TRENTON – Assemblyman Jay Webber, R-26, Morris Plains, slammed the “majority party” Democrats Thursday for excessive taxation and borrowing in all the years they have controlled the Legislature, saying they talk like Mormons but behave like drunken sailors.
“When it comes to taxpayer debt, taxpayer money, Democrats in the Legislature treat it like a bottle of liquor,” he said during a morning Assembly Budget Committee hearing.
“They talk about it like a bunch of Mormons, but they treat it like a bunch of sailors. I just can’t sit here and listen to lectures about the dangers of borrowing and the dangers of taxing and spending when we watched for a decade the same people vote for borrowing.”
But committee Chairman Vincent Prieto, (D-32), of Secaucus, pointed out that the Christie administration is taking advantage of all the revenues those tax hikes are producing.
He added that both parties were responsible for the state’s fiscal situation, and not just the Democrats.
Assemblyman John Burzichelli, (D-3), of Paulsboro said that whatever decisions that were made in the past were made with the best of intentions, even if the results may not have panned out.
Coleman fires back
Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-15, Ewing, countered Webber’s characterization of legislative Dems as “drunken sailors” when it comes to taxing residents.
In a blast from the past moment, Coleman said it was one of the GOP’s own – former Gov. Don DiFrancesco – who oversaw much of the spending spree that Webber lambasted.
“One of the last governors that was spending like a drunken sailor was Donnie DiFrancesco, and he was one of theirs and not ours,” she said. “As a result of his drunken selling, purchasing, vending, we’ve been trying to recover ever since.”
The give-and-take occurred during a hearing devoted to testimony by budget officer David Rosen of the Office of Legislative Services, who foresees steep revenue shortfalls.
The Treasurer is scheduled to appear before the committee this afternoon.