The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017


Facts and figures are boring and increasingly, stating them doesn't win arguments or elections. New Jersey is about to elect a Democratic governor and veer strongly back toward a blue governance model that it never really left, even with the election of GOP governor Chris Christy.

The Blue Model is really quite simple—tax and spend ... and spend ... and spend and then tax some more. It couples giveaways to public sector unions (mostly reliable Blue voters) with profligate spending that ... and here's the rub ... doesn't accomplish the goals that were intended. As a consequence, blue governance slowly, but reliably, moves a government toward bankruptcy.

The editors of the Wall Street Journal comment on New Jersey's plight:
New Jersey (like Connecticut) was once a tax haven for New Yorkers, but in 1968 the state allowed collective bargaining by public unions. Eight years later the state adopted an income tax with a 2.5% top rate to boost spending on education and reduce property taxes. Thus began the state’s road to fiscal perdition.

Politicians captive to public unions have repeatedly raised income taxes to sweeten worker salaries and benefits. The state’s 8.97% top rate on households earning more than $500,000 is the highest in the Northeast after New York City. Revenues have been steered to low-income school districts but have produced little improvement in student learning. Asbury Park receives $28,884 in state per-pupil aid.

School districts have also piled on property taxes, which are the highest in the country. Between 1980 and 2007, property taxes increased by more than 100% on a per capita basis while school spending per pupil grew by nearly 140%. The average property tax bill on a median $427,000 home in Essex County is $11,597—about twice as much as in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

All of this has hurt the economy, which has depressed tax revenues. Since 2010 the state’s GDP has grown at an annual 0.9%, less than half as fast as the U.S. A net $8.5 billion in adjusted gross income left the state between 2012 and 2015, according to the IRS.
Yet, far too many voters live in a manufactured reality in which redistribution of income is a social justice goal, higher taxes lead to economic growth, and government spending should never be restricted. Intentions, not results, are what matter. And the deleterious affects of blue policies are disregarded. Facts and figures be damned—it's all about virtue signaling—until the money runs out.