No Debating New Jersey’s Ranking

During the Trump/Fiorina dust-up over their records:
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there were three moments when it appeared they had stumbled onto issues of real importance:
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It never happened.

Carly Fiornia came closest in referencing the debt politicians have run up and alluding to New Jersey but seemed to think better of using up her 30 seconds to flog Christie’s dead horse of an administration so we never got into where New Jersey ranks.

But Truth in Accounting(TIA)  does get into it:

NJTBChart

That $52,300 per taxpayer puts New Jersey dead last among all states based on a new TIA study.

54 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on September 18, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/yale-professor-carly-fiorinas-business-193457030.html Top of the bottom or the bottom of the top in the GOP 10 (11) ring circus!!!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Anonymous on September 18, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Seriously why hasn’t anyone called Donald Duck out on his past bankruptcies that left investors and vendors in the lurch and him a billionaire!!! Ah yes fair and equal in NJ and America, for the elite and their constituents.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Anonymous on September 18, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Just imagine what that number would be without the other Christie (Whitman’s) 30% tax cut!

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 18, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      Just imagine how SMALL (or non-existent) that number would be if all of NJ’s Public Sector pensions were never more generous (in BOTH their formulas AND provisions) than those typically granted Private Sector workers.

      Reply

      • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on September 19, 2015 at 12:29 am

        Just imagine how misleading it is to discuss and compare pensions ONLY. Out of context. Ask me about Stephen Moore some day.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on September 19, 2015 at 8:23 am

          You’re correct, I forgot to include the HUGE cost of retiree healthcare in NJ that for non-medicare Family coverage costs as much as $2,848.68/month ($34,184.16/year) for STATE retirees per:

          http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/hb_open_enrollment_2014/state-retired-full.pdf

          And as much as $3,044.83/month ($36,936.96/year) for LOCAL Gov’t retirees per:

          http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/hb_open_enrollment_2014/state-retired-full.pdf

          And ADD as much as another $94.47/month ($1,133.64/year) for dental coverage per:

          http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/hb_open_enrollment_2014/retiree-dental.pdf
          – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

          And often starting at very young retirement ages (in the mid 50s), costing taxpayers a FORTUNE, sometimes over $400,000 (in addition to their pensions) whereas very very few Private Sector workers get ANY retiree healthcare subsidy under employer-sponsored Plans today.

          Thanks ! …. I should have mentioned that huge additional injustice in my earlier comment.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 19, 2015 at 8:59 am

            Ahh Tender Loving. Still that one trick pony. New Jersey doesn’t really pay into its pension system and still thats the sole cause of this State’s fiscal woes. Lets car pool up to New Hampshire together and give a poll boost to our Gubernator.

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 19, 2015 at 9:28 am

            Anon, As I have stated before ………..

            Pension FUNDING requirements (the ARCs) are A FUNCTION OF and DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL TO the pension’s “generosity”, and a very “generous” Plan will therefore be very “costly” and RESULT IN large ARCs.

            The lack of full funding is not the CAUSE of NJ’s pension mess, it is a CONSEQUENCE of the real ROOT CAUSE …. grossly excessive pension “generosity”.
            ———————————————————————————————-
            Could not (and WOULD not) your SAME argument is made if NJ’s pensions were 10 times MORE generous ? I can hear it now …. “New Jersey doesn’t really pay into its pension system and still thats the sole cause of this State’s fiscal woes. ” Huh?

            All BS …. and you know it.

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 19, 2015 at 2:25 pm

            Come on TL, the pensions and health benefits are one big part of the problem but so is the unnecessary, illegal and over the top borrowing and raiding of all funds to keep politicians in office and to pay for pet projects. I agree that significant pension and retire health benefit reform is needed but it is only one part of the reason for the huge debt that has been run up in NJ. It should all be repudiated.

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 19, 2015 at 3:11 pm

            Anon, I never said that NJ politician’s don’t waste money on MANY questionable projects, but NONE OF THAT justifies the grossly excessive PUBLIC Sector pensions and benefits ROUTINELY 3x-4x (4x-6x for Safety workers) greater in value upon retirement than those typically granted comparable Private Sector workers who retire at the SAME age, with the SAME pay, and the SAME years of service.

            I agree that much of that OTHER “waste” should be eliminated …. and I encourage YOU to pursue that goal with strong advocacy. I’m busy enough strongly advocating to end these unnecessary, unjust, unfair (to Taxpayers), unaffordable, and grossly excessive (by any reasonable metric) Public Sector pensions & benefits.
            ——————————————-

            But lets be clear on one pint. You said …. “raiding of all funds”. That statement is frequently made by Public Sector Union/workers who oppose pension reform …. that funds have been “raided” (or improperly taken OUT) of NJ’s Public Sector pension Plans, often pointing to Gov. Whitman as the culprit.

