Archive for November, 2008

This pension fiasco represents an opportunity

Author: Rory B. Bellows

it is time someone pointed the finger at who is really to blame over the travesty of a mockery of a sham that is New Jersey’s Public Employees Pension Fund. The blame does not lie with the legislature or the hack who is appointed to oversee the fund. No, the blame goes to every New Jersey Governor who rolls over and plays dead for public sector unions.

The pension fund is short around $28 billion dollars and this represents a huge opportunity for the GOP Gubernatorial candidate to actually get to the heart of what is bankrupting this state. You aren’t supposed to go into public service to get rich or live off the fat of the tax payers in your winter years. We face this massive debt because New Jersey has treated State Government like a jobs program with an unlimited retirement package.

New Jersey Governors have been in bed with unions, both literally and figuratively, for years now and have ignored their basic job function which is to serve the tax payers, not the people who organize your door to door and campaign literature operations.

This is an economic issue. The more money we take out of the state economy to fill the public emploeeys pension fund, the less there is in the private sector, which contrary to the belief of Democrats, is the engine that drives our prosperity. While our nation’s economy is crumbling under the weight of government meddling and intervention the last thing New Jersey needs to do is concoct schemes to shift money from producers to retirees. Instead we need a Governor who will deal with the unions as an advocate for the tax payers. If public employees want healthcare and retirement, more is going ot have come from their end. After all, it is their healthcare and retirement.


Obama’s AG Choice Favors Internet Censorship

Author: Rory B. Bellows

I guess change means you will no longer be able to speak freely on the interwebs.

ugh. So much for the First Amendment.

Wayne Bryant guilty on all counts.

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Disgraced former Democratic State Senator Wayne Bryant was found guilty on all counts of bribery and fraud.

Bryant was the former chair of the budget committee who obtained a no show job at University of Medicine and Dentistry and used his political power to steer grants their way.

While Bryant has been found guilty, the State Democratic Party should have been named as an undicited co-conspirator for their complicity in this scam by aiding and abetting Bryant’s criminal enterprise by allowing him to be Budget Chair.

Another black eye for the corrupt New Jersey Democrats.

Looking at the Governor’s Race

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Everyone, well everyone in the GOP establishment, wants to crown Chris Christie. I think this would be a mistake. The corruption issue just does not sell in New Jersey. It didn’t work agains Bob Menendez in 2006 and it did not work for the Bergen County GOP when they got shut out of the freeholders race despite the Bergen County Dem chair being indicted. And it won’t sell after Corzine drops 50 million dollars of advertising on Christie’s head for the lucrative contracts he gave to his former boss, John Ashcroft.

Christie will also have a hrad time winning as he will be running with George Bush tied around his neck. He was a fundraiser for then Governor Bush in 2000 and for the last 8 years he has been a Bush political appointee. People in this state would rather contract the plague than vote for anything even associated with George W. Bush.

I also fear Chris Christie will be another in a long line of Republican Candidates who excite no one, engage in no party buiilding and run a decent campaign but lose 53-45 to the Democrat on election day. Christie will excite no wing of the party and as we saw in this past Presidential election, firing up your voters is key.

New Jersey Republicans should hope that bio tech executive John Crowley gets in the race. He’s young, wildly successful, business savy and conservagtive enough without coming across as a firebrand. He’s everything Doug Forrester and Tom Kean, Jr. were not in 2005 and 2006 as statewide standard bearers for the Republican Party. Crowley is a talented speaker and he is actively engaged in party building with the PAC he is the honorary President of, Building the New Majority.

Crowley represents a chance to break not only with the Bush Administration, but also the entrenched GOP establishment, both of which New Jersey voters have rejected by wide margins these past few election cycles.

So it looks like Hillary is going to be Sec. State

Author: Rory B. Bellows

So much for change.

Governor Mark Sanford on the Bailout(s)

Author: Rory B. Bellows

This editorial appeared in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal.

I find myself in a lonely position. While many states and local governments are lining up for a bailout from Congress, I went to Washington recently to oppose such bailouts. I may be the only governor to do so.

But I suspect I’m not entirely alone, as there are a lot of taxpayers who aren’t pleased with Christmas coming early for politicians. And I hope these taxpayers make their voices heard before Democrats load up the next bailout train for states with budget deficits.

Several questions led me to oppose bailing out the states. They are worth asking, even if you supported bailing out Wall Street.

Who bails out the “bail-outor”?

Washington is short on cash these days and will borrow every dime of the $150 billion to $300 billion for the “stimulus” bill now being worked on. Federal appetites may know no bounds. But the federal government’s ability to borrow is not limitless. Already, our nation’s unfunded liabilities total $52 trillion — about $450,000 per household. There’s something very strange about issuing debt to solve a problem caused by too much debt.

Do you now have to be a financial “bad boy” to win?

Community bankers tell me that they are now at a competitive disadvantage for being careful about who to lend to, because others that were less disciplined will get a federal bailout. This is also true for states. Those that have been fiscally responsible will pay for or lose out to the big spenders. California increased spending 95% over the past 10 years (federal spending went up 71% over the same period). To bail out California now seems unfair to fiscally prudent states.

Was the economist Herb Stein wrong when he said that if something cannot go on forever, it won’t?

Medicaid grew 9.5% annually over the past 10 years. That’s unsustainable. But if Congress opens the checkbook now, there will be no reform.

Isn’t government intervention supposed to be the last resort and come only when it can make a difference?

In 2008 bailouts became the first resort. Over the past year the federal government has committed itself to $2.3 trillion (including the tax rebate “stimulus” checks of last February) to “improve” the economy. I don’t see how another $150 billion now will make a difference in a global slowdown. We’ve already unloaded truckloads of sugar in a vain attempt to sweeten a lake. Tossing in a Twinkie will not make the difference.

However, there is something Congress can do: free states from federal mandates. South Carolina will spend about $425 million next year meeting federal unfunded mandates. The increase in the minimum wage alone will cost the state $2.6 million and meeting Homeland Security’s REAL ID requirements will cost $8.9 million.

Based on what I saw in Washington, the bailout train is being loaded up. Taxpayers will have to speak up now to change its freight, tab or departure.

Mr. Sanford, a Republican, is the governor of South Carolina.

Where is corzine getting the money for this stimulus package from?

Author: Rory B. Bellows

The state’s budgetshortfall is like 3 times what it was projected to be and we’re going to come up with $400 million to heat people’s homes? You have got to be kidding me.