“Our State has been brought to its knees and we are on the brink of insolvency.
“A recession was a major factor. But the policies of Democrat governors and past Democrat Leaders of the Legislature made things worse. The problem is spending, Even a former Democratic Treasurer acknowledged that this state has a ‘spending problem’ not a revenue problem.
“More than 100 taxes were imposed or increased over the last 8 years. These taxes made New Jersey uncompetitive and killed jobs. They helped drive our unemployment rate higher than our neighbors — to 10%.
$5 billion of deficit bonds were issued over three years. $400 million in this budget that could have been used for property tax relief – is going to pay off those bonds instead.
Borrowing gimmicks have driven the Transportation Trust Fund to insolvency.
“The budget this governor proposed is harsh medicine. None of us like to see cuts to school aid or to programs that help people. But the sad reality is that we don’t have the money for the programs people want.
“Over the next several months, we have to create a budget that will make our state competitive again. We have to create a budget fueling economic growth and creating more jobs.
“Massive tax increases, more deficit borrowing, passing the buck to the next generation, and gimmicks will not help New Jersey recover.
“I encourage every member of this committee to avoid the massive tax increases of the past and to concentrate on the only thing that will put New Jersey on a path to prosperity – shrinking the size of government.
“If we succeed, the economy will recover, revenues will increase, and the programs that people want and need, will be funded again.”