Murphy’s Progressive View of New Jersey Needs Reality Check
By Christian Barranco
To listen to Governor Murphy’s view of the state of the State of New Jersey on Tuesday, you would think he and his fellow Democrats are on their way to creating a social and economic paradise. And if you view the world through the governor’s “progressive” ideology, you might actually believe him.
But for the vast majority of hard working, middle class people – and those working equally hard to become middle class – New Jersey is anything but paradise – but Gov. Murphy doesn’t seem to care.
Working people are being crushed with increasingly harsh taxes on their homes, incomes and anything the government controls. State, county and municipal governments have saddled their resident with the highest public debt per person in the nation – over $62,500; the highest property and income taxes — and one of the worse business reputations in the country All of this is well known, and all of it was ignored by the governor.
Instead, the governor engaged in yet another round of progressive pandering – repeating the mantra that his policies are good for “women, minorities and veterans” over and over again. It’s quite certain that the governor’s plans to increase spending and borrowing are good for no one.
The governor’s address was bland, uninspiring and pandering. He omitted any reference to the damage his Covid-19 policies have done to small businesses and jobs – and how he may change his approach in the future.
With few real accomplishments to talk about, the governor focused on getting marijuana legalized and on the “green” jobs he thinks will be created by harnessing offshore wind. The marijuana legalization has been a fiasco and will undoubtedly flop as a revenue producer.
His version of the Green New Deal focusing on windmills constructed off the coast is being over-sold as a way to make New Jersey carbon free by 2050. Wind power has a place in energy production matrix, but wind and solar will only reduce the state’s carbon footprint, not eliminate it.
Progressives like Murphy have little understanding of the huge amount of energy required to power New Jersey business and homes daily; nor do they understand the limits of renewable energy in meeting the demand for power.
As for the jobs that Murphy says will be created by his energy new deal, there is not a lot of evidence from other nations’ green efforts that indicates they are unlikely to materialize in New Jersey in great numbers.
The governor spoke passionately about affordable housing for the new generation of homebuyers. But the goal of increasing truly affordable housing without government subsidies will not be met as long as New Jersey homeowners remain crushed by monthly property tax bills that rival their mortgage payments.
In that same vein, job creation in the state will forever be tied to huge subsidies, such as the $11.5 billion borrowing plan the governor signed last week, unless the state cuts taxes and regulations – and Murphy and the Democrats have no plan to do either. The more N.J. borrows, the more taxpayers have to pay to finance the government’s debt- and the more unaffordable the state becomes. New Jersey has shown it can attract low wage warehouse jobs, but it has trouble holding on to, or attracting high-paying jobs because businesses that invest in those jobs are reluctant to settle in the Garden State and face the taxman’s guillotine.
What was missing from the governor’s speech is reality – the reality that working people and small business owners face every day. The reality of making a dollar stretch from week to week; the reality that the notion of getting ahead in a progressive state is nearly impossible. Those realities are compounded by another one – almost no one in Trenton really cares or understands the middle class. That was evident from the governor’s speech.