New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA) president Michelle Siekerka penned an op-ed in NJ Spotlight today that made several excellent points. Among them:
- Cut the fiscal year 2021 public employee pension contribution: “we should remind ourselves that whatever dollar figure is settled on will still go toward a broken and unsustainable system, which will continue to rely on new taxes and borrowing. New Jersey needs to do better.”
- “At the end of the day, the governor’s proposed FY2021 budget includes $5 billion in irresponsible new revenue to balance the budget ($1 billion in new taxes, plus $4 billion in borrowed funds).”
Before NJ borrows another $4 billion to make a $4.9 billion pension payment (effectively a reprise of the disastrous 1997 pension obligation bond deal), NJ’s worst-in-the-nation public pension system needs to be reformed (Senate President Sweeney’s Path to Progress is a good place to start). Putting $4.9 billion into the broken, unreformed pension system is throwing good money after bad.
And raising taxes on the wealthy and businesses will only make NJ’s outmigration problem worse. NJ already has one of the worst outmigrations of people, businesses and wealth in the nation.
In the end, Gov. Murphy’s budget will simply burden future generations with more debt to pay off, an unreformed pension system and a weaker economy. Our kids and grandkids will pay the price.