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New Jersey – It Just Ain’t Working



file photo Cory Booker in Ridgewood by Boyd Loving

New Jersey – It Just Ain’t Working

Editor’s Note – There are a number of national news stories today that highlight how fiscal and social policies are destroying the state. The state’s credit rating was down-graded by Moody’s, it’s largest city is posed for state takeover, public pensions are in critical condition and political correctness has run amok in our schools.

How do you plan to change this?



UNION CITY, New Jersey–New Jersey’s biggest city has yet to file a budget and hasn’t told the state whether it will need federal aid this year. Left in an “extraordinary level of fiscal distress” by former Mayor Cory Booker, Newark is on the brink of a state takeover.

The Associated Press reports that officials responsible for keeping Newark afloat are increasingly hitting roadblocks in their attempts to streamline the government. In one letter to the City Council, one city official, Thomas Neff, described the situation as “an extraordinary level of fiscal distress” and urged the ailing city to invite state oversight.

While the city is currently being run by an interim government since Cory Booker’s ascendance to the Senate, both candidates currently running for mayor oppose state intervention. New Jersey generally is struggling through a stagnating economy and serious revenue shortfalls, but Newark has become especially aggrieved.

Neff’s argument is centered around the fact that Newark has yet to produce a budget for 2014 and has not reached out to state officials for financial aid during this difficult time.

The federal government is also threatening to intervene to save Newark’s police department. The Justice Department announced in February that it would send observers to the city to monitor police. This resulted from a 96-page appeal that the American Civil Liberties Union sent to the federal government arguing that federal oversight in Newark would prevent police abuse.

The AP notes that Booker, who ran his Senate campaign on a commitment to reform Newark, continues to be proud of his work in the city. He argues that he “turned the city around” after being told “Newark’s problems were literally impossible to solve.” After several years of stagnant crime development, however, 2013 heralded a sea change in Newark’s status quo, with a significant increase in violent crimes–carjackings, in particular. The crime wave peaked during Booker’s Senate campaign but failed to deter his victory. Booker’s mark on the city led The New York Times to attack him as an “absentee landlord” who boasted of doing his job well because he “brought ice pops” around during the summer, though he never actually fixed problems.

Even Newark’s mayoral race is plagued with crime. The inside of the campaign bus of candidate Ras Baraka was “torn apart” and burned, and sugar was poured into the gas tank. A suspect has been arrested, but Baraka accuses opponent Shavar Jeffries of orchestrating the vandalism, as official campaign finance records show that the suspect was paid by the Jeffries campaign.

8 thoughts on “New Jersey – It Just Ain’t Working

  1. Just reading some of the comments from municipal pensioners and union hacks on this blog, and it’s no wonder we’re in such a mess in this state. They are living in fantasy land, expecting new municipal hires to be able to afford their own house and property taxes in Ridgewood, and thinking that their oversized pensions and gold plated healthcare-for-life are sustainable if we just keep raising property taxes every year… I’m not even sure these benefits were negotiated in good faith anymore judging by the comments – when you have a potential conflict of interest with former Police and Fire management on the Village Council approving outrageous wage and benefit increases, i.e. in the 2009 CBAs and again when they were re-opened in 2010, you leave the Village taxpayers with an even bigger entitlement liability. Were those CBAs really negotiated in the best interests of taxpayers when you hand out +4% annual wage increases during a recession ? All the union guys talk about is the current cost for public safety – they always ignore the future fixed costs for pensions & healthcare which will cost us hundreds of millions of dollars in the next 15 years – money that we won’t be able to use for services and improved quality of life for Villagers. Many of these retirees don’t even live in Ridgewood !

  2. I agree with the above statement about municipal and state workers.
    As a business owner in the private sector, let me add to it from that perspective.
    The taxes and mandates placed upon private enterprise make doing business in NJ uncompetitive with other states.
    The foolish Democrats that control Trenton kill the economy here every time they pass another law with the stroke of a pen.
    Nobody ‘mandates’ that private enterprise make a profit (which is taxed), yet the morons who are elected from the big cities (Newark, Camden, Paterson etc) that milk the funds from the state treasury continue to pass rules that hurt businesses.
    Many businesses will never expand here, and move new operations to more ‘tax friendly’/’regulation friendly’ states.
    No large business would ever consider moving here.
    The state is broke due to ‘obligations’ to the unions as mentioned in the previous post.
    Further draining the state treasury are the billions of dollars that get flushed down the toilet in the “Abbot’ school districts (thanks to the left wing activist NJ supreme court).
    It should come as no surprise that the ‘big earners’ make sure they do their ‘time’ out of state….spend 181 days per year in FLA and vote there… so NJ can no longer pick their pockets… and the rest of us will have to make up the difference in higher taxes..
    Try to explain logic such as that to the Dumbocrats in Trenton… good luck.

  3. “Logic” has nothing to do with it, greed and self interest do. It’s really become no different in Ridgewood, just on a smaller scale. But let’s see if the folks on the PB have figured that out.

  4. I had high hopes for Booker when he entered the scene. At last, I thought, Newark might get better after years of being run like Zimbabwe. What a huge disappoinment he turned out to be. All form over substance. In many cases, worse stats than Sharpe James. How is that even possible? Yet, the mainstream media and lefty celebrities give him royal treatment.

  5. well they need to stop taking the money out of the workers pension system like they did with that ugly mall in the meadow lands that never opened up.

  6. # 1 said…..when you have a potential conflict of interest with former Fire management on the Village Council…….

    I challenge you to name the person you claim was a former Fire Manager that was on the Village Council. Or is this just another one of your many lies?


  8. New Jersey’s credit rating was cut one step to A+ by Standard & Poor’s, which leaves it with California and Illinois in the single-A category, lower than 47 other states. “Almost five years after the official start of the economic recovery, New Jersey continues to struggle with structural imbalance and stands in stark difference to many of its peers who registered sizeable budgetary surpluses in fiscal 2013,” John Sugden, an S&P analyst, wrote in a report yesterday. S&P said it may downgrade New Jersey further if revenue continues to miss projections or if the state keeps resorting to temporary budget fixes.

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