Opinion: Are the Bosses Ripping Off the Taxpayer?
For a few weeks now, I've been saying that the un-elected power brokers are the problem in NJ. Whether they are convicted criminals like disgraced GOP leader George Gilmore or Democratic king-maker George Norcross, who is at the center of the Governor's probe into tax incentives, it's clear abusing power behind the scenes is not limited to one party.
I've had the discussion on air about the bully-in-charge in Monmouth County reportedly going so far as to throw an elected member of the Assembly out of an event. It's clear that we have some house cleaning to do in both parties.
As far as the Monmouth issue, it seems to me that the County Chairman who serves as the elected sheriff in the county should not hold both jobs. As far as Norcross, it's difficult to see more than a billion dollars in NJ tax incentives go to the behind-the-scenes boss and his allies. It's more difficult to digest that Norcross is the power behind the throne of Christie/Sweeney. These are the guys responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars leaving our state, while they delivered a crushing deal in 2011 that effectively gave teachers a pay cut and did nothing to sure up their promised retirement and certainly did anything, but lower property taxes. The only thing that the power-broker deal got us is more debt, more out-migration and ever-increasing taxes.
The bottom line is that the Governor was right to look into the tax incentive scheme and make sure that everyone benefiting followed the law and legitimately deserved the credits. Beyond that, my question to the Governor is when will he create the tax incentive for the rest of us? How about an incentive for middle and working class families to stay? At the very least start with incentives for the 18,000 small businesses who belong to NJBIA.
We need practical leadership in our state, not pandering politicians beholden to rich power brokers.