Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05) claims that some places "mooch" off other places when they get back from government more than they pay in. According to Gottheimer, the country's top "moocher" is Mississippi, the state with the highest percentage of African-American residents -- 37 percent and growing -- because the state gets more back than they pay in.
Is Gottheimer a racist? Last Friday, Gottheimer was joined at a press conference by Democrats Phil Murphy and Tim Eustace to discuss ways to redress this "moocher" situation. Are they coddling Gottheimer's racism? If so, has anyone told the incoming First Lady? New Jersey's answer to Madame Mao will not be amused.
If there are "moocher states" as Democrat Gottheimer claims, can we apply Gottheimer's measurement to other cases -- such as the relationship between municipalities or school districts within a state? If, as the Democrat Congressman claims, there are places that "mooch" off the federal government, does it not also follow that there are places that "mooch" off state government?
We've already learned that towns like Sparta get back just 15 cents on every dollar they pay in state income tax to Trenton. That's right, in what Congressman Gottheimer would call a clear case of mooching, Asbury Park paid in just a sixth -- in income taxes per person -- of what Sparta did, but got back 17 times more!
Sparta Twp $5,611,989 (received) / $36,267,481 (paid) = $0.15
Asbury Park $57,632,816 (received) / $3,835,809 (paid) = $15.02
We've also learned how poor families in suburban and rural New Jersey are subsidizing rich people in chic urban hotspots. Their cut of the revenue from the state income tax allows these hotspots to keep their property taxes comparatively low. For example, despite being clearly being economically better-off, Hoboken gets its property taxes underwritten by the income tax revenue paid by rural Warren County:
Warren County has double the population of Hoboken City (107,000 to 52,000) but the population of Hoboken has been growing while Warren is shrinking (5% vs. -1%). And while Hoboken has just 800 veterans, Warren County has over 7,000. The per capita income of Hoboken City is over $70,000. This compares with Warren County, at $33,000. The median value of an owner-occupied home is $550,700 in Hoboken but only $271,100 in Warren County. The U.S. Census reported that 5.5% of the people in Hoboken are without health insurance vs. 12.5% of those in Warren County. 73.5% of those 25 or older in Hoboken have graduated from college. In Warren County that figure is 29.6%.
Enter the State Highlands Act... Passed by a Democrat-controlled Legislature and signed into law by Democrat Governor Jim McGreevey, the Highlands Act undertakes the worthy cause of preserving the aquifer that supplies the drinking water for a large urban population in Northern New Jersey. Unfortunately, it does so at the expense of rural and suburban property owners -- who saw their land rights seized and the use of their land forcibly regulated -- without compensation.
The Highlands Region encompasses nearly 859,267 acres across seven counties -- including Sussex and Warren Counties. In the phrase coined by Democrat Gottheimer -- upscale urban areas are "mooching" off economically disadvantaged rural areas and the state is refusing to provide compensation to those being "mooched" upon.
On Monday, in one of the last legislative acts of the year, Congressman Gottheimer's fellow Democrats made it a point to further piss on the hopes and property rights of the economically disadvantaged communities under the boot of the Highlands Act, by undoing a Christie administration rule that allowed a small measure of development in those areas affected. With incoming Governor Phil Murphy urging them on from the sidelines, the Democrat-controlled Legislature rescinded the Christie rule and, in so doing, made the property in question next to worthless.
As Josh Gottheimer would say, the Democrats once again gave more to the "moochers" and took away more from those being "mooched" upon.
Republicans like Senator Steve Oroho and Assemblyman Parker Space gave it their best, but with Phil Murphy's full support for the "moochers" and a Democrat-controlled Legislature, the resolution overturning the Christie rule barely passed the state Senate with the minimum 21 votes needed and the Assembly with 42 votes. One of those votes to help the "moochers" at the expense of those "mooched" upon was cast by Assemblyman Tim Eustace -- who was at last Friday's press conference with Phil Murphy and Josh Gottheimer -- to complain about the "moochers"! How is that for hypocrisy!
Why do Trenton Democrats continue to support allowing rich people in towns like Hoboken to "mooch" off poor families in places like Warren County? Somebody needs to ask Democrats like Phil Murphy and Tim Eustace next time they hold a press conference with Josh Gottheimer to complain about "moocher states."