NJ Fiscal Folly

Friday, June 23, 2006

Empty Threat

Gov Corzine is threatening to shut down state government unless the legislature goes along with his proposed budget, particularly an increase in the NJ sales tax from 6% to 7%.

Shutting down the government is supposed to be a tactic to get state employees and taxpayers to apply pressure to the legislature to pass a budget. In this situation, however, it's an empty threat.

If I'm a legislator (in either party), and someone complains about my budget position, I have an easy defense:

"Gov Corzine wants to raise NJ taxes. I don't. The only reason for a government shutdown is Corzine's stubbornness. If you have a complaint, contact Corzine."

I know this answer is glib, but it's still effective. Why does Corzine think he's going to win this exchange?


At 4:16 PM, Blogger lawhawk said...

Simple. He doesn't have to answer to voters for another couple of years, and if he browbeats enough legislators into accepting a hike (in exchange for some other deal - par for the course), we get the tax hike to cover increased spending. Oh, and we'll have to revisit the whole mess again next year because the problems will be the same then as well.

At 9:45 AM, Blogger PN said...

Next year the problems will be worse, partially due to new contracts for public employee unions and built-in expansion of current state programs.

NJ Fiscal Folly


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