Jennifer Beck is a moralizer. If you disagree with her on something as banal as tax policy, it makes you a bad person -- and that extends to your family too -- you are all somehow less than human.
But on issues such as whether a woman or her daughter can object to an anatomical male showering with them, or sharing their changing or toilet facilities, Beck insists on acceptance. You see, for Beck, gender is loosey goosey.
But not tax policy -- something on which normal, rational people can have different positions and take different approaches. On tax policy, Jennifer Beck becomes emotional. You are either with her -- or you are pond scum. She'll get a colleague to accuse you of criminal activity if you disagree with her, or a group like AFP to run a campaign attacking your child, or a talk radio host like NJ 101.5's Bill Spadea to spread false information against you.
And what that means, if you are on the wrong side of Senator Beck, what that means is that you'll get compared to a dead bloody pig or that your legislative staff will get phone calls telling them to "burn to death in a car crash." Irrational emotion can have its consequences, just ask former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Ah, the joys of talk radio. We're not so sure that Jennifer Beck's district is the talk radio crowd, not so sure they're down with the Koch Brothers' AFP. She'll have to shed these friends before changing into a costume more suitable for home. But talk radio... if it was in 1968 what it is today, we would probably have seen the election of George Corley Wallace as President of the United States.
Here is a question for Senator Jennifer Beck and her allies to answer -- in between their ranting and raging on talk radio: If New Jersey has the most expensive roads, then why have we paid the least for them -- for decades?
New Jersey is the most densely populated state in America. Nowhere else are so many people so packed together. More people = more wear on the roads = more maintenance and repair.
On top of that, we're sandwiched in between New York City and Washington, DC, with Philadelphia and Baltimore thrown in for good measure. All that traffic back and forth on the northeast corridor.
And yet, for decades, we have been getting by on 14.5 cents a gallon, while states like Pennsylvania need to charge drivers a tax of more than 50 cents a gallon on gasoline (over 65 cents a gallon on diesel).
New Jersey has a population density of 1,196 people per square mile. Why does Pennsylvania, with a population density of just 284 people per square mile, need to charge over three times what we do to fund their roads? And Pennsylvania has 4 million more people than we do. That translates into a lot more in-state drivers to tax.
So how come we pay so little to fund the roads... despite those lurid claims on talk radio that we pay the most?
The answer is simple. Debt is Trenton's crack cocaine.
Our politicians are credit card junkies. Trenton has been able to get by on charging drivers just 14.5 cents a gallon tax because Trenton has been borrowing the rest in return for votes.
Cheap gas for cheap votes... don't worry, somebody else will pay... like your kids, or maybe, your grandkids.
In Pennsylvania, they pay their way.
In New Jersey, they put their children into debt.