from Maine and Virginia, to visit that beach. The parking lot for that beach is always to first to fill. I bet it will be half full today, March 20. When Sandy Hook closes because it is filled to capacity, often by 10 am on a nice summer weekend, you can often find some of those people on secluded beaches along the Shrewsbury and the Bayshore.
If managed correctly, designated bayshore beaches, from Aberdeen to Highlands, could generate more revenue than cell tower leases.
Beach badges wouldn't work, but ink stamps like the night clubs use would. The stamps would be more environmentally friendly than badges, another selling point.
You could charge a premium to curiosity seeking gawkers. $10 for a stamp on the glute and $20 for a stamp on the hand.
Labor costs would be minimal. There would be no cost for
You couldn't prohibit photography because of the 1st amendment. But you could require revenue generating permits. I don't think that such permits would generate all that much revenue because there most certainly would be more "No comment" than "Comment" shots available.
This would also be a boom to area businesses, creating jobs and generating sales tax revenue.
That's my revenue idea of the day. Now I have to run a few errands before the Highlands St. Patrick's parade at 2pm. If you're coming to the parade, keep your shirt on, please.