Tag Archives: barack obama

Obama and Biden Believe Our Future is in New Jersey? By Gregory Hilton

Outgoing Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) gave his final “State of State Address” today. A week from now he will be heading back to Manhattan, and he leaves behind a $9 billion deficit and plenty of challenges for his successor. Prior to entering politics, Corzine had been CEO of the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs and his net worth is in excess of $300 million. He was portrayed as a “Wizard of Wall Street” when he arrived in Trenton, but the state soon learned he was unable to balance a check book.
He has a 61% disapproval rating and lost to Gov-elect Chris Christie (R) last November by 85,000 votes. Now that he is leaving office he has begun to recognize some of the sources of voter anger. This afternoon Corzine said there was “reckless borrowing,” and “Let’s call it like it is: Everyone’s property taxes are too damn high.”
Not only is he correct but they are the highest taxes in the nation. Four years ago he promised to cut them by 40%. The Corzine plan was to cut property taxes by 10% a year over a four year period. They ended up increasing by 20%.
He also raised the sales tax and increased the state budget. He promised to bring fiscal sanity in his 2005 campaign, but he only brought insanity to Trenton. He said there would be no government borrowing without voter approval, but he broke that promise immediately. He claimed there would be no more “gimmicks”, and then he postponed interest payments until 2014.
In his speech today the Governor called New Jersey a “beacon for progressive government.” He is correct. New Jersey is a prime example of what happens when liberals have complete control of a state government.
What was most disturbing is when the Governor said Obama and Biden “looked to New Jersey for ideas and they used them.” I am not sure what ideas he is talking about because Corzine increased spending, borrowing, debt and nearly bankrupted the pension system.
When he came into office the Republican Party offered to work with Governor Corzine. GOP leaders promised to cooperate with him on his campaign promise to cut property taxes, and reform state government. The Governor was also told Republicans would support practically any budget reductions he submitted. He ignored the offer of assistance which is a major reason he lost.
His first budget was 11% higher than his predecessor and he hired over 7,000 new state workers. Tolls on the NJ Turnpike went up 40% under Corzine. With bipartisan support the legislature did enact $1 billion in spending cuts, but they were vetoed by the Governor because his labor union allies did not want them.
Corzine was also anti-business, and enacted burdensome regulations such as the very generous family leave policies. These regulations makes the state non-competitive. Many citizens have relocated because of the high property and state income taxes, and others have not fled because it is so difficult to sell a home in New Jersey.
Corzine spent $130 million of his own money on his campaigns and many saw this as a good point because he would not be beholden to the special interests. Unfortunately that was never the case, and the Governor was always on the string of the SEIU and the NJ Education Association. Corzine ignored many dire fiscal problems and his priorities were instead gay marriage and legalized marijuana.
The damage done by Corzine will be difficult to repair. The new Governor has to raise revenue or drastically cut services. State pensions and medical benefits are going to be a huge structural liability for many decades. Christie needs to fire 5000-7000 state workers, and cut staff salaries by 20%.
Every union contract has to be open and cut. He needs to eliminate tenure for teachers across the board. State employees should have insurance but similar to the private sector, they need to pay for family coverage as well as 50% of the premiums. Pensions for workers with less than five years of service should be moved to 401k plans.
The state is on the verge of bankruptcy and the real loser has been the besieged taxpayers. Gov-elect Christie now has one of the most difficult jobs in the nation, and he must contend with a state legislature which is firmly controlled by the Democratic Party. Despite Corzine’s persistent lobbying the legislature recently rejected gay marriage as well as free in-state tuition for illegal aliens. The new Governor has a mandate for dramatic reform so all eyes will now be on the state legislature. If they are going to climb out of the current fiscal hole they need to put partisan politics aside.
I sure hope President Obama is not looking to New Jersey for the new initiatives he will propose in his upcoming State of the Union Address.

Former President Claims There Is “Racist” Tone Against Obama by Gregory Hilton

In an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, former President Jimmy Carter said he has been extremely bothered by the heightened climate of racial and other hate speech since the election of President Barack Obama. Several lawmakers are in agreement with Carter and this was mentioned in yesterday’s debate today regarding the Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) “Resolution of Disapproval.” I know many people who are opposed to the Obama agenda, but it has absolutely nothing to do with race. We would be opposed to the same policies if they were advocated by John Kerry, Al Gore, Michael Dukakis or Hillary Clinton. I do not know any racist, and I certainly would never associate myself with such a person. Do the Democrats really want to argue that if Barack Obama were not African-American we would unreservedly embrace his policies?
The only race based rhetoric I know of is on the left. The New York Times article below is an example. It is about one of the closest Congressional primary races in the nation. Liberal Rep. Steve Cohen (TN) is being challenged for the Democratic nomination by Willie Herenton who served five terms as Mayor of Memphis. Cohen is white and Herenton is black, and they agree on all the issues. Cohen’s voting record is awful but there is no evidence he is a racist.
This is how Herenton explains his candidacy: “To know Steve Cohen is to know that he really does not think very much of African-Americans.” He says his campaign is “going to be about race.” The Herenton campaign believes the “seat was set aside” for black people, “It wasn’t set aside for a Jew or a Christian. It was set aside so that blacks could have representation.” I could never imagine any conservative candidate making statements similar to this. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/14/us/14memphis.html?bl

Public Opinion Shift Demonstrated in Pennsylvania Senate Race by Gregory Hilton

Angry crowd jeers Specter By Luis Fabregas, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Friday, August 14, 2009

A major change is happening throughout the nation. As the article above notes, “About 1,500 people waited for hours under the beating sun for the town hall meeting on health care reform. The 200 or so allowed into the hall greeted the Republican-turned-Democrat with rounds of thundering jeers reminiscent of a Jerry Springer show. Some stood up and applauded, and so began a 90-minute showdown marked by passionate pleas for action, interruptions from angry hecklers and incessant chants that drowned out Specter’s call for civility. ‘Read the bill!’ the crowd roared. ‘We will be taxed!’
Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) is now trailing his GOP opponent by 12 points after having a huge lead a few months ago. The electorate is energized and the center is moving to the right. Unlike many of his colleagues, Senator Specter does deserve credit for showing up at town hall meetings during the August recess.
Specter has always had difficult re-election battles and he is a diligent campaigner. This powerful message goes way beyond the Specter campaign. The grassroots left was energized last year, and now the grassroots right has awakened. They may go back to sleep after cap and trade and the health care public option bite the dust. I am surprised this has happened so early in the Obama administration.
I hope Specter wins his primary. He switched parties but he is continuing his opposition to the union card check legislation. His primary opponent, Rep. Joseph Sestak (D-PA) is a retired Admiral. Obama is keeping the Pentagon budget constant without any increases. Sestak wants to make significant cuts in DoD spending and because he was a flag officer he will receive prominent attention from the news media.
The feedback for the town hall meetings demonstration that people are concerned about a deficit which has increased ten times from two years ago. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says they are “un-American,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calls them “evil mongers,” and Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) says they are similar to the Nazi’s. One reason these lawmakers are angry is because independent voters are now siding 2-1 with opponents of the public option, the stimulus and cap and trade.