Letter – Corzine ignored budget problems

Years before the national economy collapsed, New Jersey’s finances were buckling after years of careless tax increases, irresponsible borrowing and needless spending under Democratic control.

We recognized the warning signs and have been proposing many solutions to bolster the state’s fiscal standing and make sure these financial blunders are never repeated.

In the last four years, we proposed more than $6 billion worth of budget cuts, including more than $780 million from this year’s budget, which Gov. Jon S. Corzine pledged was cut to the bone.

Unfortunately, Gov. Corzine and Democratic legislators shunned the reform our state needs and did not eliminate a single program.

Instead, they chose to raise taxes by more than $1 billion, steal property tax relief from 1.2 million more middle-class families and use a one-time federal bailout and deferral of pension and school aid payments to make it appear as if they cut spending when this budget is higher than the one before Corzine took office. As the governor says, the facts are stubborn.

This budget will cost the average middle-class family $1,200, according to a Rutgers University economist, when so many have lost their jobs, homes and retirement savings.

That is why not a single Republican voted for this budget.

The long-term picture for New Jerseyans is no better. This budget, which has already destroyed the myth of the permanent and sustainable property tax relief promised two years ago, simply ignores the state’s problems. It has left a deficit of at least $7 billion for next year’s budget — another burden for working families and seniors.

We opposed this budget for the sake of hard-working middle-class taxpayers who have been forced to make many economic sacrifices. For their future, we will continue to fight for the common sense reforms, such as limiting the state’s spending to its income, capping budget growth and requiring voter approval for major tax increases that New Jersey needs so that future budgets aren’t so bleak.

Tom Kean
Senate Republican Leader

Alex DeCroce
Assembly Republican Leader

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