Break out the popcorn, Phil Murphy and NJ Democrats are already planning for a government shutdown on June 30th

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.

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Phil Murphy resurrects the Obamacare Individual Mandate for New Jersey

When I restarted this blog I didn’t intend for it to be All Phil Murphy All The Time. But sheesh, the guy is a one man wrecking crew, hell-bent on ruining life in the Garden State, and he just doesn’t stop, or come up for air.

His latest assault on our freedom? Imposing his own version of the Obamacare Individual Mandate on New Jersey, as in the mandate that was just repealed by Congress is back in force here as if it never left. BOHICA!

And you gotta love the, uh, “objective journalism” at the Newark Star-Ledger where the headline reads “Phil Murphy signs law protecting Obamacare from Trump with N.J. mandate to have health insurance.”

“Protecting Obamacare from Trump?” No bias there!

Oh, but it’s for the good of our state dontcha know, otherwise young and healthy people won’t buy insurance they don’t need. Because the privilege of paying some other guy’s medical bills is why I get up and go to work in the morning, how about you?

But you’ve heard all these arguments before. The Individual Mandate is wildly unpopular, which is why it had to be imposed by judicial fiat in the first place. Socialism — ideas so good they have to be compulsory! And Phil Murphy is determined to impose socialism in every corner of New Jersey. Except his. He already made his millions. Now he’s out to ensure the rest of us won’t get the chance.

The Phil Murphy Effect: Record low number of people like living in New Jersey

Barely half of the people living in New Jersey actually like living here. Which is a record low, thanks in no small part to the joys of Murphyism.

A record low percentage of New Jerseyans say the Garden State is a good place to live, according to a new poll.

The Monmouth University Poll released Tuesday found 54 percent of New Jersey adults say the state is either an excellent (15 percent) or good (39 percent) home, while 29 percent say it’s fair and 17 percent say it’s poor.

That’s the lowest percentage recorded since this poll was started way back in 1980.

Way to go Phil! You “beat” Jim Florio, Jim McGreevey, and Jon Corzine. That’s gotta be worth tagging on your resume.

And what issue dominates the ranking, year after year? Taxes. Led by our state’s highest in the nation property taxes. As in the one item Phil Murphy has guaranteed he’ll make worse, to the tune of at least $1.8 billion in new levies larded onto his fiscal 2019 budget.

Who voted for this turkey?

Because an old line from Ed Koch has never been truer than it is today — “The people have spoken and now they must be punished.” Phil Murphy’s giving it to us, good and hard. And he’s only getting started. #BOHICA

The IRS puts a damper on Phil Murphy’s property tax charity scam

Earlier this month Phil Murphy and his Democratic henchmen in the NJ state legislature created what they call a “workaround” to the $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions that was enacted as part of President Trump’s tax reform package. The SALT deduction is popular in high tax states like NJ where the average taxpayer claimed a deduction of more than $18,000 against his taxable income last year. But it’s unfair to residents of low tax states who end up subsidizing NJ’s profligate spending local governments as they pay more in federal tax on similar gross incomes.

The scheme concocted by Murphy transforms property tax payments into “charitable contributions,” which remain fully deductible.

The new law (S1893) allows municipalities, counties and school districts to set up charitable funds to pay for public services. Residents who donate to the funds can receive a credit of up to 90 percent toward their property tax bills, and those contributions can then be written off as charitable deductions on their federal taxes.

Republicans warned Murphy that property tax payments aren’t really charity. Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll labeled it “tax fraud.” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin called the idea “ridiculous.” And acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter expressed skepticism about it when addressing a congressional committee back in February.

Yesterday the IRS officially weighed in, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to let Murphy scam them.

But, on Wednesday, the IRS and Treasury signaled they could take a dim view of states taking this sort of action.

The agencies issued a notice saying that they plan to propose regulations to “help taxpayers understand the relationship between federal charitable contribution deductions and the new statutory limitation on the deduction of state and local taxes.”

“Taxpayers should be mindful that federal law controls the proper characterization of payments for federal income tax purposes,” the notice says.

That’s bureaucrat-eeze for “don’t do that.”

So of course Murphy immediately backed down and vowed to find a way to meaningfully reduce our state’s highest in the nation property tax burden.

Just kidding! He unleashed Josh Gottheimer and Bill Pascrell with threats of, wait for it, lawsuits.

“It’s Jersey. We’re ready for a fight,” said U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-5th Dist., a leading proponent of efforts to use charitable funds as a way to evade the cap.

“It would give some relief to the taxpayers who are being screwed by the Republicans,” Pascrell said. “If the IRS rules it to be unlawful, we’ll have do something else and we’ll see them in court, guaranteed.”

If we’re being screwed by anyone, it’s NJ Democrats, who continually find new and destructive ways to separate us from our hard-earned money. Rather than trying to tamper down NJ’s tax burden Murphy is demanding more than $1.5 billion in new taxes for the upcoming fiscal year. Because Democrats are genetically incapable of cutting spending, but they’re very good at blaming Republicans for the problems they’ve caused.

Fascist Police State Alert: Beware the seat belt checkpoints

It’s almost Memorial Day weekend so that means it’s time for the local Stasi to once again remind us peasants who’s in charge of our lives.

Cops from 173 departments around the state will be handing out extra tickets starting today in the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign.

The seat belt ticket blitz lasts until June 3, a two-week stretch in which police officers will have zero-tolerance for people caught not buckling up, the state’s department of law and public safety said in a statement.

