The Upcoming Budget and the Fate of New Jersey’s Vulnerable Citizens

The Upcoming Budget and the Fate of New Jersey’s Vulnerable Citizens

Our Governor has demonstrated determination and a commitment to solve our fiscal dilemma. Certainly, we must recognize his perseverance. His is a public servant who does not take a backward step when faced with a challenge. Nevertheless, we must examine the inevitable consequences of his actions.

The implications of Governor Chris Christie’s public discussions about the upcoming State budget may have dire consequences for New Jerseyans with disabilities and special needs, including the elderly and poor citizens of our State. The sound bites that the Governor has been delivering at public forums in New Jersey and around the nation suggest that his proposed budget will be based on “saving money at any cost”. However, the most vulnerable members of our society may graduate from borderline poverty to homelessness as a consequence.

Simply cutting Medicaid could result in poor citizens becoming homeless, hungry, and without health care. Interestingly, we have learned over the past year that simply making budget cuts often results in a greater tax burden for New Jerseyans. For example, cuts in municipal and school aid have resulted in greater local property taxes. Similarly, Medicaid cuts will result in a greater burden on taxpayers to support increasing welfare spending.

Sign Up for E-News

Certainly, our Governor has inherited a financial problem of historic proportions. Perhaps radical changes are the only solution. He has served New Jersey well in trying to root out corruption and public waste. Nevertheless, casting our most vulnerable citizens aside will not serve New Jersey or any taxpayer.

Recently, State Legislators have voiced concern about the upcoming proposed budget. New Jersey State Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver, Assemblyman and Majority Leader Joseph Cryan, and Assemblyman and Budget Chairman Louis D. Greenwald have voiced concerns that the Governor’s proposed budget must include access to quality health care for all New Jerseyans, in addition to tax relief. Perhaps more interesting, the Governor’s cuts over the last year have resulted in greater, not lower taxes. In fact, most pundits predict ever increasing property taxes in New Jersey, despite the mandated two per cent cap on municipal spending.

Can we afford to be a State with insufficient fire departments, inadequate police departments, understaffed school systems, and an ever decreasing quality of life? Certainly, we must begin with health care. Without access to quality health care we will be falling into an abyss in which only the wealthy can afford medical treatment and preventive medicine. Simply, we cannot afford to lose more hospitals. The cuts in police departments will lead to more crime and perhaps the need for more funding in our correctional institutions. Understaffed schools will lead to a decrease in school performance, which research has indicated will lead to more people eventually landing on welfare roles or becoming part of the criminal justice system.

Working class families are not responsible for the irresponsible State spending that occurred over the last two decades. Yet, they and the poor will be the most direct victims of the current crisis. How does one determine that a portion of our population must be expendable if we are to survive? If history has taught us nothing else, it has taught us that once we deny the rights and value of any group of citizens, we destroy the rights and value of all citizens. Can we afford to destroy a society as part of a poorly developed plan to achieve fiscal solvency?

Property taxes were not lowered during Governor Christie’s first year in office. His policies have simply shifted the burden from the State to local governments. Working class citizens can no longer afford to own their homes or even live in New Jersey. Blaming the pension system for the recent down grading of New Jersey’s credit rating was an exercise in futility. The pension system is underfunded because the State has not paid its portion for years, while public workers have continued to pay their portion, year after year.

Yes, the Governor has inherited an unprecedented burden. In addition, he is determined to not be intimidated by the challenge and deserves credit for his commitment. However, his actions will increase the financial dilemma that we face, rather than solve it.


 The Guest Column is our readers' opportunity to write about a given issue or topic in an in-depth and educational manner.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, February 19 – Sunday, February 25, 2018


By Galina Natenzon

Friends of the Library are continuing their book collection in preparation for Annual Book Sale.  Kids are off from school on Monday for Presidents’ Day – bring them to the library!  We have plenty for them to do.  For adults, Professor Licklider’s second lecture on North Korea will take place on Tuesday.  The ...

A Week at the Library of The Chathams - Monday, February 5 – Sunday, Sunday, February 11, 2018

A Week at the Library of The Chathams

Monday, February 5 – Sunday, Sunday, February 11, 2018


By Galina Natenzon

Friends of the Library book collection continues.  The tax season is here, and dedicated volunteers are here to help you with you tax returns!

For information about all programs or to sign up, please call the library at 973‑635‑0603 or go to ...

Imagine a Chatham Toboggan Ride from the Top of Fairmount Avenue to Main Street

Did you know….
there was a time when Chatham kids could ice skate from downtown Chatham all the way to Florham Park? And that a toboggan ride could last from the top of Fairmount Avenue down to Main Street and beyond?

Those were the days!

This was back in the early to mid-1900s. The Passaic River meandered through grassy meadows and woods on the north side of Chatham. The marshy ...


AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link:

AtlantiCast Episode 011

Breaking Atlantic Health System news on this week’s AtlantiCast! Plus, find out why Morristown Medical Center is one of the best hospitals in the nation when it comes to recovering from joint surgery, see the newest center for fighting brain cancer and an Atlantic Health System red-carpet premiere!


Video: Point View's Deitze Tell CNBC Fed is 'On Track' for March Rate Hike

February 15, 2018

Point View Wealth Management's Founder, President and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, live on CNBC on how to position your portfolio despite more volatility:

For nearly 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services and comprehensive ...