Trenton Central Planners on Overdrive

Trenton’s legislating machine is running in over-drive. The radicals who are running the engine of big government have opened the

Trenton’s legislating machine is running in over-drive. The radicals who are running the engine of big government have opened the throttle of central planning and are bent on ramming through their agenda, regardless of disturbing economic indicators, skyrocketing taxes and the evacuation of job producing taxpayers.

The Swedish-style Paid Family Leave scheme is being railroaded through the legislature, despite its destructive effect on the state’s small business community.

A costly Socialistic Universal Health Insurance plan that has already failed in Massachusetts is on the horizon. Union organizers are using the insidious Card Check bill to unionize anyone they can without a secret ballot, expanding the government workers union bosses' powerful influence even more.

We have seen the state government grow at astronomical rates for five years in a row and are feeling the effect of this growth in every municipality. As if all this is not enough, the jewel in the crown of the Corzine administration liberal agenda is One Hundred Thousand Low Income Housing units being forced down the throats of taxpayers.

During the 2005 Gubernatorial Primary I exposed this scheme, expecting my Republican opponents to help take on this threat and its destructive impact. I predicted this would be a major initiative of Jon Corzine should he become Governor.

My opponents chose to dodge this issue, afraid to challenge this taxpayer funded entitlement rip-off. Now Corzine will have his way, using COAH regulations to override local zoning ordinances and jam high-density, low income housing into every town in the state, especially targeting Republican towns. The scary part is that few politicians are stepping up to stop this wacko socialist scheme, but there are a few bright spots.

One of the heroes in the battle against the Central Planners is Middletown Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger for his courage in standing up to Trenton’s bureaucracy. His resolution passed by the Middletown Council calling for a moratorium of state mandated Low Income Housing being forced on local municipalities is refreshing and timely. The resolution was voted on along party lines with the mayor breaking the tie, demonstrating local Democrats commitment to Trenton’s big government agenda.

Middletown taxpayers, like all other taxpayers in this state, cannot afford to have local property taxes driven even higher so Trenton’s central planners can continue to manipulate the state’s housing market while simultaneously growing the state’s outrageous debt, which is how much of this government housing will be financed.

New Jersey’s financial situation is at a crisis point. The state’s economic strength is deteriorating, not because of anything out of our control but because of one single factor– failed State Government policies.

Now this reckless and irresponsible Trenton ruling class wants to force their ridiculous social experiments on every community in the state. They think they can out think the housing market and in doing so will create an artificial over-supply of Low Income Housing. Where will the inhabitants of these units come from?

With New Jersey experiencing the outward migration of our upper income job producing taxpayers and polls revealing the majority of our young people do not believe they have a future here, the Central Planners are making New Jersey a magnet state for those looking for a taxpayer subsidized handout. They believe that those they categorize as “Low Income” have a mortgage on the success and income of others. This entitlement mentality is contrary to all the principles that have made America a great country. Taxpayers simply cannot afford this train wreck.

Most politicians would prefer to avoid tackling this issue, like my primary opponents did. It seems to have become “politically incorrect” to oppose all these new entitlement programs. Mayor Scharfenberger has set a standard for defending the free market and spirit of individual responsibility for the rest of our state’s mayors and political “leaders” to emulate. In America, everyone has the right to the opportunity to prosper under equal protection of the law and equal opportunity. They do not have the right to equal things. Mayor Scharfenberger and the Middletown Council Majority should be commended for their courage in standing up for what is right.

Steve Lonegan was Mayor of Bogota, NJ, and is Executive Director of Americans for Prosperity – New Jersey. Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP Foundation) are committed to educating citizens about economic policy and mobilizing those citizens as advocates in the public policy process. He is a prolific writer, having been published in newspapers and blogs. He just published a book, Putting Taxpayers First: A Blueprint for Victory in the Garden State, that discusses the impact of the Trenton government on the well being of the taxpayers of the state. He offers solid and workable solutions. Learn more at Trenton Central Planners on Overdrive