Ah, yes, the joys of New Jersey’s annual seat belt checkpoints. It was the subject of my first rant at the old blog, and everything I said 11 years ago still holds true today, including of course the true purpose of the exercise:

Color me skeptical, but the main purpose of the whole thing is not to make us safer. It’s to raise money, $46 at a time.

Except now, since front seat “compliance” is so high, the Volkskammer decreed that back seat passengers must buckle up too. Gotta protect that revenue stream!

So the same Volkspolizei that can’t enforce “stop and frisk” to take drugs and guns off our streets will be out there hassling guys napping in the back seat on the way home in their car pools.

Remember Freedom? Yeah, we don’t have that.

While looking for seat belt scofflaws, cops also issued 498 child restraint and 6,363 speeding citations and made 976 DWI arrests during the two-week period in 2017.

More revenue enhancement!

Did you notice what they didn’t cite? Drivers who lacked licenses, registrations, or insurance cards. You know, illegal aliens. Because if you’re not wearing a seat belt you’re an Enemy Of The State. But if you’re an illegal alien, Sanctuary Phil will give you a free college education.

Somewhere the Founding Fathers are weeping.

Public employees score another huge raise from Phil Murphy’s unionista candy store

Phil Murphy says he’s “a union man.” And boy does he love him some public employee unions. He especially loves to throw our money at them.

First up were the Jersey City teachers, who scored an average increase of 8%, retroactively. As one of the sainted Abbott districts, Jersey City gets the lion’s share of its education budget from the state. Ergo, Murphy’s buddy Steve Fulop giveth, and we pay through the nose.

Then Murphy himself wrote a blank check to the CWA, handing 35,000 unionistas retroactive raises and “step increases.” He signed the deal without knowing how much it would cost, because as he put it, it was “the right thing to do.” You know who’s on the hook for that blank check, right? Yup. You and me.

And now he’s lavishing the goodies on his inner circle.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law Friday allowing millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded raises for hundreds of public officials in New Jersey, including judges, county prosecutors, and members of the governor’s cabinet.

Judges and county prosecutors who currently haul in around $170,000 a year will receive an increase of $24,000. County officials such as clerks and sheriffs will see a similar 14% increase because their salaries are linked to those of superior court judges. And if anyone needs a 14% raise it’s those double-dipping county sheriffs, amiright?

But Murphy saved the biggest bump for his inner circle. Members of his cabinet get an immediate $34,000 raise, from $141,000 to $175,000 per year.

That works out to almost 25%. Twenty. Five. Percent.

It’s good to be Phil Murphy’s friend!

Ah, but it’s “only” going to cost us $15.6 million a year, so what’s the big deal, right?

Except as a man once said, $15.6 million here, $15.6 million there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

I’ll add to that Phil Murphy’s unequivocal message to taxpayers: BOHICA.

Rep. Al Green (D-TX) is the gift that keeps on giving

As we wend our way to the 2018 midterm election, one thing is clear. A significant subset of the Democratic Party is batshit insane.

A Democratic lawmaker who has tirelessly campaigned for President Trump’s impeachment blasted House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi on Monday for undermining his effort.

Pelosi, in an interview with The Dallas Morning News, had said she wishes Democrats like Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, would not make impeaching Trump a rallying cry.

“We have elections,” she said. “Go vote if it’s a policy thing and a behavior thing. I don’t know if you can get impeached for being a jerk, but if we did, this guy would be long gone. But that’s not unifying.”

But Green, who has spearheaded the push to impeach Trump, criticized Pelosi, saying that reducing Trump to a jerk “trivializes the impact of his bigoted policies on Jews, Latinos, African-Americans, women and the LGBTQ community.”

Oh please Democrats. Please run on a platform of impeaching President Trump. Please!

I mean, it’s not like his “bigoted policies” on Jews hasn’t fostered the opening of our US Embassy in Jerusalem, and a strengthening of the US – Israel alliance, right?

Or, his “bigoted policies” on Latinos and African-Americans haven’t created more jobs for both groups than any president ever. In fact the economy is booming, except perhaps in places reflexively ruled by Democrats (yeah, I’m looking at you Seattle, and sadly, New Jersey).

And he’s so bigoted against women that he’s got more of them in high-level White House positions than any previous administration. Oh, right, he whooped Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit’s ass. Oops. Sorry, not sorry.

As for “the LGBTQ community” Congressman, Ric Grenell is on line 1, and Peter Thiel would like a word too.

Sheesh. It’s like this guy doesn’t inhabit the Real World.

Then again, in the fever swamps of NJ Democrats (alas, I don’t know much about Texas Democrats) he’s mainstream. I hear people talking impeachment All The Time. It’s their Holy Grail. The NJ.com and Baristanet comment boards are full of keyboard warriors eager to opine on how Robert Mueller’s latest fizzled “bombshell” is guaranteed to bring Trump frog-marched into the dock. They hate Donald Trump with a visceral passion, and they’re not afraid to tell us, repeatedly.

Earlier this month, Pelosi told Politico that impeachment was popular in her district.

See, what did I say?

Mikie Sherrill’s minions are gung-ho for impeachment too. They see Russians under every bed Trump sleeps in. Of course they failed see the actual Russian spies who lived for decades in her Montclair neighborhood so I’m skeptical about their newfound Rooskie Radar, but hey, whatever keeps them warm at night. And when they’re not beating the impeachment drum they’re marching for gun confiscation so you can be sure the crazy runs deep around her campaign.

Which of course is Good News for Jay Webber, and Steve Lonegan too. That Blue Wave is looking more and more like a ripple, if that, meaning that as long as the Al Green Wing keeps talking Nancy Pelosi’s chances of grabbing the gavel keep diminishing. God Bless America.