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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Jersey: Leading the Nation in Something Other Than Mafia Cliches and Snooki Memorabilia

The New Jersey legislature will vote today on a landmark bill that will roll back health and pension benefits for its public employees as well as raise the retirement age. The bill is expected to be passed by both houses and signed into law by Governor Christie. For those of you who are lucky and don't live in New Jersey, here's some background:
  • We pay the highest property and income taxes in the country
  • NJ has approximately $86,000,000,000 in unfunded public employee pension obligations
Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver, and Senate President Steven Sweeney, both Democrats, have bucked their party to side with common-sense and fiscal responsibility in supporting the bill.

Here's what Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Cryan (D-Union), had to say about Oliver's and Sweeney's attempt to rescue New Jersey's taxpayers from drowning in the debt run up by its former leaders and labor unions:
"For those of us who haven’t sold out our party, we decline to accept. And for those of us who work for a living, we decline to agree. The Speaker doesn’t have the majority of her own caucus, and as the majority leader, I say she shouldn’t put it up. And as for the rest of us, we all want health care. We all believe in a better life for us and our children. And how terrible it is that the Democratic Party today chose to take a different path."
It is my opinion that when he said "better life for us and our children," he didn't mean you and your children specifically, because you and your children are going broke paying for them and their children, unless you are in the CWA or other public employee union, then of course he was talking about you and your children, but he was obviously not concerned about me and my children.

After speaking, Cryan quickly replaced his Binky and seemed to calm down a bit. Cryan also made no mention of the people in the state who foot the bill for his constituents (by "constituent" I mean the people in the labor unions who donate to his campaign accounts and receive ridiculous benefit packages in return). He did remove his Binky long enough to lament the fact that some Democrats joined the Republican Party who, in his words are "essentially running the Statehouse in the state of New Jersey." Cryan did not mention that it was Democrats who ran the Statehouse in the state of New Jersey when $86,000,000,000 in unfunded public employee pensions were amassed.

Yesterday Speaker Oliver met with union leaders and "activists" to explain her position. She was met with shouts from the audience of "Tax the rich!" and "Millionaires Tax!" once again proving that class warfare is alive and well among the rank and file public sector employees of our fair state.

I applaud Assemblywoman Oliver and Senator Sweeney and the Democrats who bucked their party's line and sided with the taxpayers of New Jersey.

In other related news, police were forced to use bomb sniffing dogs yesterday after the Communications Workers of America staged a sit-in and protest in our Statehouse.

Story compiled in part from Asbury Park Press and NJ News Media reports.

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