The Jaffe Briefing - March 14, 2018



TRENTON - Ever since we met Gov. Phil Murphy, he has been talking about the same stuff: higher taxes for the rich, saving NJ Transit, legalizing marijuana, giving more money to public schools and a higher minimum wage. So, when lawmakers went to Trenton yesterday to hear the rookie governor's first budget message, there weren't a lot of surprises. With a progressive agenda - featuring such nice perks as tuition-free community college - Murphy will be desperate for cash. That's why he wants to return the state sales tax to 7 percent, from its current 6.625 percent. That makes some sense, as most people only notice a big difference in sales tax when they are in the market for, say, a new Porsche. And, if that's the case, such people are more concerned with a looming millionaire's tax - another pet project of the governor.

TRENTON - So, let's take a little look under the hood of this proposed $37.4 billion state budget. We know it is 8 percent higher than the fiscal '18 budget that Gov. Chris Christie signed last July. We know it is 4.2 percent more than the current amount the state spends on things. Here's the list of goodies: $704 million more for the state pension fund, $341 million more to public schools, $242 million more to get the trains to run on time and a $50 million initial investment in the ongoing promise for tuition-free community college. Lots of new, glorious spending here, as this proposal now heads to the meat grinder otherwise known as the New Jersey State Legislature.

Sign Up for E-News

TRENTON - Millionaires in New Jersey must wonder why politicians target them. Sure, they have the seven-car garage at their beach house behind the wrought iron gates. And, yeah, these are the people always dining at the latest and greatest restaurants in Jersey City. But they also hire a lot of people, throw around plenty of money and, in some cases, are big donors to the politicians who are hell-bent on raising their taxes. And so, at the private clubs where the martinis are shaken, not stirred, people want to know why they would be stuck with a new 10.75 percent marginal tax rate on any income above $1 million. There are 20,000 New Jerseyans in this pile, as well as 19,000 out-of-staters. It all makes tons of sense in Trenton, just as long as our millionaires don't realize they can just move across the river to Pennsylvania, with its flat 3.07 percent income-tax rate. Shhh. Don't tell them.

STATEWIDE - With all this talk about legalizing marijuana in New Jersey, pollsters at Quinnipiac University asked New Jerseyans: Would you actually smoke the stuff? The answer is surprising. While nearly 60 percent are ok with legalization, only nine percent of us say we would definitely give it a toke, as a legal experience and all. More than 75 percent of people responded that they aren't really interested in trying pot, or aren't ready to admit it to some nosy pollster from some out-of-state university.


ONLINE - It is called "drinking while clicking," and CBS reports it has become a $70 billion boon for the online industry. A new survey is out, showing 68 million people admit to "shopping under the influence," equaling an average of $447 a year. The top item that drunk people buy?  Food. Then, its shoes and, then, clothing. The survey revealed some of the ridiculous items that made perfect sense to buy at the time: 100 top hats for a pet toad, a hot pink outfit for a man, and a blow-up, ride-on tyrannosaurus. The top generation of drunken shoppers? Millennials, of course.

THURMONT, MD - When a local guy left his job at the Catoctin Zoo and Wildlife Preserve in September, it apparently made tons of sense to take some souvenirs: a bunch of venomous snakes. You can assume the zoo has been going crazy trying to find all these dangerous reptiles. The case was cracked when this guy, who calls himself "VenomMan20" on YouTube, posted a photo with a snake. Duh. Cops raided his place on Feb. 22, finding - get this -  six western diamondback rattlesnakes, one seven-foot forest cobra, one cape coral cobra and two boom slangs. Of yet more concern: these creepy killers were kept in unsecured plastic containers, with no fresh water. Two dead cobras were found in the freezer. Eek. This guy is set to appear in court on May 8 to answer to a bunch of charges. Also, the zoo wants to know what he did with three missing alligators and a crocodile.


It was this day in 1992 that the Soviet newspaper, Pravda, suspends publication. Perhaps someone didn't like his cartoon.


Invigilate - [in-VIJ-uh-layt] - verb

Definition: To supervise students at an examination

Example: Hey, who threw that spitball? Darn, I hate invigilating in this awful school.



Editor's Note:  Jaffe Communications is the franchisee/publisher of TAPinto New Brunswick.

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

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - July 19, 2018

TRENTON - Once the state budget is adopted June 30, you'd think the governor gets a break from scrutiny. Unless you are former Gov. Chris Christie, sitting in that beach chair. Or, now, Gov. Phil Murphy, getting wacked for having the players on his Sky Blue FC pro women's soccer team living in alleged squalor. Living in houses with plastic bags for windows, sleeping in bunk ...

