Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Numbers Games

Read a piece over at the Corzine Connection spelling out the cost of Forrester's property tax plan, "30% in 3 years".
Sure, I called his plan false and hollow, but I did so not to engage in partisan fighting, but because his numbers simply don't work. I double-checked the budget numbers just to be sure, and I'm pretty sure that $9 billion is cost of the Forrester plan. I'll even show my work.
In an article in The Star Ledger, I read Forrester's take on this issue.
"Corzine is offering another warmed-over, McGreevey-Florio rebate gimmick. The only thing it guarantees is higher taxes," Forrester said. "Jon Corzine is part of the same group of people who gave us these problems. He cannot change New Jersey. I can."
Now, I'm not the biggest fan of rebates. I do not understand exactly why it is that we can charge someone $3000 for taxes and then give them a rebate check for $1200. Why not just charge them $1800 in the first place? It's all a trick of government spending. The thing is, it's a trick that actually puts more money in people's pockets. If the refunds were eliminated, it would be just another spot for money to be manipulated in new ways, and few of those new ways are ever good for the taxpayers. The state spends too much in the wrong places and too little in the right ones. Have I mentioned the city where the superintendent gets a $200k annual salary and the teachers (at the school I know about) are allocated one box of pencils for the year? How is that a good use of funds? Who makes these decisions?

Helping New Jersey's spending problems requires re-working the way we use the money, on top of trying to use less of it. Without a lot of back work, no plan will be able to offer tax relief to NJ residents.

No comments: