The Record’s Charlie Stile is one of the very few people in NJ who recognize that Gov. Murphy is effectively reprising the disastrous 1997 Pension Obligation Bonds (POBs) of Gov. Whitman. The $2.75 billion in POBs will ultimately cost NJ more than $10 billion. That’s the reason the legislature subsequently banned POBs.
“Yet, Murphy’s rescue mission speech failed to note that his proposed, historic $6.4 billion rescue payment was being indirectly financed, like Whitman’s plan, with borrowed money. It is made possible by last year’s $4.4 billion in emergency borrowing to tide New Jersey through the pandemic … Murphy’s prescription is the same old easy-to-reach, over-the-counter pain killer bringing temporary relief — and debt-payment headaches for our future.”
That’s exactly right. But Stile is being too charitable. By making the full pension payment into a broken and unreformed pension system with $130 billion in unfunded liabilities, Murphy is doing the bidding of his political patrons, the NJEA. The NJEA was complicit in the political deals that undermined the pension system (including the disastrous POB deal) and blocked all reform efforts when they could have saved the pension system. Now, with the teachers pension fund at the brink of insolvency, the NJEA wants to look like they are trying to secure their members’ pensions.
Unfortunately, Murphy is all too willing to help his special interest pals by throwing good (borrowed) money after bad and sticking future generations of New Jersey’s with the bill.
Note: The Star-Ledger’s Tom Moran gets it, too.