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Reader says , “public pension funds will be insolvent by 2027… which means NJ taxpayers have unlimited liability carrying the $12B per year”


“NJ already has the highest combined, state, local, and corporate tax rates in the United States… and the public pension funds will be insolvent by 2027… which means NJ taxpayers have unlimited liability carrying the $12B per year paid out to retired public sector workers, plus their PAYGO (pay as you go) platinum health insurance… Ponzi scheme where the math doesn’t work when private sector employers are leaving and aren’t investing in the state. NJ also has net migration which only worsens the Ponzi scheme. Public sector unions only care about squeezing more blood from a shrinking stone. Greedy pigs “


 “Same for CA, IL, etc, but When the state sends out $12bn a year already in annual pension checks (or 1/3 of our current annual NJ state budget), we have an unlimited pension liability in perpetuity once the public sector pension funds go insolvent by 2027… and that’s not even including “pay-as-you-go” (PAYGO) platinum healthcare insurance… the math doesn’t work. States like NJ, CA, IL, etc will have to explore bankruptcy filings to protect them from all of these excessive liability claims! “

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New Jerseyans Feel Overtaxed, Unloved and Dissatisfied With State Government

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, As Tax Day approaches, about eight in ten New Jerseyans feel they pay too much in taxes and are not happy with what the state government is doing about the affordability of living in the Garden State, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, conducted in collaboration with the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA).

Eighty-two percent of residents think they pay too much in taxes for what they get, and large majorities believe the taxes they pay – namely, property taxes (79 percent), the 41.4 cent gas tax (77 percent), and the state income tax (62 percent) – are unfair. Only the sales tax sits well with residents, with over half (58 percent) saying the tax is reasonable.

Continue reading New Jerseyans Feel Overtaxed, Unloved and Dissatisfied With State Government
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Sweeney Town Hall Meeting On ‘Path To Progress’ Fiscal Reforms At Monmouth University


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

TRENTON NJ, Senate President Steve Sweeney will hold a town hall meeting from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, March 11, in Wilson Hall, Monmouth University, 400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, NJ to conduct a public discussion about the fiscal reforms in the “Path To Progress” report.

Hosted by Grey J. Dimenna, the President of Monmouth University, the forum will include the participation of Senator Vin GopalSenator Declan O’Scanlon and Peter Reinhart, from the Monmouth University Kislak Real Estate Institute and a member of the Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup.

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Reader says , “time is money and money is finding other places to live”


Go west (or south) young families as leaving Ridgewood is sad but apparently, financially prudent. State and local governments have little leeway to manage their budgets given their contractual salary, healthcare and pension obligations. Population trends, prevailing taxes, and budget stress are tell tale signs that our Village and State’s financial problems are not revenue but expense related. Decades long deficits and massive unfunded pension obligations are proof that state and local fiscal strategies are out of sync.

Unlike the private sector, government wage and benefit payouts are not flexible. They increase with the passage of time. We in the Village have been served this sandwich for years and now people are moving faster to greener pastures that offer a different menu. With that said, it is encouraging that some of our state level elected officials recognize our financial crisis for what it is, as a spending problem. It would be nice to hear that locally…Our only hope is that the same political and perhaps certain union leaders will act bravely to modify current arrangements that mitigate growing budget deficits. In this matter, all interests are aligned.

Real and sustainable fiscal management is difficult to implement. It takes compromise and commitment but the resulting policy changes are not hard to understand. Some are obvious such as i) 401Ks for new hires versus a pension, ii) altering timing on pension payouts, iii) means based health care programs versus the gold standard regardless of house hold income, and iv) eliminating revenue draining white elephant projects such as municipally run/owned parking garages. (Sorry, I could not help myself.)

It is likely naive of me to hope that our leaders (again be they elected or union leaders) will deflect our current financial trajectory But it is a must because it is the only way to ensure what was contracted is delivered. A deal is a deal and we should stand by what we agreed to pay. However, all have to recognize that will be true only if there is money to pay for what was promised. The balance is we all have a line in the sand on how much more we will pay to support current services.

My comments are not intended to offend anyone. Their purpose is to be a call to action and compromise because I love it here. I enjoy my neighbors, the schools, teachers, the community, and I don’t want to bailout when my kids are off to college. I want to be apart of the solution and not just a piggy bank. I know others feel the same but we will vote with our feet if our leaders lead poorly and without reasonable foresight.

Village Counsel and union leaders, is there a willingness to make reasonable contractual changes now before it is too late or do you prefer the status quo? Your responses and actions are very powerful. Your decisions will dictate how fast our tax base erodes and how the Village will deliver on the benefits of your bargain. I respectfully suggest that your challenge is now because time is money and money is finding other places to live.

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Reader says , “The process of exodus has already started and will only excelerate as they way we work continues to change”

for sale Ridgewood_Real_Estate_theRodgewopodblog

file photo by Boyd Loving

Maybe YOU continued to walk into that ballot box and voted the party line because quite frankly like all good liberal dolts you simply can’t think on your own. And yes, your thinking along that line just put one of Hudson Counties finest criminals back in office. And yes the rest of the country looks at us and laughs…why not? Stupid is what stupid does. And taxing pension checks is NOT going to solve the problem of union malfeasance and corrupt government officials. The process of exodus has already started and will only excelerate as they way we work continues to change. Remember, nobody wants to work in NYC either so that only compounds the exit process. I’ll be gone come Feburary. We’ll leave here and let the people who started and supported this mess wallow in its remains. Good luck with that.

