Could there be any better example of government largesse than the great state of New Jersey? Â Boasting one of the highest tax rates in the union and boasting an even higher amount of government hand-outs it has to be one of the poster children for what life may resemble in the rest of our beloved union if we continue to let this current Democratic power-grab continue unabated. Before you believe that I’m some Southern Conservative that doesn’t have a clue about life in the North let me preface my comments by saying that I met my wonderful wife in New Jersey and went to undergrad in New York.
Okay…with that being said as they like to say in baseball – “Batter Up!”. Â Today, I came across an article that was discussing President Obama’s visit to New Jersey to lobby the states democratic base to vote Governor Corzine in for another term. Â In fact, in this event it appeared the Dems were pulling out the heavy artillery and actually had to change the venue from Rutgers to PNC Stadium to accommodate the flood of people wanting to get a chance to see President Obama. Â In a show of the popularity of Obama versus Corzine, they even gave Obama top billing on Corzine’s event (see picture below of the campaign poster). Â All of this is somewhat laughable in a state that boasts some of the highest taxes in the union and has shown a continued propensity to operate its government machine on the backs of hard-paying property owners.
My key question, if Corzine and Obama are such great buds and have such an awesome thing going with their democratic policies then why is New Jersey in such a hole. Â Property owners are getting the shaft and the state makes it very difficult to attract new businesses, and in turn new residents.
I think the challenge is expectations. Â Like most things in life, and as my wife likes to tell me, Â if you set expectations realistically it generally makes life more enjoyable. Â It seems that some residents of New Jersey have an expectation that amounts to a hand-out. Â Nothing in life is free. It is cleche’ but absolutely correct. Â Can you have “free” healthcare ? can you live in nice accommodations without working ?- the answer is yes… Â BUT …. it comes from somewhere. Â The business owner, the land owner, etc. that has to support the “free” healthcare adjusts his cost of doing business calculations by factoring in this new cost. Â He then looks for ways to adjust. Â These adjustments include – shedding work force, raising prices on his products, moving overseas to a lower cost environment, etc.
At the end of the day, New Jersey helps to serve as a window into what our federal government and other states may resemble if we let these “expectations” go unchecked. Â Business owners, workers, citizens, legislatures – we all have a choice. Â One a decision is made we also have a choice. Â I hope the citizens of New Jersey exercise their choice and vote Corzine out of office. Â However, caution exists. Â The new person filling his shoes has to be like the doctor – delivering realistic news, setting realistic expectations and making us take the right medicine which may taste bad but will have the appropriate effect.
Okay, I have a huge ax to grind with our Federal government for the latest bill proposed, HR.2454 – American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.Â In this act, the federal government has once again figured out how to do what they do best… suck more dollars from our free-enterprise system to fuel their rampant and most-often, ignorant, mis-allocation of capital.Â I am an ardent believer in the need to preserve our environment, however, this piece of legislation helps to steer more dollars into the Federal coffers and does very little to bring about the true “security” that the bill’s name implies.
I have provided a link below that will provide more background on the bill and its intended aim:
As of June 26, 2009 the measure had passed in the House by aÂ wide margin but appears to be up against significant resistance in the Senate.Â A recent article from mid-August details the less than likely affirmative vote needed from the Senate to make this law.Â [article in American Thinker]
Ultimately,my primary issue with the legislation is that it works on the same premise that so much of Washington revolves around, that premise is very simple – “TAX IT”. Don’t like it > “Tax it”…. can’t pay for it, no worries let the Federal government handle it and we will “Tax it (i.e. You)”….Want “security” (i.e. Social Security, Energy Security, Health Security)….guess what – you are correct – “Tax it”. Look the enterprise and power hungry machine called Federal government has proven that they couldn’t manage a corner grocery store budget, let alone the trillions they are siphoning out of our economy right now.Â Free market theorist like me eschew a simple ethos … stay the hell out of the way.Â (i.e. guide / don’t force).Â We have all seen the impact of government intervention, that case study was called…”let’s increase home-ownership rates, skip-ahead five years and we have a collosal housing melt down.Â I am being extremely macro in my comments but you get the idea.
My second ax to grind is with the ardent Democratic voters who came out in droves to express their support and enthusiasm for Obama.Â I applaud their enthusiastic exercising of their right to vote and becoming involved in the political debate.Â Although I don’t agree with their vote I applaud their enthusiasm.Â Jump eight months later and those same Obama zealots when asked about cap and trade…. reply – “Cap & WHO??”.Â Long story short, many of these people got involved, purchased some T-shirts, decaled their car up like they were going to Woodstock – and after the election forgot about it.Â Literally, they turned the switch off and went back to the daily grind trusting that our Federal government machinery would stay finely calibrated and not abuse the historic Democratic majority that had been achieved.Â The right to vote is a priviledge with responsibility.Â That responsibility is to stay engaged in the process.Â I could go on – but I think you get the picture.
Below is a good video for those of you who need a quick primer on Cap & Trade.
Okay, I’ve seen my fair share of strange things. Â I once actually interned for a summer in Washington, DC and got to sit through hearing, testimonies, etc. Â Generally, these affairs are more prose and posturing than rubber-meets-the-road execution. Â However, recently, I came across the following video that was the testimony of Harry Alford, the President of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Â His testimony was before the Environmental Committee and his position on a piece of legislation opposed that of Senator Boxer. Â Mr. Alford had came to the committee to assert facts, figures and research so that a true discussion could take place regarding the legislation that was in front of the committee. Â
Seemingly this should have be just another committee hearing on just another day in Washington. Â However, on this particular day, instead of having a discussion regarding the actual data and research, Senator Boxer reverted to adding documents to the committee record from other black associations that countered the position of Mr. Alford. Â Let’s say this didn’t sit well at all with Mr. Alford and he actually let Senator Boxer know that this was a “racial” approach and the wrong “path” to be going down.Â
I posted this video because I think in this day and age to have this type of political posturing going on indicates a true lack of intelligence on the part of Senator Boxer. Â Honestly, the basic argument she was forming went something like this…”Mr. Alford, all of these other black associations like my position – so you must be wrong because you represent a black association.” Â I would hope in her time in Senate, Senator Boxer has learned the proper and improper way to form counter points. However, based on this display in her own committee I was both frightened and reminded how we truly need good old fashion reform in Washington. Â The problem with the status quo that we have today is that no matter what the so-called impetus is for a senator, congressman, etc. to pursue their political offices, Â many times the real underlying impetus is hubris, power, money, etc. Â Senator Boxer is just another in a long line of professional politicians that just don’t get it. Â She is clearly out of touch with the majority of Americans and also living in a long past era where persons of color are expected to follow the same exact believe system. To lump the African American community into one large “group” as she did during this committee does an incredible disservice to African Americans, freedom of choice and my basic intellect. Â In closing, Senator Boxer, we are now in the 21st century – don’t use the NAACP and 100 Black Men to advance your causes – instead try using data, facts, figures and a common sense approach.
Video: Courtesy of Youtube.com and www.ChuckDevore.com (running against Sen.Boxer in 2010 election) Â