            Let’s set the record straight. Money has NEVER been taken out of these Plans by Gov. Whitman or any other administration. In fact, Gov Whitman ISSUED Bonds with the proceeds deposited INTO the pension Plans, materially INCREASING their assets …. and at the expense of NJ’s Taxpayers (NOT Plan participants) who were (and still are) responsible for paying off the interest and principle on those bonds.

            Getting the facts correct is important.

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 19, 2015 at 4:53 pm

            Just to point out to you TL that those tables for dental care are what the retiree pays, not the state. Dental care is not free to anyone. It is just a group dental rate offered by insurers like Aetna.

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 19, 2015 at 4:59 pm

            Again, the healthcare tables you show are what retirees pay for their healthcare depending on their eligibility. The tables are not what the state pays. In fact allof the tables you have listed for denta, healthcare and Medicare represent what certain retirees will have to pay for the services, not what the state pays.

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 19, 2015 at 5:09 pm

            Anon, Thank you for correcting me on the Dental rates. I am NOT looking to deceive anyone, just for EQUAL and FAIR treatment of Private Sector Taxpayers.

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 19, 2015 at 5:19 pm

            Quoting Anon …… “In fact allof the tables you have listed for denta, healthcare and Medicare represent what certain retirees will have to pay for the services, not what the state pays.”

            Just as I stood corrected on the “DENTAL” premiums, I won’t allow BS to sneak through either ……….

            It is well established that NJ’s Public Sector retirees (with a few exceptions) must have 25 years of service to get free or subsidized retiree healthcare from NJ. ….. still a GREAT deal, considering that today’s Private Sector retirees rarely get ANY subsidy even if they have worked for 40 years.

            And MANY with 20 years of service as of the 2011 CH78 changes do in fact get FREE retiree healthcare, while other do pay a premium. For those (with 25 years of service) who do pay, it’s typically a SMALL fraction of the HUGE premiums associated with this incredibly generous and all-encompassing coverage.

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 20, 2015 at 12:27 pm

            George Norcross wont having Tender Loving for christmas, she s a bit tough

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas is Wrong Again on September 23, 2015 at 2:55 pm

            You’re correct, I forgot to include the HUGE cost of retiree healthcare in NJ that for non-medicare Family coverage costs as much as $2,848.68/month ($34,184.16/year) for STATE retirees per year”

            TL just OWNED Douglas, again!

        • Posted by PatB on September 19, 2015 at 11:04 am

          Who is Stephen Moore?

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 19, 2015 at 1:29 pm

            Stephen Moore is chief economist at the Heritage Foundation and a senior economist with the Wall Street Journal and The Cato Institute.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on September 19, 2015 at 2:16 pm

            Still Club Fed

            By STEPHEN MOORE
            The Wall Street Journal, Updated Feb. 5, 2012

            “Federal workers on balance still receive much better benefits and pay packages than comparable private sector workers, the Congressional Budget Office reports. The report says that on average the compensation paid to federal workers is nearly 50% higher than in the private sector, though even that figure understates the premium paid to federal bureaucrats.”

            “CBO found that federal salaries were slightly higher (2%) on average, while benefits — including health insurance, retirement and paid vacation — are much more generous (48% higher) than what same-skilled private sector workers get.”
            ———————————————————————

            Poster child for conflating “pension” and “compensation”.

            “..on average the compensation paid to federal workers is nearly 50% higher than in the private sector..”

            ———————————————————————-
            Clue, the report actually says that, ….on average…. federal “compensation” is 16% higher. And, like state and local workers, the lower level public workers earn more than the private sector and the highest levels earn less.

            This is why it is often misleading to compare pensions outside total compensation. In the federal, as well as state and local systems, some pensions are indeed 48% higher, (or 2 to 3 times as much as the private sector), and the employee is still compensated ….less…. than his private sector counterpart.

            Thank you for asking.

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 19, 2015 at 3:23 pm

            Quoting S Moderation Douglas ….

            “Clue, the report actually says that, ….on average…. federal “compensation” is 16% higher. And, like state and local workers, the lower level public workers earn more than the private sector and the highest levels earn less.”

            OK, let’s run with YOUR figure …. 16% higher federal Employee “Total Compensation” (that’s wages + pensions + benefits) …….

            Taxpayers ….. think about how much greater YOUR retirement would be if YOU had an extra 16%-of-pay EXTRA (every year) to save and invest over your entire career. For many, that would accumulate to over $1 Million.

