With a staggering $66.7 billion in unfunded health care liabilities (the highest in the nation) for government workers, on top of the $53.9 billion in unfunded pension liabilities owed to those government workers, the Garden State’s fiscal ship is sinking fast. Already, New Jersey’s property taxes are the highest in the nation with the average residential property tax bill at $7,281.
It is a problem that, so far, Democrats and their union backers refuse to acknowledge as they march and protest–even going so far as calling in professional protester Jesse Jackson earlier this month. However, in a breath of fresh air, New Jersey’s Senate President Steven Sweeney (a Democrat and a union guy) is trying to shake some common sense into members of his own party.
“Unfortunately, the credit card bill has come,” Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said. “Everybody promised sunshine in the rain, but now we have a monsoon.”
While Sweeney has not started out on the same page with solutions as New Jersey’s direct and to-the-point governor, they are both on the same page when it comes to the urgency of the crisis and, together, the two have reached a compromise. As a result, with little support from his own union-bought party, Sweeney is introducing a bill to overhaul the health care and pensions for the state’s 500,000 government workers.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Christie discussed the dire need for reform.
Government unions are irate that the doomsday clock is ticking in New Jersey and are demanding that they should be able to take the time to negotiate, rather than have the legislature take action. Ten national union bosses, including AFL-CIO kingpin Richard Trumka, sent a demanding letter to Democrats, to make a
“We expect you, as a Democrat, to stand with working families and to defend collective bargaining rights. This is a vote we take very seriously,” the letter stated. It was signed by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and others.
Meanwhile, as Boss Trumka and his cronies make demands on the Democrats, for the second year in a row and knowing a drastic change in direction is needed to save the sinking ship, New Jersey’s government workers are retiring in record numbers–fleeing almost like…well…union rats.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776