Democratic infighting isn't over tax increases; it's about which taxes to raise. Most Democrats oppose an increase in the state sales tax, fearing political reprisals. They prefer to boost already high property taxes instead. Republicans want to cut taxes and reduce spending, a proven formula for economic stimulation, not to mention increased cash flow to the treasury.
The more New Jersey raises taxes, the faster the exodus of businesses to other states, thus draining the state of tax receipts and leading Democrats to raise taxes again to make up for the lost revenue. It then becomes a vicious circle, as even more businesses vacate. According to the Census Bureau, 60,000 more people left New Jersey than moved to the state in just the year 2000.
In 1990, New Jersey went through a similar economic crisis. Then-Governor Jim Florio pushed through the biggest tax increase in state history. The economic downturn that resulted led to Florio's ouster. Republican Christine Todd Whitman replaced him. If citizens decide to try another Republican governor, they should give him, or her, a Republican legislative majority made up of fiscal conservatives.
If Tony Soprano ran his businesses like New Jersey Democrats run the state, he'd be bankrupt. Maybe someone with Tony's style and attitude should be put in charge. Otherwise, New Jersey and the Democrats who are ruining it will continue to be the butt of jokes like this one: Why are New Yorkers so depressed? Because the light at the end of the tunnel is New Jersey!
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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