            THIS is the amount of unjust, unnecessary, unfair, an unaffordable money (taxes) NOW coming from YOUR pockets (and just for Federal* workers). Demand change.
            ————————————————————————

            * Many studies show a greater (that the 16% “Federal” employee) advantage exists for State and Local Public Sector workers.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on September 19, 2015 at 4:16 pm

            You can run with whatever you want (not with scissors, of course)

            But it is not MY figure.

            It’s the CBO. And the grand poobah of the Heritage Institute grossly mischaracterized it, in an article widely copied around the Web-o-sphere.

            Don’ u 4get….. 16% is an average. You want to recoup that money “equally” you have to take it from some of the lowest paid workers in the system. And redirect much of it back to the highest quintile of federal employees.

            Or not. Despite your repeated emotional rants, the fact that two similar workers have dissimilar compensation does NOT inherently follow that one is “unjust, unnecessary, unfair, OR unaffordable.” (Nice alliteration, though.)

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 19, 2015 at 5:32 pm

            Quoting S Moderation Douglas … “Don’ u 4get….. 16% is an average. You want to recoup that money “equally” you have to take it from some of the lowest paid workers in the system. And redirect much of it back to the highest quintile of federal employees. ”

            Still more of the SAME …. trying to make reformers the “bad guy” for demanding that the “average” Public Sector Total Compensation ADVANTAGE of 16% (or 23% for the AEI study for NJ’s Public Sector workers) be eliminated even if that primarily requires the middle and lower paid to relinquish that advantage.

            I’ll respond just as I did in my 9/17 comment-response to you …….
            ____________________________________________

            Good, that’s appropriate….the Taxpayers are fed-up with being the sucker in the equation.

            A lower-paid worker with a pension worth 750K upon retirement is the SAME as $750K in cash cash in the bank. If they’re overpaid, either reduced the pensions AND retiree healthcare benefits to a level no greater than the comparable lower-paid Private Sector (most certainly with little or no pension/benefits at all), and if not, then reduce the salary equivalently.

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on September 19, 2015 at 6:30 pm

            Close, but no cigar.

            You assume that a public sector janitor who earns more than a private sector janitor is “overpaid”.

            That is not axiomatic.

            We have already discussed the failures of the supposed “free market”. Adam Smiths free market is very efficient at allocating resources, but humans are not commodities.

            The “invisible hand” has no heart. It does not care whether unemployment is 5% or 55%. It does not care if the “market price” of labor is sufficient to sustain existence.

            You will never, ever, convince any city, state, or federal legislature to reduce the compensation of it’s lowest paid employees, let alone use those funds to compensate the top ten percent.

            Not even in New Jersey.

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 19, 2015 at 8:18 pm

            Quoting S Moderation Douglas …. “You assume that a public sector janitor who earns more than a private sector janitor is “overpaid”. That is not axiomatic. We have already discussed the failures of the supposed “free market”. ”

            You can “discuss” the …” the failures of the supposed “free market”.” all you want, but it remains that “MARKET RATE COMPENSATION” is set by the 85% of all workers employed in the PRIVATE Sector, where employers freely compete for their services, NOT in the Public Sector where compensation is grotesquely distorted by threats, back-door-dealmaking, and bribes (ooophs, “Campaign Contributions”).

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas is Wrong Again on September 23, 2015 at 2:57 pm

            Douglas, TL is destroying your talking points.

      • Posted by Anonymous on September 19, 2015 at 4:47 pm

        Give it a rest TL. I think everyone is aware of your position and talking point.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on September 19, 2015 at 5:34 pm

          When (not if) material reform arrives.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 20, 2015 at 8:26 am

            Along with correcting ALL other significant unfair and unequal financial inequities that exsist!!!

          • Posted by Tough Love on September 20, 2015 at 4:02 pm

            Why so Anon ….

            Should Taxpayers being ripped-off by greedy Public Sector Unions/workers have to WAIT (for reform) until “Corporate Shareholders” stop being ripped-off by greedy CEO’s ?

            How absurd …. only in mind of a Public Sector worker.

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 20, 2015 at 7:12 pm

            Walker for president indeed. Both of you are a joke, just not sure who takes the cake!!!

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 20, 2015 at 7:14 pm

            Or in the minds of the excessively greedy private sector beneficiaries. Garfield says, might you resemble my remark???

  4. Anyway, CNN had the highest ratings ever, yes, thanks to Trump. Most of the questions were directed as ” Trump said this … Trump said that… etc.”

    Fuck moderator did not want to hear Cruz (my pick for POTUS) or anyone else. Carrying water for an eveil Clinton once again.

