Same Old, Same Old

Over the last seven years, NJ Democrats, increased taxes five-score times. They increased the state budget by 40%. They buried us under a mountain of debt. Meanwhile, we poured whole cities’ worth of concrete on public works projects.

Result: our economy is in the crapper.

Today, Hizzonor called the Legislature to Trenton, proclaiming an unprecedented economic crisis and, as the remedy, suggests: redirecting a few hundred million in governmental spending and accelerating lots of public works projects.

How can such a bold plan possibly fail?

The Republicans, contrariwise, urged something new: cut taxes and let people keep more of their own money.

As respects governmental spending, the left pursues a Catch-22 mentality. In flush times, they argue: "the prosperity is not evenly distributed. We can afford to increase taxes and spend more money increasing the size of government to assist the poor." In lean times, they aver: "We cannot balance the budget on the backs of the poor; taxes and spending cannot be cut."

Perhaps no onepersonifies New Jersey’s hard left better than Jon Shure, and his response to the Republicans’ proposal for a sales tax holiday exemplifies the left’s economic philosophy. Cutting taxes, Shure avers, is a bad idea. Why? Simple: government knows better how to spend money than do the folks who actually earn it.

Rather than cutting taxes, Shure argues – predictably – that more money should be spent on programs to "help" the poor. He contends that tax holidays do not change what people will buy, only when. Um, isn’t that kinda, sorta the point? If the economy stinks today, and folks might have been contemplating buying a car sometime next year, isn’t moving things along a good thing?

Of course, the left never met the tax cut it liked. Government, Shure says, spends money "in more targeted, meaningful ways" than do the people who actually earn it.

Interestingly, Corzine echoed the concern that holiday spending will decline this year, but ignored the obvious solution. The Republican proposal for a modest tax cut represents a baby step in the right direction.

Nationally, Obama toes a similar, hard-left line, averring that his tax plans are designed to "spread the wealth". Problem: it’s not his wealth to spread. It belongs to those who earned it. Obama’s a rich man, perhaps not at Corzinian levels, but wealthy. He’s free to spread his wealth around as he sees fit. But he is NOT free to spread anyone else’s. Neither one’s income nor property is the proper subject of a referendum.

Leftists turned NJ into a laboratory for democratic-socialist policies, and conclusively proved their failure. Our tax code is one of the most progressive in the nation. We spend a mint on "the poor", in the form of massive subsidies to urban schools, so-called affordable housing, distressed cities aid, etc. And, to reiterate, our economy is in the crapper, and has been since long before anyone ever heard of the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Apparently, it never occurs to the left that there might be a relationship between their economic policies and economic disaster.

Actually, they understand perfectly; they just don’t care. As Barney Frank noted, when discussing Fannie and Freddie, their "affordable housing" mission was so important that he was willing to "roll the dice" on their solvency. His gamble came up craps, and the taxpayers got stuck with a multi-trillion dollar bill. But the left will happily bankrupt the nation in furtherance of "fairness". Just as they’ve done to NJ.

Honesty – yes, a quaint concept, but humor me – compels a conservative to admit that we lack any magic elixir to prevent economic downturns. No one has yet invented a process to legislate away the business cycle, any more than they’ve figured out how to guard against occasional human irrationality and resulting economic bubbles. It’s hubris to assert that government can "fix" economic downturns – although, as the present crisis demonstrates, it’s easy for government to create them. Just as the left’s "solution" to economic downturns is always the same – more government – so the right’s prescription never varies: less government. The difference is, we’re right.

A free economy, one with a minimum of taxes and regulations, functions better than one subject to heavy taxes and numerous governmental controls. Free economies ALWAYS produce more prosperity than their more restrictive counterparts. If one wishes NJ – and the US – to prosper economically, cut taxes – especially on businesses and investors – and cut spending accordingly. Prosperity will follow and everyone will benefit. Even – especially – the poor.

Curiously, Obama calls this an "on your own" society. As he sees it, without Big Government programs, one is bereft of "help". Apparently, one’s friends, family, neighbors, and community count for nothing. Community groups, churches, and charities offer no possible solace. Only Big Government, "spreading the wealth", suffices.

That’s been tried all around the world, and failed everywhere. Recognizing economic reality, even Sweden and Russia recently abolished their death tax. Fancy that: Sweden and Russia are more conservative – freer – than New Jersey and the US.

Corzine once told us, "be bold". Here’s bold: cut taxes. Start with the modest sales tax cut the GOP proposes now, then slash income taxes, repeal all death taxes. Let no year pass without further tax reductions. Get government substantially out of the "help" business; it inevitably screws up, at huge expense. When people need "help", they should see Jon Corzine, multi-millionaire, not Jon Corzine, tax collector.

Corzine, ala JFK, opined that a rising tide lifts all boats. Great! Get with the tax cutting to start that tide a-rising. Freedom and prosperity walk together. The quicker we jettison failed leftist nostrums about "fairness", the sooner economic prosperity will return. Same Old, Same Old