Another day deeper in debt…


New Jersey’s budget deficit has grown by an additional $1.5 billion in the last month to $3.6 billion this fiscal year, Gov. Jon S. Corzine announced today.

This year’s deficit now exceeds 10 percent of the original budget adopted last summer. It includes a $2.8 billion shortfall in revenue, a $600 million increase in spending — including a $270 million deposit into the depleted unemployment fund, to avoid an automatic tax hike on businesses — and $135 million extra to repay debt.

It doesn’t help that a large portion of the shortfall of revenue is due to Corzine’s belief that increasing taxes will increase revenue. In fact, as taxes increase, less money is spent and calculated revenues will be shy of expectations.

Take for instance the cigarette sin tax. New Jersey has one of the highest cigarette taxes in the nation, and certainly the highest among our neighboring states. Being a relatively small state, it is not much of a drive to a neighboring state, such as Delaware, for a “cigarette run.” The promised revenue has been more than offset by the loss of sales. But only a politician can believe in such snake oil fixes.


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