Tag Archives: New Jersey

“We Are Going Up In Flames”: New Jersey In “Worse Shape Than Any Other State” Senate President Admits, by Tyler Durden

It looks like New Jersey, rather than Illinois, may be winning the race to the fiscal bottom. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

For years, it was conventional wisdom that the most financially-challenged state in the US – whether it comes to overall debt burden, outlays, tax collections, underfunded pension and retirement obligations, or simply credit rating – was Illinois, followed closely by New Jersey in second place.

However, according to New Jersey’s Senate president, conventional wisdom is wrong. In an interview with Bloomberg, Senator Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat, said that that credit-rating companies may be underestimating the severity of the state’s financial strains by giving it the second-lowest grade after Illinois.

“We are in worse shape than Illinois,” Sweeney said. “We are not investing in education, we are not investing in the areas that we want because all the money is going to pensions and health care.”

As Bloomberg notes, these comments underscore the persistent fiscal pressure on New Jersey, a high-tax state contending with massive debts to employee pension funds after years of failing to set aside enough to cover the $212 billion of benefits that have been promised. As extensively discussed in the past, New Jersey’s retirement system had about $82 billion of assets in 2018, only 38% of what it needs to cover checks that are owed in the decades ahead. That’s lower than any other state system in the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The state’s obligation for retirees’ health care benefits adds another $90.5 billion. The state’s solution? Raise expected pension fund returns from 7.0% to 7.5%!

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Over One Million Gun Owners Refuse to Obey Ban, No One Turning in Magazine, by Matt Agorist

Here’s some Christmas cheer: civil disobedience over a stupid gun law. From Matt Agorist at thefreethoughtproject.com:

New Jersey — Unless you’ve been under a rock lately, then you’ve likely seen the unprecedented push by all levels of government to separate law abiding Americans from their guns. No, this is not some conspiracy theory. The president himself ushered in a new level of gun control doing what his liberal predecessor even refused to do by banning bump stocks. However, as states across the country seek to limit the ability of innocent people to defend themselves, people are disobeying.

In May, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law that reduced the maximum capacity of ammunition magazines from 15 rounds to 10. Citizens immediately sued the government, citing the unconstitutional nature of the ban, but they failed.

“New Jersey’s law reasonably fits the State’s interest in public safety and does not unconstitutionally burden the Second Amendment’s right to self-defense in the home,” the court wrote in their decision. “The law also does not violate the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause because it does not require gun owners to surrender their magazines but instead allows them to retain modified magazines or register firearms that have magazines that cannot be modified.”

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The state of New Jersey just signed its own death warrant, by Simon Black

If taxpayers are fleeing your jurisdiction, perhaps it’s not a good idea to raise taxes. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

You would think New Jersey would have learned its lesson…

Two years ago, New Jersey’s richest resident – hedge fund billionaire David Tepper – decided to move himself and his business to Miami Beach.

Tepper, who personally earned more than $6 billion from 2012-2015, was tired of paying New Jersey’s top income-tax rate of 8.97% for the 20 years he lived there, in addition to the country’s highest property taxes, the estate tax and inheritance tax.

By moving to Florida, a state with ZERO income tax, Tepper stood to save hundreds of millions of dollars each year. And, as an added bonus, he’d be living in the Sunshine State.

Anyone with some common sense would have at least acknowledged the possibility that a guy like Tepper would consider moving to save a few hundred million bucks.

But New Jersey, content on milking its ultra-wealthy for tax revenue, was caught completely by surprise.

And Tepper’s departure left an enormous hole in its budget.

Think about that: the departure of literally ONE person caused big problems for New Jersey’s budget.

And Tepper wasn’t the only one leaving…

According to the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, the State of New Jersey lost a whopping 2 million residents between 2005 and 2014, earning a combined $18 billion in net adjusted gross income, i.e. income that would have been taxed by the state.

So it’s not just the masters of the universe that are tired of paying sky-high taxes. It’s also the regular wage earner and small business owner.

60% of these folks went to Florida, with a state income tax of zero.

So the message from New Jersey’s residents (well, now former residents) is pretty clear: taxes are too high.

Now, what do you think New Jersey is doing to solve this problem?

Instead of making the state friendlier to productive people and businesses, New Jersey decided to RAISE taxes on the sad saps that remain within its borders (for now).

New Jersey tax residents making more than $5 million will now pay 10.75%, up from 8.97%

To continue reading: The state of New Jersey just signed its own death warrant

Chatham NJ public school teaches Islam — but no other religions, by EAG News

In Chatham, New Jersey, 7th graders are taught extensively about Islam and learn next to nothing about any of the world’s other major religions. Why? From EAG News via theburningplatform.com:

CHATHAM, N.J. – Parents of students at Chatham Middle School are calling on the board of education to eliminate lessons on Islam from the 7th grade social studies curriculum they believe proselytizes the religion.

Several parents attended a board meeting Monday to take aim at materials distributed to students through a “World Cultures and Geography” class they believe cross the line, Tap into Chatham reports.

The parents emailed board members copies of the lessons they believe violate the district’s policy that “no religious beliefs be promoted or disparaged” and handed copies to others in attendance at the meeting, as well.

“In the Middle East and North Africa unit of the class students are taught about the five pillars of Islam in great detail, there are two videos on it, a 20-page PowerPoint presentation, class work, homework, and testing,” parent Libby Hilsenrath told the board. “In this unit, there is no mention of any other religion or teaching of it.

“… When it comes to teaching other religions at this level, it’s not done,” she said.

Hilsenrath went over many of the objectionable homework assignments with board members in detail, including lessons that require students to memorize and write the Islamic conversion prayer.

Another parent, Nancy Gayer, also addressed the board about the in-depth study of Islam. Videos of both women’s comments were posted to YouTube, and they appeared together on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to air their grievances.

“I think it crosses the line because it teaches one religion and not all others,” Hilsenrath told Carlson. “It’s in a world culture and geography course and no other religion is taught. And to me, that’s not education, because in order to educate you need to teach all.”

To continue reading: Chatham NJ public school teaches Islam — but no other religions