NJ Fiscal Folly

Friday, June 23, 2006

Republican Budget Cut Proposals

The NJ Assembly Republicans have prepared a list of more than $2.2 billion in possible spending cuts for next year's budget.

Here's the press release and here's the list of proposed cuts. Additional information can also be found at this link.

The list is somewhat long, and includes both major and minor cuts. The list includes the following large items:

-- $420 million from a 10% reduction in Abbott district spending

-- $102 million from restructuring the Urban Enterprise Zone Program

-- $78 million from eliminating Special Municipal Aid, which is basically political pork

-- $116 million from eliminating cost-of-living increases for higher paid state employees

-- $200 million from pension reforms

-- $300 million from eliminating legislative pork

-- $71 million from reducing the number of political appointees

-- $150 million in savings from improving state government procurement practices

Obviously, there's a certain amount of political theater involved here. The scope, size, and timing of potential cost savings are overstated. On the other hand, many of the proposals are quite feasible, and a 50% success rate still yields $1 billion in savings.

In the next 7-10 days, NJ taxpayers will hear a lot of blather about the necessity of further tax increases. Don't buy it. The only thing needed in Trenton is backbone, not money.

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