Our state consistently fares poorly when evaluated on tax ratings, government waste, government corruption, and value returned from the government. The Tax Foundation ranks New Jersey along with the rest of the Union:
- fifth highest cigarette tax
- highest property taxes
- 50th in federal funding received per dollar of federal taxes paid
A December 2009 Reason Foundation study shows that our transportation system performance is at the bottom of the rankings. Using data from 2007, they reported that we spend $1,155,149 per mile of state controlled road. This compares to an average of only $134,535 across the nation. Despite this spending our urban interstate system ranked 47th with 17.73% of our urban interstates being ranked as in poor condition. Our rural arterials condition ranked 34th. Despite outspending every other state by an average of 859% our roads are in worse condition than almost all other states!
Last year, the Mercatus Center at George Washington University released a report titled Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom. This study rated each state on a variety of factors based on "criteria, defining individual freedom as the ability to dispose of one’s own life, liberty, and justly acquired property however one sees fit, so long as one does not coercively infringe on another individual’s ability to do the same." New Jersey ranked second from the bottom. Only New York was found to be less free.
Our legislators are doing nothing to improve the situation. Most of our legislators do not represent the citizens. They represent the status quo. They represent the government workers, public unions, and the companies that survive on the tit of the state. Consider this:
Out of our current 79 Assemblymen and Assemblywomen, 66 of them were endorsed by the NJ Education Association in 2009.
State Senate President, Steven Sweeney, also serves as the President of Ironworkers Local 399. Other legislators who have come from the union realm include Nelson Albano, John Amodeo, Wayne DeAngelo, Joseph Egan, Elease Evans, Thomas Giblin, Paul Moriarty, Donald Norcross, and Nicholas Sacco.
Minority Leader, Tom Kean Jr. has had no other career than politics. He was appointed to the state Senate in 2001. He is typical of many of our legislators who have no life experience other than politics or government employment.
In 2009, 69% of special interest campaign donations were from labor unions. Total labor union influence of elections was $24 million.
While the NJLP supports the rights of individuals to form labor unions, our legislators have either been bought by the labor unions or they are a major player in the labor union ranks. Labor unions have become entrenched in state government. They now hold monopoly power over contract negotiations. The state government forces public employees to join a union.
Is it no wonder that our legislators are giving our money away to these special interest groups? New Jersey residents have gotten the government and taxation they have voted for. We continually elect the same career politicians.
Want to help make a difference. Consider:
Making a donation to the NJ Libertarian Party to help us stand up to these career politicians. Consider becoming a monthly donor. Monthly donors allow us to budget for long term projects.
Running for office yourself. We are searching for qualified, principled candidates for 2011.
Become an activist, speak out, participate in rallies, write letters to the editor. Find your niche in the fight for smaller government.
If New Jersey residents do not wake up and start to support organizations and political parties that care about freedom, individual rights, and prosperity, we will continue to go down the same path that has brought us to where we are now.