    Carly Fiorina is an accomplished woman, knocks questions out of the ballpark.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 19, 2015 at 8:35 am

      Come-on guys/gals …..

      Want to SOLVE the Public Sector pensions/benefit mess once and for all?

      With Scott Walker’ platform to …….. eliminate the National Labor Relations Board, ban federal public sector unions, and make the United States a right-to-work country, a policy that he said would give “power to the people, not the union bosses.” …. he’s your guy! And assuredly if elected, via threat of massive financial penalties, he’ll effectively eliminate the CURSE of STATE/LOCAL worker Public Sector Unions as well.

      Voila, the financial noose around Taxpayers’ necks will finally be eliminated.

      Scott Walker for President !

      Reply

      • As Gov. Scott Walker leaves this race,” American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said Monday, “this is much clear: You can’t build a campaign by tearing working people down and attacking their aspirations for a better life. Real change starts with bringing people together to find common ground and boost everyone’s American Dream, not to ‘divide and conquer’ or make a reputation by stripping workers’ rights, as Walker so often boasted.”
        But Walker was never able to gain traction with his anti-union message in the pre-primary contest for the White House — in part, possibly, because unions have been gaining greater public approval in recent years, even among Republicans. Since 2009, Gallup found, union approval has risen from 48 percent to 58 percent for all voters, and from 29 percent to 42 percent for Republican voters.

        This will be Christies fate..so enjoy it while it lasts TL!!!
        Lolololololololololoo!!!!!! Hahahahahaha

        Reply

  5. Posted by Anonymous on September 19, 2015 at 9:03 am

    You are right. Its a historical fact that only with the uneducated leading the ignorant has civilization progressed. I don’t believe you can be this purposely inane. You must be attempting to amuse.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Anonymous on September 19, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Stephen Moore? You have got to be kidding to quote anything that guy says. He is an absolute joke and a major fraud. I have seen him many times on television. He is the king of making stuff up and twisting of facts. If he told me it was raining out I would be sure to go outside to confirm that it was actually a sunny day. He is an old supply sider who refuses to admit that he knows as much about how the economy works as a two year old. He is completely clueless.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 19, 2015 at 5:50 pm

      And, what do you say/do when a Police Officer or Fireman or Police/Fire Union tries to justify the HUGE Police/Fire pension …… with outright lies ………by saying that it’s “fair” BECAUSE they typically die within a few years of retiring?

      Reply

    • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on September 19, 2015 at 6:05 pm

      That’s the whole point. When Mr. Moore first came to my attention, it was because of this line;

      “Talk about a golden parachute. The report on Golden State government pensions contains a list that runs pages and pages of hundreds of “public servants” who have hit the pension jackpot with annual pensions of a half-million a year. It’s like they’re playing the game “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” With taxpayer money.

      (The coming pension meltdown, The Washington Times, December 21, 2014)

      A lie, bluntly. There *are* pages and pages of one time “DROP” payments over $500,000 total, each. Not “annual pensions” I am reasonably certain Mr. Moore knows the difference (each one is plainly flagged in red letters) e.g.: “Note: Pension includes a one-time DROP payment of: $466,388.21”

      Of course, Mr. Moore has every right to discuss the propriety and pitfalls of DROP payments, but not the right to mischaracterize them as annual pensions.

      I e-mailed TransparentCalifornia and notified them of the misrepresentation of their data. I was answered that TC had no responsibility for how others might use their data. In my never to be humble opinion, they not only have a right, but a responsibility to correct misinformation.

      It’s inflammatory, and it’s out there echoed on dozens of websites. Can’t unring that bell. Just like “the compensation paid to federal workers is nearly 50% higher than in the private sector”

      (There is (was)….one…. retiree with a $500,000 plus annual pension; the infamous Bruce Malkenhorst. But I understand CalPERS has reduced his pension by 80%) It may still b on appeal.

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on September 19, 2015 at 8:34 pm

        I read that article and I though those figures highly unlike as ANNUAL ONGOING PENSION PAYOUTS, but likely including first-year payouts of unused vacation & sick time, and/or DROP payouts (another BIG taxpayer rip-off in and of itself). It was foolish of him to do so and certainly impacted his credibility in a negative way.
        ————————————–

        Quoting … “I e-mailed C and notified them of the misrepresentation of their data. I was answered that TC had no responsibility for how others might use their data. In my never to be humble opinion, they not only have a right, but a responsibility to correct misinformation.”

        I agree with Transparent California that THEY have no obligation to police the use of ACCURATELY-presented DATA, nor a responsibility to alert on mis-characterizations. If YOU had to do so re you OWN comments, you would have little time to do anything else.

