Monday, May 12, 2008

It's about time New Jersey started cutting government

CAPTION: Even my 9-year-old Old English bulldog, Winston, knew it was time for New Jersey to cut the red ink.

In the wake of the Turnpike monetization crisis, averted by so many flying pigs over Trenton, there have been extreme cutbacks statewide by the Corzine Administration.

Many programs have been lost, and some are sadly notable in their loss, as in the case of Union Beach’s Adult School. I am sure there are far less worthy programs that could have been crossed off a line item for the sake of the incredible work those folks do there.

Yet, for what must be the first time in many years, this state is starting to wake up to the fact that taxing has its limits. There are only so many times anyone can go back to the well before it is dry. And, the well is very dry in New Jersey: dry to the bone.

While incompetent, self-aggrandizing, greedy and personally motivated lawmakers have placed this great state into the fetid economic swamp it now resides in it will be smart, resourceful lawmakers that start to put New Jersey onto solid ground.

The cutbacks for state government have been necessary for years. To the extent where it is possible on the county and municipal level, this practice should be encouraged in every way.

The ‘line-and-block charts’ have to be re-examined to see where there is fat. Yet, more than anything else, the “Great Age of the Idiot Political Appointee” to paid or otherwise compensated positions must be revisited.

The real problem in this state is not the town worker, who labors for little in thankless jobs. If there are heroes in this story, it is they. Rather, it is the insidious politicians and their gadflies who pollute the state pension roll. It is they who receive too much, are compensated for ‘no-show’ meetings and do so because they are too darn incompetent to make it in the private sector.

This variety of slithering life can be found at all levels of government, and amounts to a weed in the garden that has to be plucked out.

This nation was founded on the principle that elected and appointed office was a sacrifice. Elected or appointed offices were never intentioned for anyone to do solely and derive an entire career from. The burden of taxation upon the populace was never intended to be the way that elected or appointed people purchase mansions, jets and cars. In New Jersey, though, as of today, that is how it is done in some quarters — and especially in Monmouth County.

Frequently talent-less except for a nice smile and an easy disposition where it involves being ordered around by party chieftains, New Jersey politicians are usually no better principled than shuttle dancers of yester-year. They frequently earn or are given their offices to sell their influence to the private sector, because that is the living that has been carved out for them by behind-the-scenes bosses with multi-million-dollar legal and construction businesses and concerns.

There is a new breed of lawmaker making their way through the ranks, though. The direness of the situation has allowed artful, fiscally conservative people on both sides of the aisle to push their way through the vagrants that were so common before.

In Northern Monmouth, within every community, excellence can be found on both sides of the political aisle. I tried to make a list, but it is just too long for this column.

No one party has the corner on integrity, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. There is good and bad with every crop. So, rather than buy your politicians in bulk, I suggest you buy them more like cartons of eggs: Open the lid, see if there’s a cracked one and take one from another carton if there is.

Budget cuts hurt, but having a bunch of darn fools giving away public money is harder. The Corzine Administration is finally doing a good job. Now all they have to do is keep on cutting until the red ink, and the unemployable minions of bad politicians, go away.

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