Over the next two weeks – as the Legislature rushes to produce a budget that won’t drown in the ink from the line-item veto pen – we’re all too likely to fully realize the “new normal” that Governor Christie talked about when he proposed his budget four months ago.
It goes something like this:
Rich people and corporations get tax breaks.
The middle class will pay more.
We will all have to make do with less.
Instead of a balanced approach that includes revenues – like the courageous governor of Connecticut proposed – New Jersey’s budget relies only on cuts in services.
Instead of finding ways to invest in building blocks of a strong economy – schools, police, libraries, health care, parks, roads and bridges – the governor has dug in even further, promising to veto any tax increase, including a tax on millionaires’ incomes that has overwhelming public support. Even as state revenues start to rise a bit in the recession’s wake, the administration in Trenton insists we can’t afford:
Health care for working parents if they earn more than $115 a week.
Women’s health care at family planning clinics, even though it means missing out on federal matching funds, an increase in unintended pregnancies and higher costs to treat uninsured patients.
Maintaining the state Earned Income Tax Credit for working poor families, who have seen their taxes increase by $300 a year – the equivalent of a week’s wages – while the wealthiest got a tax cut.
Meanwhile, the state has found more than enough money to hand out $1 billion in subsidies and tax breaks for developers and corporations, including some of the most profitable businesses in the state. Extensive research and plain old common sense show that these giveaways don’t create jobs.
That’s where we come in.
As we have for 14 years, NJPP is shining a spotlight on important policy decisions with the goal of having a state government that promotes broadly shared prosperity for all New Jerseyans instead of picking winners and losers.
We’re proud to be a leading voice for fairness in New Jersey, using solid research and strategic communications to strongly advocate for those who have the smallest voices in the public arena – the poor, working families, the disabled and other vulnerable people in our society.
And we couldn’t do it without you.
NJPP’s generous supporters understand why our work is so important to the vision of New Jersey they want for themselves and their children.
You’ve received several emails from us in the past week highlighting our work.
Now, we are asking for your help.
Please click on the “donate” button below and give to NJPP today.
By contributing you will enable NJPP to keep digging deeper into tough policy issues and widely share our findings to make a difference in people’s lives. Every donation counts, whether it’s $1,000 to print and publish one of our reports or $50 to cover the cost of copying documents requested through the Open Public Records Act.
As you follow what’s going on in Trenton with the budget and other issues over the next couple of weeks, I ask that you keep in mind the work New Jersey Policy Perspective is doing and the role that you can play.
Together, we can create a “new normal” that lifts up every one of us, not just the privileged few.
Thanks so much for your support – past and future.
Deborah Howlett, President