        Yes, Bruce Malkenhorst ….. where else but in the PUBLIC Sector can you assign yourself 6 (?, more?) job titles, each with a full-time salary.

        Speaking of which, ever see the salary-gaming (ultimately goosing their pensions) by Local Code Officials “working” for half a dozen towns?

        Reply

  7. Posted by Anonymous on September 19, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Nevertheless, TL the tables shown you posted for healthcare and Medicare represent cost to retirees. They do not represent costs to the State. We know that certain retirees get free healthcare, but these tables do not have anything to do with that. You just made a simple mistake in quoting them for your purposes.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 19, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      Anon, Wrong again ….

      Repeating from my earlier response:
      ———————————————————-

      It is well established that NJ’s Public Sector retirees (with a few exceptions) must have 25 years of service to get free or subsidized retiree healthcare from NJ. ….. still a GREAT deal, considering that today’s Private Sector retirees rarely get ANY subsidy even if they have worked for 40 years.

      And MANY with 20 years of service as of the 2011 CH78 changes do in fact get FREE retiree healthcare, while other do pay a premium. For those (with 25 years of service) who do pay, it’s typically a SMALL fraction of the HUGE premiums associated with this incredibly generous and all-encompassing coverage.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on September 20, 2015 at 12:30 pm

        still the idiot, 20 never ever got free healthcare. and 2007 got rid of free healthcare for anyone. makes up her own facts to suit her own weak assertions

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on September 20, 2015 at 3:57 pm

          Perhaps it wasn’t clear enough for the simple-minded …..

          Many (including police and teachers) with 20 years of service AS OF 2011 AND who later retire with 25 years of service …. do in fact get FREE retiree healthcare.

          Reply

  8. Posted by lukeu on September 19, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Yes, the tables are what certain retirees pay, not all retirees. what he says is not BS, it is just correcting your error in thinking that the tables were what the state pays. We don’t really know exactly what the state pays for those who are eligible for free healthcare.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 19, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      You guys are pathetic …… read my above twice-post (and accruate) statement to Anon above.

      Yes, the Tables are the Total Plans Premiums (I never stated or implied otherwise). And for those NJ retirees who meet the 25 year-of-service requirement, they either get it free or (in most cases) pay a SMALL share of the HUGE costs I quoted in my earlier comment.

      Reply

      • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on September 19, 2015 at 6:13 pm

        Yes, accruacy is very important.

        How do you do that? The app I’m using doesn’t even have spellcheck, but these words still get flagged when I paste them to the broad.

        (Just kidding, spellcheck doesn’t care if I use the wrong word. Only if it’s spelled “write”.)

        Reply

  9. Posted by summerfan on September 19, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    To response to TL in reference to Christie Whitman. She completely skipped pension payments for 3 years to balance the state budget because her budget otherwise would not have balance due to her 30% tax cuts over those three years. She then was forced to borrow 2.75 billion dollars thru bonds to pay back the skipped pension payments. She did not put additional monies in but merely repaid what was owed. Technically speaking she did not withdraw money from the pension funds but by not putting in the money that was owed for three years the result was the same in the fact that pension fund money was short changed and used for state budget.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on September 19, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      The POB proceeds exceeded the missed payments ….. and “missed” payments” certainly does NOT mean …. “raided the Plan.

      The problem was that Whitman “set the stage” for others tat followed her to not annually and materially fund these Plans. But make no mistake, had NJ always fully funded the “promised pensions”, those “promised pensions” would NEVER have grown to the grossly excessive level in place today.

      Our Union-campaign-contribution-bought-off elected officials granted such pension increases ONLY because they KNEW they would NOT have to properly fund them.

      Greed HAS consequences …. and the comeuppance will be arriving in short order.

      Reply

      • Posted by summerfan on September 19, 2015 at 7:26 pm

        tl you and all nj taxpayers reaped the benefits of the excessive 30% tax cut. The tax cut was granted when the money wasn’t there to support it. It should be considered a loan that now needs to be repaid. thus your 30% excessive benefit now needs to be recouped.

        Reply

        • Posted by summerfan on September 19, 2015 at 7:27 pm

          Oh and tl greed HAS consequences and the comeuppance will be arriving in short order. Higher taxes

          Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on September 19, 2015 at 8:40 pm

          Quoting …. “The tax cut was granted when the money wasn’t there to support it.”

          Wrong …. the tax cuts were fine if not for the hidden and growing cost of your grossly excessive pensions & benefits … the ROOT CAUSE of the mess in which NJ now finds itself.

          Reply

  10. Posted by Anonymous on September 20, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    TL doesnt have any offspring so thats a plus

    Reply

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