We Can’t Do Worse

That’s the Republican slogan for the 2019 legislative elections as enunciated by NJGOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt (picking up on an nj.com article warning on a $1.2 pension time bomb*) where he “offered the following solution” (see if you can find it):

“The ‘Pension Bomb’ is real and the clock is ticking.  If pandering politicians like Governor Murphy don’t get honest and act now, it will explode.”

The Chairman added, that “while Governor Murphy is out to dinner on the State’s pension crisis, the check is coming due and we can’t pay for it.  The State’s Democrats are politically incapable of constructing a solution.  That’s why we need more Republicans at the table.  Ideological diversity isn’t a prerogative, it’s an imperative.”

“2019 is a chance for New Jersey voters to reject Phil Murphy’s failed fiscal policies and send common sense Republicans to Trenton.  Don’t waste it.  We need representatives at the State government table who are willing to work on structural reforms to the pension system and economic policies that will inspire growth and prosperity.  Democrats keep resorting to their broken-down playbook of short-cuts, one-shot deals and rigging of the system.  Don’t let them. We need honest answers to the State’s real problems.  We have them.  Give the NJGOP a chance to do better.  We can’t do worse.”

I’m reminded of presidential candidate Richard Nixon’s “secret plan” to get the United States out of the Vietnam War if elected in 1968. It never existed.

If the history of the bankruptcy of the New Jersey pension system tells us anything it is that we can always do worse.




* If avoiding this extra $1.2 billion deposit in 2022 is the problem then nothing is there to stop the governor and legislature from passing a law to reduce that year’s contribution by $1.2 billion and that is the real problem.

49 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by skip3house on September 10, 2019 at 9:08 am

    True, why I stay ‘R’, NJ Rs need most help, but also offer no specific solutions. NJ Rs should follow this Bury Blog for deeper thoughts….!


  2. Posted by geo8rge on September 10, 2019 at 9:08 am

    1968 Nixon Campaign Commercial – Vietnam War

    It’s time for new leadership not tied to the policy mistakes of the past.
    This time vote like your whole world depended on it.

    Unlike today’s wars there are pictures of the US military in Vietnam including a dead or severely injured US soldier.


  3. Posted by Eric on September 10, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Those were very scary times, after the assassinations of JFK, Martin Luther King, Jr.and Bobby Kennedy, the country seemed a very dangerous place to me. I met Nixon, on a campaign stop in 1968, and the nation seemed to be longing for a return to “law and order” which, at one time did exist, which is now long gone. As I have said, numerous times, we are now a true Banana Republic.
    There is no difference between Republicans and Democrats. As George Carlin once said, it is a big club, and you and I are not in it. Truer words have never been spoken.


    • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! on September 12, 2019 at 10:51 pm

      There is no difference between Republicans and Democrats. As George Carlin once said, it is a big club, and you and I are not in it.
      I have been saying this since the early 1990’s, when I USED to be a HARDCORE Dem. That was when Dems were not an owned subsidiary of the public unions. Dems changed drastically starting in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Today=Dems+Repugs= Two sides of the same coin. Big Business OWNS Repugs. Public Unions own the Dems. Everyone else gets screwed over. 🦴🦴🦴


  4. “Give the NJGOP a chance to do better. We can’t do worse.”

    When they were in office they did do worse. It isn’t ideological. It’s generational. Generation Greed.


    • Posted by skip3house on September 11, 2019 at 10:12 am

      Reminded it was power of the good person/lady NJ Gov.’s ‘crew’ who cut their NJ income tax, forgot funding public pensions, but gold leafed the Trenton Dome. Saw by some Donnie DiFrancesco was not a crew member though Senate president. Crew was really exclusive! Donnie screwed up some on his own based on 9% Public Pension increase?


      • Posted by Marine1 on September 12, 2019 at 5:18 pm

        Skip- Don’t forget Bob Little. Assembly speaker at the time I believe. He always seems to not be brought up by people. You hear Whiman,Difrancisco,never little Bobby Little.


        • Posted by Anonymous on September 12, 2019 at 9:54 pm

          His name was Robert Littell, not Little. And he was never the Speaker of the Assembly. He was in the state Senate from 1992-2008. And he was skeptical of Whitman’s pension obligation bond sale.


  5. Posted by NJ2AZ on September 11, 2019 at 9:22 am

    I’ve said before: the GOP should not even run a candidate for NJ governor next election or two. Let the democrats take complete ownership of what happens there.


    • Christie got in because corZine was perceived as being out of touch. Murphy is too but there are more liberals here now than 10 years ago. I’m sure the same is true in AZ.
      GOP has a hard time winning here. Trump won’t.


