I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Barb, Barb, Barb... Barb, Barb Buono!

An admittedly stupid headline for a smart legislator:
It's no secret that New Jersey's tax system is regressive. When looking collectively at the state's income, property, and sales tax, the lowest income group pays 10.8% of their income to these taxes, while the highest wage earners pay 9% of their income in taxes. After federal deductions, that gap widens, with the lowest wage earners paying 10.7% of their income to taxes, while the top earners pay a mere 7.4% of their income. 
Astonishingly, Governor Christie recently announced a proposal that would further widen this gap; he plans to cut the income tax for the wealthiest New Jerseyans. Upon learning about this proposal, the Star Ledger asked, "Is he kidding?" and forcefully denounced the Governor's plans to hand the wealthiest "a tax cut that would blow a new hole in the budget." No, the Governor's not kidding. And that's quite concerning. 
Here's the problem: New Jersey's income tax is constitutionally dedicated to property tax relief. So when we take in less money from the income tax, we further shift the tax burden onto the middle class. This will result in a reduction in funding to our public schools (after all, the property tax is the primary source of education funding in New Jersey), as well as an increase in property taxes at a time when many are struggling to simply feed their families and make ends meet. 
We need more people in positions of influence like Senator Buono making this case. We should be INCREASING the income tax and simultaneously decreasing the property tax.

Christie wants just the opposite:
Taxing the rich at a rate three times higher than neighboring states is stifling growth and needs to be dealt with soon, Christie said Monday in a radio interview.
"I’m less sanguine about the property tax decrease in the short term than I am about the fact that they will see during my first term an income tax decrease," he said on Bloomberg radio. "We have to do that in order to make New Jersey more competitive with our neighbors. ... And I’m hoping to be able to do that in the next year or two."
There it is, trolls. More for his buddies - less for you. Oh, he'll be a GREAT president...

Tax cuts for the wealthy have ALWAYS worked out just great!

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