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>New Jersey Fiscal Crisis : the system is broken. We’ve got a $11 billion gap on a $29 million dollar budget that doesn’t make for a lot of wiggle room.

>“Blackmail?” How is it blackmail? He’s not forcing anyone to do anything. He is expressing his opinion and a lot of people agree with him. Tell me we all haven’t become more prudent with our spending. Tell me we all haven’t “cut back” and tried to save more. He’s trying to do the same thing on the State level.

Tell me how the State of NJ lost 121,000 private sector jobs in 2009 and local municipalities and school boards added 11,300 jobs and that makes sense. Tell me how teachers are going to take 4% pay increases when inflation is running at zero, people are getting laid off, property values continue to decrease and health care costs continue to rise and that makes sense. Tell me if in your job you can pay $124,000 towards your retirement, retire at age 49 and receive life time pension payments and health care benefits totaling $3.8 million dollars. My guess is you can’t but at least one retired state employee can.

Look, the system is broken. We’ve got a $11 billion gap on a $29 million dollar budget that doesn’t make for a lot of wiggle room.

Things need to change, dramatically and fast or we’re all going to be in big trouble. The Ridgewood BOE has cut $6+ million dollars out of the budget and some of it is unpleasant because people are going to lose their jobs but you want to know something? Take a good look at what they’ve cut and you’ll see in the total scheme of things there is not going to be a whole lot of difference in the education and activities the students will get. That just gives you a little taste of how much fluff is in not just our school system but the system as a whole. My guess is the next two years at least will be more of the same. We’re actually going to see school budgets shrink, not go up the state cap of 4% and then we can all afford to head back up town and shop or go out to dinner. Someone might want to let the Chamber of Commerce know they are wasting their time bitching about $.25 parking meter rates. No one cares about the quarter it costs to park, no one has money to spend, that’s why no one is up town anymore.
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