      • Posted by NJ2AZ on September 11, 2019 at 2:43 pm

        yeah but if Murphy remains as unpopular as he is and the GOP finds a benign enough sucker, they could retake Drumthwacket.

        i expect lots of pain in NJ in the next governor’s term. they should just let murphy own it.

        I’m not sure what to expect next AZ governor’s election (2022) Ducey (Who i like though he has his flaws) is term limited. He won resoundingly last election in which i think was a mix of his popularity and the fact that the dem nominee was a joke. I think the GOP has a deeper bench out here (i can’t name any prominent dems) but if the GOP decides to go the super right wing whack job route, i could see that person losing.

        i am in no rush to turn this state blue. purple/pink is ideal.


        • Posted by stanley on September 12, 2019 at 7:18 am

          “…if the GOP decides to go the super right wing whack job route…”

          Like Goldwater or Kyl? Middle of the roaders argue about how much poison to put in the coffee and never catch on that we have metastatic growth of government. But then, how could it be different with that fine NJ learning?


          • My friend….I will join you in moving to a cheaper place at some point I am sure. In the meantime, I will enjoy being paid, like my peers in the private sector, considerably more than the workers in those states.

          • Posted by NJ2AZ on September 12, 2019 at 9:11 am

            when i say super right ring whack job route i mean someone who spends time and political capital trying to pass extreme legislation on social issues. i don’t want abortion and immigration bills, i want more things like recognizing out of state occupational licenses, and keeping at bay the ‘progressives’ who think government must be the sole provider of literally everything.

            its why i like Ducey, he has been pretty conservative as far as scope of government goes, but no SB1070 fiascos that make national news like his predecessor Jan Brewer

          • Posted by stanley on September 12, 2019 at 10:13 am

            I enjoyed watching Brewer shaking her finger at Obummer. That was cool! I doubt that most Hispanic ancestry Arizonans want the state over run with immigrants. If we drastically reduced welfare state programs, immigration wouldn’t represent such a serious problem. Foreign children rush to get over the border and DO NOT rush to go to school.

          • Posted by NJ2AZ on September 12, 2019 at 10:28 am

            i’m a huge proponent of cutting welfare, or at a minimum i would like to see policy that discourages people on welfare from breeding.

          • We also need to create a DNA based system for welfare. Around these parts many apply for welfare benifits under a different name. Particularly in A certain shore town area and areas like it where this sort of thing is soooo abused. If your from Jersey, you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. We can also cross reference it against any outstanding warrants.

        • Posted by Marine1 on September 12, 2019 at 4:20 pm

          NJ2AZ- Mcsally couldn’t beat Sinema. I respect Mcsally’s military service,but let’s be honest,Sinema looks great in a skirt.


          • Posted by NJ2AZ on September 12, 2019 at 4:45 pm

            I voted McSally, but i’ve been happy with Sinema so far. she knows who she represents as opposed to simply towing the national democratic party line.

    • NJ2AZ…agreed except the politicians never own anything it’s always the next guy’s fault or the guy before him


  6. Posted by Eric on September 12, 2019 at 7:02 am

    I do not know why anyone would want to become the governor of a bankrupt state such as New Jersey, Illinois or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. I would have thought that Murphy would have learned from Corzine.
    Silly me, I thought that our federal leaders would have learned from Vietnam before going into Iraq.


    • Posted by NJ2AZ on September 12, 2019 at 3:49 pm

      the realist/cynic in me says the people who run for chief executive of these doomed jurisdictions are fully aware they can’t fix the problems and simply see it as a path to personal enrichment

      no one can possibly be so naive that they think they can fix Illinois, or Chicago. or frankly at this point, the United States

      i am almost certain we are going to experience a depression in my lifetime (i’m in my late 30s) and its going to be the only way to undo decades of ill informed or outright bad decisions by governments


    • Posted by PS Drone on September 14, 2019 at 9:59 pm

      Murphy (like Corzine before him) sought the governorship because he has the ego and balls to actually think he can parlay being Governor of a failed state like NJ into a run for the Presidency. Corzine actually cashed in his Senate seat (which cost him $60 million to buy) and spent another $30 million to get elected governor because a) his party was in the minority at the end of his senate “career” and b) he thought he could follow Reagan, Clinton and GW Bush as governors who succeeded at becoming POTUS. As he later proved, he was a complete amoral fraud and empty suit to boot. With these two Goldman Sachs carpetbaggers, misplaced ego knows no bounds. I guess the imbeciles who live in Nj actually do get the government they deserve.