The Jaffe Briefing - July 18, 2018

STATEWIDE - One business in Pleasantville has flooded 32 different times since the early 1990s, and rebuilt each time with taxpayer money. A single-family home in North Wildwood has been flooded and rebuilt 23 times, again, on your dime. reports that New Jersey is filled with 3,330 properties that have routinely flooded since the 1970s, some as many as 20 or more times, yet ...

The Jaffe Briefing - July 17, 2018

CAPE MAY - Call it a slow news day, nationwide, as the story of a lost dog somehow hit all the news wires. The pug named "Bean" escaped its owner's rental house over the weekend and wandered around backyards before police scooped it up on New Jersey Avenue. Cape May cops, likely not overrun with rampant crime from the bed-and-breakfast set, had plenty of time to post the ...

The Jaffe Briefing - July 16, 2018

STATEWIDE - No one really wants to talk about it. But every time you turn on a household faucet for tap water, its likely messing with a centuries-old system that's possibly leaching lead. And, because of so many World War I-era systems, some parts of the state have an over-abundance of water, while others easily face drought. Of course, upgrading our water ...

The Jaffe Briefing - July 12, 2018

WAYNE - Honey! Cancel our Aug. 9th anniversary dinner! I've got other plans! That's the night you can join this bozo and scores of others at "Lace," a Wayne "gentleman's club" where America's favorite tramp - Stormy Daniels - will strip live and in person. Stop at the bank, trade in your wad of 20s for stacks of singles.

The Jaffe Briefing - July 11, 2018

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - There's a Democratic primary in New York between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and "Sex in the City" star Cynthia Nixon. And why do we care? Because our governor is not blindly throwing his support behind Cuomo in the race, reports New Jersey Globe. "We're not getting involved in that," Murphy said, when asked who he supports, admitting he ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, July 21, 10:00 AM

NJ Convention and Exposition Center, Edison

82nd Annual Garden State Cat Show & Expo

Giving Back Other


Tue, July 24, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Southern Maryland Blue Crabs vs. Somerset Patriots

Arts & Entertainment Sports

Rutgers Prof to Climb Alps for Climate Change Study on Glaciers

July 18, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Lauren Neitzke Adamo has long enjoyed hiking along trails and through forests and over rock formations largely to see the natural surroundings.

“I’ve been a huge science nerd all my life,” said Adamo, who has a doctorate degree and is co-director of the Rutgers University Geology museum in New Brunswick.

Next month Adamo will head to the Swiss Alps ...

RU ready for RU Brewfest?

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - There's a lot of promotions planned this fall, as part of the Rutgers football season.

Single game tickets go on sale Thursday, July 12, with seven home games. There's matchups against Big Ten East opponents Michigan and Penn State, and a first-time cross divisional meeting with Northwestern.

If football is not your thing, there's plenty else ...

New Brunswick Man Charged in Sex Assault of Ex-Girlfriend

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A city man was arrested today and charged with sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend and assaulting a bystander who tried to intervene, Rutgers University police said.

Frank Ferraro, 26, was arrested and charged with sexual assault and aggravated assault, university police said.

They said the victim was attacked about 5:27 p.m. Tuesday, July 3,  at the ...

Prosecutor: FBI Agent Took Improper Photos of Woman in Dressing Room

July 20, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK,NJ  - An FBI agent was arrested and charged with illegally photographing a 22-year-old woman in a dressing room, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said today.

The agent, Danuel Brown, 30, of Piscataway, was arrested was Thursday and charged with a single count of fourth-degree invasion of privacy for allegedly using his cell phone to take pictures of the woman while ...


To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

The Somerset Patriots And 9-1-1 On FOX Are Looking For Hero First Responders

July 20, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Patriots and 9-1-1 On FOX are asking for Hero First Responder nominations from the community.

Nominate a first responder to be recognized on the field during the pre-game ceremony and throw out a ceremonial first pitch at the Saturday, August 4th Somerset Patriots game against the New Britain Bees at TD Bank Ballpark. Three first responders will be chosen ...

Make the Call, Save a Life

July 12, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - There is much focus on preventative opioid abuse education. Rightfully so. However, the goal in addressing the opioid epidemic is saving lives. Even if that means just saving one life. While people are becoming increasingly aware of resources relating to rehabilitative services, support groups for friends and family of addicts, and training parents for signs of opioid and ...