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Christie’s Challenge? Cutting $8 Billion

christie cutting 8 bilThe state has an $8 billion budget hole for next year. Revenues are collapsing. And voters have elected Chris Christie as governor to do just as he promised: cut government spending and not raise taxes. Last week, Christie told the annual gathering of virtually all government leaders at the New Jersey State League of Municipalities convention, “There are hard decisions that are going to be made.” There are decisions to be made, but keep in mind, however, that half the state budget — $15 billion — is dedicated to municipal and school aid and other property tax relief programs. Those funds come in through the income and other taxes and get passed right out.

Yet even before we get to next year, revenues are declining right now. Robert E. Grady, a member of Christie’s transition team, said late Friday that tax collections may lag by $1 billion when the current budget year ends in June. That will require spending freezes and immediate cuts, Grady said.

Then, how is the next budget going to get balanced? Interviews with budget experts and state leaders can be summarized as the easy way and the hard way.

Here’s the easy way:

First, put off, for yet another year, the state’s annual pension contribution, which is currently nearing $3 billion. Doing that further speeds up the timer on that bomb waiting down the road, but for now, it’s harmless. No one loses their jobs.

Next, forget the $1 billion for property tax relief checks, shrug off any of the projected $600 million increase in school aid, stop growth in Medicaid and force the unions to give back enough to stanch the growth in health benefits.

That will shrink the problem to a $2.8 billion deficit, experts say.

Next, cut the state budget across the board by 10 percent. That would mean firing 7,400 state workers. Slash aid to municipalities and schools, which will result in local layoffs, property tax increases or both. It also means cutting hospitals again and whacking aid to state universities, where there will be more layoffs and tuition hikes. Spare no one: arts groups, state parks, children on state medical insurance. For full article see APP.

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There are 4 Comments to "Christie’s Challenge? Cutting $8 Billion"

  • Mark says:

    another good one is start issuing concealed weapons permits @ $100 each, at least 1 million will be issued thats $100,000,000 in the coffers every five years

  • elrushbo says:

    it’s gonna hurt, but we gotta do it, you can’t spend money that you don’t have, just I think there might be a lot of waste like advertising food stamps and the therpy frauds

  • Anonymous says:

    jersey care is going to be history

  • jersey cared says:

    I don’t think so , a lot of that money is compliments of OBama