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New Jersey Now Collects More Revenue Per Capita from Drivers than Any Other State

the staff of the Ridgewood bog

Trenton NJ, according to Steven Malanga is the senior editor of City Journal, Federal Highway Administration data on revenues that the states have available for spending on roads, bridges, and mass transit New  Jersey collected the seventh-highest transportation revenues of any state, even before it raised its gas tax and every state that spent more was considerably larger.

Continue reading New Jersey Now Collects More Revenue Per Capita from Drivers than Any Other State

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The Real Maguire – Who Actually Invented Labor Day?

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

While most sources, even the Department of Labor, credit Peter McGuire with the origination of Labor Day, recent evidence suggests that the true father of Labor Day may in fact be another famous union leader of the 19th Century, Matthew Maguire.

Continue reading The Real Maguire – Who Actually Invented Labor Day?

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Labor Day stems from deadly labor strike, but few Americans know the history

President Grover Cleveland

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

A labor movement in Chicago in 1894 left 30 Pullman workers dead, and later spurred Congress and President Grover Cleveland to pass a bill creating Labor Day. But the history of this holiday is rarely taught in schools, and there are few full-time labor journalists to write about working class communities.

Continue reading Labor Day stems from deadly labor strike, but few Americans know the history

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N.J. Officials Respond to U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Labor Unions, Explain How Politicians Will be Protected Going Forward


July 1,2018
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Governor Phil Murphy, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Labor Commissioner Rob Asaro-Angelo responded today to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says public sector workers need not pay their “fair share” of dues to the unions that represent public sector employees.

In an opinion issued this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The petitioners in Janus asked the Court to overrule an earlier decision that had determined public unions could require all workers to pay a “fair share” of union dues to defray the cost of collective bargaining. New Jersey, along with a coalition of states and unions, defended that prior decision. But in a 5-4 ruling this morning, the Supreme Court decided to allow workers to refuse to pay their fair share, potentially weakening collective bargaining by labor groups that negotiate employee compensation, pensions, and contracts.

“This disappointing decision does not in any way diminish our administration’s commitment to protecting the right of public sector employees to organize,” responded Governor Phil Murphy. “We stand firm with our labor unions and labor organizations to advocate and protect members’ rights as we did with the Workplace Democracy Enhancement Act I signed in May. Supporting strong unions is a critical part of making New Jersey’s economy work for everyone.”

If you read between the lines New Jersey politicians particular Democrats are upset that state workers will no longer be forced to support them through political donations.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal agreed , “The very first amicus brief I signed as Attorney General was one in support of workers’ rights in Janus v. AFSCME,” said Attorney General Grewal. “I was proud to stand with labor on this crucial issue and remain so today. In New Jersey, we’re charting a path to protect workers even as the federal government turns away from them.

“At the Attorney General’s Office, we will use our legal authorities to continue vigorous enforcement of state laws that protect workers’ rights to organize and to engage in collective bargaining,” Attorney General Grewal continued. “Nothing about today’s decision changes that.”

The only thing Trenton is interested in protecting is the compact between state workers and Democrats that says you give us campaign contributions and we give you raises and generous contracts .

“This decision is a travesty for working men and women everywhere, particularly here in New Jersey, where workers’ right to organize is protected by our state Constitution,” added Labor Commissioner Rob Asaro-Angelo. “The decision undermines the ability of working people around the country to receive the respect and appreciation they deserve. Despite this ruling, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development is committed to working with our sister government agencies to protect workers’ rights, secure their safety, and ensure the dignity that work provides.”

The only “travesty” has been the lack of tax payer representation in the political process and the control of state government to unions

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Republican lawmakers hail U.S. Supreme Court striking down mandatory union fees

Ridgewood Teachers

June 28,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Assembly sponsors of Right to Work legislation praised the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today that government workers cannot be required to pay union fees as a condition of working in public service.

“This decision restores free speech and freedom of association to every public school teacher and government worker across New Jersey,” said Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R-Monmouth). “For far too long, unions have propped themselves up with money skimmed out of paychecks despite the workers’ objections.”

Handlin’s legislation (A183) would make New Jersey the twenty-ninth Right to Work state by allowing workers to decide whether to join a union. Assemblyman Robert Auth also sponsors the legislation.

After the top court’s decision, New Jersey’s 475,000 state and local public workers could opt out of their unions – taking money and political clout with them.

“This is a victory for rank-and-file teachers,” said Auth (R-Bergen). “Big unions have concentrated on procuring power and excessively paying its leadership while neglecting teachers in the classrooms. The NJEA’s executive director was paid $1.2 million thanks to dues as high as eleven-hundred dollars imposed on full-time teachers.”

Auth pointed to a Star-Ledger investigation that found the NJEA gave its top leadership a 42 percent pay raise in 2016. On average, the fourteen officers identified as NJEA leaders earned more than $530,000 — up from $379,000 the year before.

New Jersey is one of just 22 states where public employees can be forced to join and pay dues to a public union.