Last week the City Journal published a devastating account of New Jersey’s fiscal situation. Calling the state “the country’s most fiscally unfit state, overwhelmed by huge deficits and stratospheric taxes,” the article explains how the number of public sector jobs in New Jersey has increased by fourteen percent since 2000 – twice the national average and far more than our four percent population growth. This increase in public sector jobs is occurring at all levels of government, involving taxpayers in every corner of the state.
If we expect our state’s citizens to stay in New Jersey, our government leaders must structure policy in such a way that our state remains affordable. Already there is discussion of thousands of residents leaving the state after being served with continual tax increases – not to mention the debt that they know their children will inherit here.
New Jerseyans of all stripes suffer from the increasing cost of living in the state. Young and old alike are forced out of the state because they simply cannot afford to live here anymore. Young families are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet and retirees are leaving in droves to restart their lives in more affordable locales.
New Jersey has always been a high cost state, yet it is incumbent upon our elected leaders to keep the cost of living increases within reasonable bounds. Doing otherwise hurts the character of our state.