Political reality check for Jack Ciattarelli

Yesterday, My Central Jersey ran a story in which Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli makes a point about tax cuts using the "social and economic justice" angle, normally employed by the Left.  The Assemblyman's comments are contained in the following passage:


The Transportation Trust Fund exhausted authority for new borrowing and current tax receipts are not enough to cover the account’s debt payments.

Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-District 16), a potential gubernatorial candidate in 2017, said the Democratic compromise, while "seductive," should be rejected.

“While we absolutely need a reliable, pay-as-you-go funding source for the Transportation Trust Fund, most in Trenton still willfully ignore the other side of the equation — innovative and fair approaches to better control and prioritize spending," Ciattarelli said. "Until we get serious about both, we will not fix the state’s fiscal crisis." 

“The new TTF deal is also terribly flawed," the assemblyman continued. "For example, a retired couple making $100,000 in annual retirement income will pay no income tax, but a middle-class couple with two kids making $80,000 annually will pay income tax? Where’s the social and economic justice in that? Only in Trenton.”


That middle-class couple is likely to be tied to New Jersey by employment, while that retired couple is free to move to a more economically advantageous state.  It could be argued that New Jersey needs the tax revenues of relatively wealthy retirees who help to support the two children of the middle-class couple by paying thousands in school property taxes, as well as taxes that go towards a host of social programs that lower-income people depend on. Short of building a Berlin-style wall or levying a confiscatory emigration tax, how does the Assemblyman intend to keep retirees from moving out of New Jersey and to states that tax them less?

Then there is this to consider.  In a primary situation, the Assemblyman's district is dominated by those who are near or have reached retirement.  42 percent of all registered Republicans are aged 60 or over.  Just 9 percent are under age 45.  58 percent of Republican super voters (3 of 4 or above) are aged 60 or over.

Better be careful in whose face you are slamming the door.