  7. Eric, I’m convinced that most of these career politicians, ultra liberal pockets and some public workers such as professors at state universities (no offense) some not all live in a la la land of corruption and fantasy based on their own power hungry egos

    Not in touch what so ever with everyday average Americans. One would think that Murphy would be embarrassed by the state of NJ financial mess, pension debacle, highest real estate and income tax, poor business climate, highest utility bills, more and more people moving out than in, providing sanctuary and lots of free stuff to illegals and let’s not forget the graft and corruption

    He should be tarred and feathered and hung from the golden rotunda but instead he seems very proud of himself…I’m convinced its a mental illness of some sort, some sort of egotistical narcissism combined with a delusional thought process…….and if anyone around him dares to disagree well we saw what happened in Wildwood with the boardwalk


    • Posted by boscoe on September 12, 2019 at 10:08 pm

      Murphy took office in January 2018. That means he’s been governor for about 1 1/2 years. Why the hell are you blaming him for NJ’s financial mess, “pension debacle,” utility bills and property taxes? Especially since those problems were developing long before he got involved in politics. Murphy made his money in investment banking, so how is he a “career politician”?


      • Boscoe, I’m not blaming…read my post again……he seems to be proud that he is digging a deeper hole for NJ. One would think that someone with a career in investment and finance would know what to do to make NJ profitable again but then again I guess the voters got exactly what they wanted as he did run on a platform of tax, tax, tax


  8. Posted by stanley on September 12, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Off topic: Just curious, when college football comes on do you guys, well who do you watch? Princeton? Rutgers?……Alabama? Clemson? Pac 10? SEC? On NFL, you probably watch the Giants. The Jets haven’t been too exciting lately. Maybe the Patriots?

    Constable? I like to follow football, but I don’t have a team. When your team loses, the season is over for you.

    BTW, the Mets are a little bit in the hunt for a playoff place. Unlikely, maybe but still have a chance.


    • Posted by NJ2AZ on September 12, 2019 at 3:43 pm

      The Jets, Rutgers, & Penn State here.

      1 out of 3 ain’t bad


    • Posted by Marine1 on September 12, 2019 at 4:16 pm

      Stanley- Eagles ,Penn State, Sixers,Phillies,Flyers. Lived in Philadelphia until I was 13.


      • Stanley. Big blue thru and thru. Giants. I like Rutgers but they suck all the time now because they are in the big 10. College fb I don’t really have a team. But I watch it anyway.


        • Posted by Marine1 on September 12, 2019 at 5:13 pm

          E- Trying to remember when the Giants were competitive. Maybe when Plexico was playing ?


          • Posted by stanley on September 12, 2019 at 8:16 pm

            Are you kidding? They won two rings with Manning. Although very inconsistent. Thanks to all for answering. I love sports. Very amusing. I thought of Penn State when cycling this pm. I should have named them first. Rutgers was just good for a few years.

  9. Posted by Eric on September 12, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    To be clear, I was never a professor at a state university. I am an engineer with a background in mathematics. I have taught math. I also have a law degree. I do not practice law. In my day, it was an academic decision to get a law degree or an advanced degree in your field. I made the mistake of obtaining a law degree. Although I am licensed to practice in several states, I would never lower myself into that cesspool. This is why I am disgusted with the Banana Republic of New Jersey.
    My credentials in academics are pretty good since I did graduate from Ivy League schools. I guess that is important to some people since they have paid enough for it, and may be going to prison shortly as a result of their misplaced value system.
    Due to my experiences in life, I value animals.


    • Eric, thank you for clarifying, I don’t like to generalize about groups of people or occupations and certainly not trying to insult anyone on a personal level.

      Impressive credentials by the way and I value animals too, they are way more supportive than most people!


  10. Posted by geo8rge on September 12, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    Discussion of Illinois pension.

    The Pension Problem: What Happens Now?

    Chicago/Illinois Pensions: What Does It Take To Get To Reform? Insolvencies, Subsidies, Rating Agencies


    • Posted by stanley on September 12, 2019 at 8:32 pm

      Any significant reform is so unlikely that it is pretty much laughable. It isn’t going to happen and I will be surprised if the tier 2 pension programs last. The establishment, all those chowing down at the pension trough, are firmly in the no reform camp. Or maybe, reform for others but not for them. The only reform will come through inflation. Thinking people are making the necessary adjustments to spending, saving and investing on their own.

