Monday, April 17, 2006

REPUBLICAN REVIVAL

Republicans can make a triumphant return to Trenton if we stand for stuff. Real stuff like property tax reform, not just throwing crumbs like "rebates". They're better than nothing, but far from a solution. We won't get very far if we simply keep saying, "Look at Corzine, he's raising taxes!" Unless we offer solutions to property taxes and related issues like school funding, we're going to remain a minority party. News flash! There are 49 other states out there, and that's an excellent place to start looking for ideas. Jersey doesn't exist in a vacuum.
The Whitman/Gluck/DiFrancesco years set the GOP in this state back 35 years! By being "Democrats lite", and sometimes not so lite, our leadership squandered a golden opportunity to enact real change in this state. When a good law did come out of the Legislature, it often fell under Whitman's veto pen. If the veto was overridden, the Supreme Court would be sure not only to kill the law, but do some legislating of its own.
So, friends, the Republican Party can still beat the odds and return as a majority in Trenton, but we have to give voters a reason to vote for our people.
Saying we're not the Democrats, but we're like the Democrats won't cut it.

10 comments:

michael borg said...

I agree, we have squandered countless opportunities, a great deal of blame should be laid at Whitman's feet.

Bret Schundler would have been a great start, he looks for new and innovative ideas to the problems New Jersey is having. I was very disappointed when he lost. Ronald Reagan made three attempts at the republican nomination...one can only hope.

I just got back from five weeks in Georgia and two in Dallas. I kick myself in the head and think why am I burdening my family with staying in New Jersey. Why do I endure these taxes, congestion, etc. We have to pull our three children out of Catholic school at the end of this year. We just can't afford the tuition and the increase in property taxes. Chasing the housing ratables has been like chasing the genie in the bottle, its just not going to bring in the revenue we need.

We need a plan.

JIM_PURCELL said...

i'll vote for the first republican who has a good one...and doesn't take money from john lynch or jack morris.

and i'ds contribute to the guy or gal as much as i could, and forget the damn donkeys and elephants.

CICERO said...

I agree with Mike Borg. I have from time to time chastized past and present legislators for squandering a decade of Republican control in Trenton. Led by GOP INC. and the appointed liberal republicans, RINO'S at best to the Supremem Court. They ruled in Abbott, created the financial sinkhole of these districts. Teacher Unions get ever growing salaries with no correlation between spending and educational success. Police Officers (who I love and deeply respect) have binding arbritation have ever increasing salaries. On Long Island police chiefs salaries have increased to the point where in some cases they exceed the President of the U.S. You can't keep endlessly increasing teacher and municipal salaries and expect to control local property taxes. Don't be confused, I respect teachers and police officers but if salaries keep going up, local property taxes will have to. State aid the largest portion of State spending has been totally bastardized to reward mismanagement in large unproductive crumbling cities, otherwise known as Democrat vote machines. In Asbury Park 90% of local education spending comes from State aid. In Wall Township less than 10% comes from State Aid. Why the inequity? What abouit equal protection before the law. Why didn't the Republican majorities fight for realignment of State Aid. Because GOP INC. is bought and paid for by huge corporations. They own property in Newark and surrounding cities what will fall in value if they have to bear the cost of their bloated municipal staffs and benefits. The GOP should sponsor a law suit against the State of New Jersey alleging that students in middle and upper class districts are being denied their fair share of State Aid. The Democrats always protect their base. GOP INC. sold us all out. The pension bond refunding which made a small number of the elite friends of the Governess and fortune. It was a fool's errand. We sold bonds bought stock and the market went down. Liberal Supreme Court Justices of dubious legal ability. Why not tell the Governess , "Hell NO!" when she tries to appoint a College Professor, her driver and a former Worker's Compensation Judge. What about a principled conservative to pull this Supreme Court to the right. Instead we found 7 people who didn't know what 51 days meant. Unfortunately in the decade of the 90's we didn't move the ball one inch. We treaded water. The few profited, the many are left with the bill. Pension spending is not going down and as a percentage of the budget it will keep going up.

ginger Hoffmeier said...

Ratables do not help lower property taxes.

COAH, the Council on Affordable Housing, demands that a share of affordable family homes are built along with every commercial ratable in a town.

Consider the cost of education each child in these required family homes and you can see how much of a bite they take out of a ratable's tax dollars.

The rest of the taxes paid by ratables are quickly used up repairing and maintaining roads, providing more police and other services.

As a store or mall declines and is worth less, the taxes the town collects is also less. Empty, run-down stores do not bring in much in tax revenue.

On the other hand, the cost of education per child is increasing and those homes brought in by those stores or mall goes on forever.

A town should welcome ratables ONLY if they are really really needed by the local community, and do not cost the town anything. If it fills the roads with traffic and trash the only one who benefits from the alleged ratable is the developer and the land investors.

