TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Hal Wirths, the Assembly Republican budget officer, released a statement Tuesday on Gov. Phil Murphy signing a budget with $703 million of more taxes, $1.7 billion of more spending and $4.5 billion of more borrowing to give the appearance of a surplus.
“Everything debated on the floor comes down to doing what is in the best interest of the people government is supposed to represent. Businesses that survive the economic shutdown will face at least two business tax hikes, a nation-worst business tax or another income tax hike on top of a nearly $1 billion hike in unemployment taxes. That raises the cost of living for everybody.
“Reality is that the money taxed by government is money taken away from the people. More money that goes toward the government is less money for workers in wages, salaries or even the chance to be employed. The less money people are allowed to take home because of taxes, direct or indirect, the less is spent to support the businesses that are closing and the people businesses employ.
“New Jersey has been shut down more strictly and longer than any other state in the nation. New Jersey will be the only state in the nation to increase spending and increase debt, people are continuing to file new unemployment claims and small businesses continue to close. The reason California leads the nation in poverty and New Jersey in working-poor residents is the same liberal economic ideology.
“Republicans want government to be run like a business because a business must respond to people’s needs to be successful, and always find ways to do more for people with less. Business becomes more efficient.
“Government ensures its existence by taking more, but never solves the chronic problems that have been written about, talked about, and complained about for decades. Those problems continue to exist because government, as Democrats see it, does not work for the people.
“We can say time and again that our goals are the same. Both parties want to help people every way possible. That is why I tried to provide the $500 rebate in December and to all people with children in equal weight no matter their income. Mental and financial stress is at its peak. That is the best time to provide relief. A single parent with a child deserves the same, if not more, consideration than a two-parent family. The rebate discriminates against a single parent and most low-income families.
“Democrats denied my amendment to the $500 rebate not because it was in the people’s best interest, but because it fit their political interest for next year’s election. They betrayed the common goal and Governor Murphy is doing so by signing this budget.
“Disappointment in the majority is an understatement. I am disgusted. We all know that this budget is not an aberration for Democrats, but deep down it is still abhorrent to the regular, nonpolitical, tax-paying resident of New Jersey. No matter what Democrats convince themselves to believe.”
Fifty-one Democrat Assembly members voted to table an amendment Thursday crafted by Wirths (A10) to send rebate checks to residents in December rather than before next year’s state elections.