Category: NJ Issues

Pension presentation
Welcome to New Jersey

5 ways to cut property taxes

Feb 27, 2017 NJ Issues by Tom Byrne
Property taxes in New Jersey are the highest in the nation. Since 2000, they have doubled and have risen at over twice the rate of inflation. No wonder people are forced to move; no wonder we have the highest foreclosure rate in the nation. Property taxpayers suffer because raising this tax is the path of
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Balanced Approach Needed to Fix Pension Crisis

Dec 18, 2015 NJ Issues by Tom Byrne
The pension crisis has been a conveniently ignored time bomb in New Jersey, but now we are about to light the fuse. A legislative committee just approved a ballot referendum to constitutionally mandate extra spending of over $3 billion now and $6 billion by 2023 on pension contributions – without identifying any source of that
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A Bleak but Avoidable Future

What happens if we don’t enact pension reform?  Nothing terrible happens immediately, and that is the danger.  Disaster is a decade away, so politicians see no urgency.  But disaster it will be. Consider this.  The State’s 2015 budget was approximately $33 billion; its pension plans paid out $7 billion in benefits.  That money came out
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How to Fix N.J.’s Pension Problem

Feb 24, 2015 NJ Issues by Tom Byrne
Some elected Democrats have asked me why I agreed to serve on a pension commission to help Chris Christie solve a complicated pension problem. I agreed to serve because the unfunded pension liability of anywhere between $37 billion and $83 billion, depending on investment assumptions, could effectively bankrupt the state. In turn, this would leave
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New Jersey’s Financial Troubles – Ravitch Was Right

Jan 18, 2013 NJ Issues by Tom Byrne
Former New York Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch pulled together a bipartisan group of statesmen to issue a stark warning about the finances of many state governments around the country. New Jersey did not fare well. Many have not taken the warnings seriously, because the state has a history of warning residents about budget problems that
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Long Term Budget Woes

Dec 11, 2011 NJ Issues by Tom Byrne
I spent part of a day recently at a conference called Facing Our Future, a bipartisan group of leading citizens who have produced a clear document that outlines the magnitude of the New Jersey’s fiscal mess. It depicts the total spending by state and local governments, and shows the sources of revenues. The authors suggest
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Class Warfare Helps No One

Sep 14, 2011 NJ Issues by Tom Byrne
Rhetoric that spawns class warfare may feel cathartic, but it doesn’t help anyone. I’m concerned that it makes the less fortunate more resentful, and also causes those most capable of creating jobs to pull back. So I was surprised at the tone of a recent Star Ledger editorial that suggested that “filthy rich” people deserve
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Creating Jobs

We know that some jobs are never coming back to the United States. For example, simple items of clothing are made more cheaply in Guatemala and Vietnam than in the US. Most customers don’t walk into Walmart asking for “Made in the USA”; they want what is cheap. So our economy can’t rely on textiles
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Dems Warming to School Choice

Jan 31, 2011 NJ Issues by Tom Byrne
The issue of scholarships for urban kids to attend non-public schools is coming to a head in the legislature. The Governor has made passage of the Opportunity Scholarship Act a priority. That is no surprise. What may be surprising to some is how the debate on this topic has shifted within the Democratic Party. It
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