The first step in getting NJ property tax under control is by changing the way education is funded. Look at your property tax bills!

I don't see either party stepping up to the bat with this one.

Funding education through income tax and sales tax, or even a lottery dedicated to education makes far more sense for most of us. If you lose your job or your business goes bust your income tax will be lower and you can shop less.

The second step is probably to cut down on the number of school districts. We have twenty one counties in the state but over 600 costly school districts. We put too much faith in "home rule" without realizing how little control each district has over the budget. All these school districts are a major expense and there is no indication that our schools are better for it.

William H Seward said...

Good points by all, except no one, not just here, any where...the press, the politicians, even the principled one's like Bret Schundler, have yet to point to the source of the spiraling cost of government and the spiraling costs of campaigns: Unions.

Not since the real Ronald Reagan has anyone had the balls to stand up to them.

William H Seward said...

michael borg said...

"We need a plan."

JIM_PURCELL said...
"i'll vote for the first republican who has a good one...and doesn't take money from john lynch or jack morris.

and i'ds contribute to the guy or gal as much as i could, and forget the damn donkeys and elephants"

OK, here's the plan:

1) Get rid of civil service, tenure and "prevailing wage"

2) Fund education on the state level via vouchers. Every child gets $8K, and all schools become private and have to compete for the tuition vouchers.

3) Get rid of pensions. All government employees can voluntarily participate in 401K like programs.

4) Roll back the state budget to the pre-McGreavey levels plus inflation(which are still too high) and cap state spending at the rate of inflation unless there is a super majority that authorizes a higher level.

5) Require a super majority to authorize all state debt.

This would work and we'd have massive surpluses in less than 5 years. Our schools would be the best in the nation and we could create a huge "entry tax" for all from out of state who want to live here. It would be a bargin for them, until their home states woke up and did the same things I propose.

This plan, or any like it, will never happen until the unions lose their grip on our government and economy. Hopefully that happens before NJ goes the way of GM

Elephants_not_donkeys said...

Don't forget to dismantle the Abbott school funding formula. At the very least, if it is kept in place, fund those schools to a level on par with the AVERAGE NJ school district, rather than the HIGHEST SPENDING district, which is the current funding plan.

--Elephants

JIM_PURCELL said...

To Bill Seward and elephants:

YES! That would do it. Drastic measures and drastic times, but yes, that could be the recipe. It would change things substantially.

As politically incorrect as that is, the answer cannot be running our seniors out of the state, out-pricing our young couples, bankrupting our middle class and punishing our entrepreneurs.

And, let's talk about the way to attract MANUFACTURING back to this state...at least five years with no taxes for manufacturing plants employing over 500 people. Not Kentucky Fried, Perkins, whatever...real for god MANUFACTURING PLANTS.

Reintroduce the basic elements for a sound economy: manufacturing, commercial and service in proper degrees. it's the "dreary" old formula we all learned in economics about; how to get it right. no flash, no bang, just what works.

something has to be done and there is no more give. this economy can be rebooted. but it has to be built upon a firm foundation that is predictable and dynamic. sound economics first, political drivel last.

and bill, i think that unions would be willing to give to reinstate a sound basic formula and bring manufacturing back. giving a little would mean getting a lot.

William H Seward said...

Jim,

Alot of painful things would have to happen before NJ becomes a manufacturing economy again, and it would take alot more than tax relief for that to happen

ginger Hoffmeier said...

Manufacturing is not coming back. Technology is also on it's way to other continents. That's not coming back either. We have priced ourselves out of the market.

Consider that the standard health benefits provided by employers has risen so high they are no longer part of the package. Emergency rooms are the new "doctor's offices" and more and more families have no access to medical care.

Consider that if someone in this country opened a widget factory they would be making the world's most expensive widgets. Even without unions. Who would buy them?

Consider how much of the manufacturing work previously done by lots and lots of people is now done by a few robots or computers.

Someone still has to design and make the robots, but now much of that work is done by guess who? Robots. One worker and a robot can now do the work of a 100.

Consider too, China and our other "trade partners" can pay workers less because they can live for much less than we can here.

Look at who's working in the manufacturing facilities that we are still operating here -- Mexicans and South Americans because they will work for less. They know how to live cheaply. We don't.

My kids and grandkids will not have the same opportunities in this country as my parents and grandparents. It's a whole new ballgame and we don't have a plan.

We can either go back to farming and provide food for the world's hungry or become a resort nation.

We can't even sell that unique "American Know-how." Our institutes of higher education are educating those from other nations right along with our kids.

Maybe we just have to keep a war going on somewhere. The military offers jobs and a steady pay check, and creates more jobs making guns and tanks but here's another problem. Guess who's working in those factories?

Manufacturing is not going to do it, Jim.