So the NJ Senate refused to vote for the gas tax hike and drivers in and through the state get a break for the weekend. Does it mean the tax hike is dead? No, it will pass, this is just political grandstanding, as is the cut in sales tax (7 to 6%). Why did the gas hike not pass? “Democratic Sen. Loretta Weinberg, the majority leader, said during a Statehouse press conference Wednesday that she can’t support a plan that cuts $1.7 billion in revenue from the $34.8 billion state budget.” She was referring to the cut in sales tax, which was to take effect “sometime before 2018”. You see the gas tax is immediate, the sales tax cut is in the future. Why? So the Governor (and others) could say I voted for a tax cut for the people, and then when I was out of the office the legislature rescinded the decrease. He gets cover, “I lowered taxes, they failed to execute and raised them”. Ask yourself how can a state already in the hole on spending, cut by $1.7 billion more? They can’t, that’s why it’s a “sometime in the future cut”, that will never happen. The gas hike will.
Once the new gas tax becomes a reality New Jersey will go from the second-lowest fuel tax rates in the country to one of the highest. According to the American Petroleum Institute, New Jersey’s combined federal (18.4¢) and state taxes (14.5¢) now total 32.9¢. Add 23¢ to that, and you get 55.9¢, well above the national average (48.04¢) and cheaper only than six states (Pennsylvania, Washington, New York, Hawaii, California, and Connecticut). A major change for the Garden State.
Speaking of taxes July 1, is the date many locales raise them. Connecticut as an example raises it’s cigarette tax by twenty-five cents to $3.90 a pack. I have always believed people have no idea on the amount of tax they pay outside of payroll. Look at the gas tax above, your cell phone or cable bills. You would be shocked how much you pay. But, it’s never enough for the government. You know why? They deal off annual budgets only to see how much more they can spend. What do you think would happen if someone said “we are cutting all budgets by 5%?” You know what would happen? Not what liberals would yell about, “people are going to starve, go homeless and lose jobs”. What would happen is managers would find a way to save the dollars. Less people going to meetings, less wasteful outlays, less of things that are not necessary. A shame that all we do is add more spending in the backs of the working class.
One topic we didn’t touch on this week was the Supreme Court. This election is so vital to our future and it’s most clear in the 4-4 illegal immigrant deportation decision. Think about this. For six years President Obama said he “did not” have the legal power to say “no deportations.” He was clear that was beyond his powers and said so, time and again. Until he decided he would do it anyway. Imagine that. He said he did not have the power and then did it. Easy decision no? Yet the court was 4-4. The four liberal judges voted to say he had the power. The only reason it didn’t pass was the lower court was clear that this was illegal and a tie vote could not overturn that. This upcoming election decides the court and may be issue one for the kind of country our children and grandchildren inherit.
On that score and in honor of July 4th we’ll close this out with a link to a famous commentor a few years back, Paul Harvey. He did this one in 1965. Take a listen to how eerily it sounds in today’s world. Happy holiday to all.