Tag archive for New Jersey

Poll: The high-tax, gov’t union model at work

leaving njA new poll finds that half of all New Jersey residents say they plan to leave the state, compared to just 45 percent who want to stay. The desire to leave is particularly strong among working age people, reflecting the state’s more than 10 years of economic struggles. Some three-in-ten who say they want to leave specifically blame the state’s high taxes for their desire to leave…

NJ voters continue electing pension double-dippers

double-dip-photoNew Jersey is groaning under one of the nation’s worst pension crisis, with growing costs threatening to squeeze out other spending and boost taxes. Yet Jersey’s voters continue to elect officials who exploit the deeply indebted pension system, sending a message to lawmakers that reform isn’t a priority…

Health care + pensions equal insolvent NJ

New Jersey has gotten a lot of publicity lately because Chris Christie has balked at meeting the state’s extraordinary pension burden, arguing that further reform of the system is necessary. But as a recent NJ report makes clear, Jersey really has a problem of expensive health care for workers and retirees on top of bulging pension debts, which have raised the cost of employee benefits in NJ well above the norm for states. The reason Jersey isn’t paying all of its benefit costs is because it couldn’t possibly afford to…

SEC lashes Kansas with a wet noodle

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued another toothless set of fraud charges against a state. The regulator has cited Kansas for misleading investors about the condition of its severely underfunded pension system and the risks that purchasers of its bonds potentially faced. As in its earlier actions against New Jersey and Illinois, the SEC levied no fines nor recommended anyone to prosecutors for further investigations, even though all of these SEC actions have accused the states of fraud…

SEC commissioner’s not-so-tough talk on pensions

SEC Commissioner Daniel Gallagher seems to be attracting considerable attention for a recent speech in which he called for better accounting standards and more disclosure from government pension funds. I suppose it was bracing for some people to hear an SEC commissioner actually use the words “fraud” and “pension obligations” in the same speech. But in fact, what Gallagher was advocating was higher voluntary standards from public pension. Meanwhile, his speech omitted any reference at all…

Bloomberg’s cheap shot at Christie on pensions

I generally try to remain agnostic about whether the media politically lean one way or another, and whether the press has it out for certain politicians or not. Still, a piece that ran on Bloomberg today entitled “Pension Promise Broken by Christie Affirmed Across U.S.” is so misleading that I assume the reporter who wrote it either understands little about what states and municipalities are (and aren’t) doing about pensions,or simply wanted to publish a cheap shot at Christie, who deserves criticism but is hardly alone in coming up short…

Jersey pension system beyond saving at any reasonable cost

For three years now PSI has been warning that New Jersey had neglected its government employee pension system for so long that the state’s 2010 and 2011 reforms were inadequate to save the system. At some point we said (numerous times) the state would have to admit it could not possibly keep to the refunding schedule it had set for itself. Yesterday Gov. Christie declared as much…

Gov’t retirees flee high-tax NJ with their pension dollars

Municipalities in NJ finance their budgets largely through property taxes. The steepest cost, by far, on those budgets is employee get-out-of-towncompensation, which makes up about three-quarters of school district expenditures, for instance. High compensation costs are one reason why NJ has among the highest property taxes in the nation–so high that retirees often complain they can’t afford to continue living in their homes after they stop working. Apparently, that’s true of government employees in NJ, too…

Watch as pensions, health care, debt gobble up NJ taxes

The fiscal future of states and cities that have neglected their pension systems and bolstered their budgets with debt gimmicks is on view in New Jersey, crowd out njwhere Gov. Chris Christie announced yesterday that rising pension, health care and debt service costs will eat up 94 percent of the increase in tax collections the state is projecting. At the same time the Washington Post reminds us what a city in the same predicament, San Jose, looks like as it cuts services and raises taxes thanks to its pension liabilities…

The good news about Jersey’s pension reform was also the bad news

When New Jersey’s legislature passed pension reform legislation several years ago it did something few other states and cities did, which is to require itself to make its annual pension contributions instead of skipping them, as the state had done for years. But Jersey’s pension debt was so large that this worthwhile reform was likely to come back and bite the state squarely in its…