      I wonder if Chicago and Illinois can actually get a net gain from raising taxes. If people want generational conflict, having different benefit schedules based on seniority is a good way to get it. It will be advisable not to get into the clutches of people harboring generation based hostility. IMO


      • Posted by Tough Love on September 12, 2019 at 10:10 pm

        I believe that you are wrong.

        At some point, the endless tax increases will result in such out-migration of those who pay any substantive taxes, that further tax increases will be futile ….. with the pension system imploding shortly thereafter ………. and the back-stabbing to grab the biggest slice of the dwindling pie will begin.


        • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! on September 12, 2019 at 10:43 pm

          At some point, the endless tax increases will result in such out-migration of those who pay any substantive taxes, that further tax increases will be futile
          Exhibit #1- IL
          Exhibit #2- Chicago

          WHEN the next downturn comes, and it WILL any month now (Trump is PRAYING to the Economic Gods it does not come in the next 14 months!), it is going to be LIGHTS OUT for any state or muni that is funded right now @ 80% or less (after the LONGEST BULL MARKET in US history). You heard it first, right here folks, from the smartest K-9 in America 🐶


        • Somehow I get these blogs about personal stories of individuals and families who have moved or plan to move from Chicago and surrounding areas. The one theme of course is the over taxation for absolutely nothing in return but the big thing is that they have to end up selling their houses so far below market value bc of the real estate taxes. One story that sticks is a guy’s house was assessed at 450K but buyers were only willing to buy him out of his existing mortgage of 175K. The other common theme is that once they bite the bullet and move to a lower tax state, they are amazed at how much more money they have even if the new job pays somewhat less……..no income tax, very low real estate taxes, very low utilities and insurance…the list goes on and yet there are good schools, good hospitals, lots of sports and stuff for the kids and families, roads are in good condition.

          Hmmmmmmm……..maybe sooner that I think


          • No MJ not sooner than you think!!!!! Please stay and finish your career here. You’ll be glad you did. You won’t make nearly the dough you do here. Your home will still be worth big coin. My area has very healthy real estate. You know darn well the deal: Make it here, then retire and enjoy a very good standard of living in a cheaper state.
            What TL thinks will happen will not happen…..she been saying this for years. Hasn’t happened yet. Markets approaching all time highs again. I think finance folks are realizing that Trump will probably win against ANY of the candidates we saw last night.
            It’s all good my fried. Finish making your dough before you go. You’ll be glad you didn’t

        • Posted by stanley on September 13, 2019 at 7:37 am

          “I believe that you are wrong. At some point, the endless tax increases will result in such out-migration”

          Too bad that we can’t do a wager on this. The teachers depend on their pensions and they are in charge of indoctrinating America’s young. In the recent election, Pritzker swamped Rauner a very poor Republican governor who had beaten the more conservative Ives in the primary. There is great support for continuing to kick the can. Little support for any serious reform. Reducing IL pensions would require a constitutional change which won’t be brought to a vote by the people. The lefties and union folk are very much in charge.

          You can’t fight city hall. Especially when like minded people control the courts, the media, the education complex from one end to the other and there is substantial unionization. How many people listen to Rush Limbaugh? Quite a number but not nearly enough to make any difference. The support for business as usual is organized and substantial. The support for change is limited and very fragmented. Some people want major change while others want very limited tweaking around the edges. I doubt that there would be significant change if they were on the ropes and very much at the end of resources.

          An improvement would require a major intellectual revolution.


          • To be fair…Limbaugh’s crowd goes to the early bird special and is in bed by 8pm. Lol. I remember him when he had a TV show in the 90s. Same talking points. Even if you agree w him, he’s boring. How much can you take of him?

          • E, I’m good. Already unloaded the big house during market uptick, got full asking price and already owned it! Yup making my money here but I agree not staying forever. I do love Jersey and all it has to offer and can’t beat the location of being so close to beaches, NY, Philly, mountains, farms, so, so much to offer. It’s really a shame what happened here and I will continue to hope that things turn around for the better.

          • Posted by Anonymous on September 13, 2019 at 11:04 am

            Well said Stanley, I’m almost glad that I will be long gone by the time the shit really hits the fan…you’re right we can’t fight city hall.

    • Posted by Rex the Wonder Dog! on September 12, 2019 at 10:35 pm

      “Those who make a career out of the military will still receive a pension after 20 years, but a smaller one, down to 40 percent of their pay from 50 percent (based on an average of their last three years of service).”
      40% of your 3-year high average pay after just 20 years is still a deal that is unheard of in real life, and yet it is STILL not nearly as good as the GED cop 3%@50 plan where the salary levels are 5-10 times that of an enlisted service member.🐶🐶🐶


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