Phil Murphy’s budget proposals are too left-wing for Steve Sweeney? Apparently so! They held a budget meeting today, and by golly it didn’t end well.
The meeting was hostile, according to three sources with knowledge of the event who would only speak on the condition of anonymity. It ended with an exchange of expletives.
Oh to be a fly on that wall!
“Shortly thereafter” Murphy’s chief counsel sent out a memo ordering state departments to make contingency plans for a government shutdown starting June 30th. Ayup, we’re a month away from the budget deadline and he’s so far afield from his fellow Democrats he’s already preparing for the worst.
Normally NJ budget negotiations are the stuff of inside baseball, arcane, and conducted in literal smoke-filled back rooms. But not this year. This year Murphy’s minions have launched an ad blitz touting his ultra-progressive policies and urging his loyal followers to pressure Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin into bending to his will. The new sheriff in town wants things his way, and compromise isn’t a word in his vocabulary.
On the one hand, it’s gonna be fun to watch this play out.
On the other hand, no matter who wins the taxpayers lose. They’re not arguing about how to cut spending or shrink the budget. They’re arguing about how much they can raise taxes and what pet projects they’ll waste the money on. Murphy wants to fund a laundry list of progressive causes — “free” community college, benefits for illegal aliens, offshore windmills, mass transit, and affordable housing. Sweeney would rather throw even more money at urban schools and toss a few crumbs to senior citizens by reviving the homestead rebate program.
Either way we’ll get hosed by higher sales and income taxes, along with the usual collection of new fees and surcharges.
But hey, this is what you voted for Jersey. And if you can’t go to the beach over the Fourth of July weekend because the government is shut down, don’t come crying to me.