Saturday, July 29, 2006

New Jersey Requires a Tax Freeze For The Next Few Years

New Jersey Requires a Tax Freeze For The Next Few Years

I am not going to go into detail about all of the soap operas going on to address New Jersey high taxes and tax shortage that still exist. New Jersey passed the sales tax increase from 6% to 7% already effective July 15, 2006.

For the most part our counties, towns, and schools have been spending taxpayer money beyond the rate of inflation. As a home owner for about 30 years, I don't remember not having a tax increase every year from the county, town, and school board.

New Jersey has school and university administrators being paid double and triple the salary and benefits of the Governor of New Jersey. And there are many others on state, county, and municipal, and school organizations that are also paid excessively.

New Jersey has double dippers with more than one government job. How can they do one job adequately, if they have to take time away from the first job to do the second job? Many are paid government salary and retirement benefits beyond $300,000 per year such as Sharpe James who is also way beyond normal retirement age of 65. While he is no longer mayor of Newark, he is still in the state legislature and has an excessively high paying job with Essex County College. Mr. James did a lot of good things, but now maybe he should just keep his state job and enjoy the rest of his life. This man bicycles, has many friends, and goes often to the islands. I hope I can be as active as him when I reach his age.

New Jersey has been funding social costs of more than a billion dollars recently for illegal aliens and their children which must either be reimbursed by the federal government (don't hold your breath) or stopped. It is too difficult to provide for our legal citizens and immigrants, let alone felons and children of felons. If they wait their turn for legal immigration, then it would be better for everyone.

My school system can no longer justify the increased number of administrators when there were fewer administrators and many more students in the same schools when I attended them years ago.

The student-teacher ratios in most schools can be increased a little so that we can obtain some productivity in the classroom.

The majority of the government workers seem to be placing face time on the job when I go to their offices. Face time is when you have nothing to do but you have to sit at your desk until quitting time. They are all friendly and eager to assist you and I like them, but maybe they can reduce headcount by one or two in each office anyway due to someone leaving to change jobs or retire. Beyond that, there are many that you can never catch in the office because they did not show up or left early. And these are people that do not have to be out of the office for official purposes. If some of the administrative jobs are not really full time then they should be consolidated. In the private sector it seems that if the job does not require 150% effort it cannot be justified.

I don't think I can count the cars that the state, county, towns, and school boards buy, lease, insure, maintain, and fuel each year. Fully half of the cars should be sold or returned if leased. If you see the fleets of police cars for the state, counties, and towns that has to excessive also and should be reduced at least 5%, maybe up to 10%.

Maybe each county can use county honor prisoners to clean the parks of garbage and debris. I think it would be a win-win for the tax payers and prisoners, who would be able to go beyond the walls of jail even for a few hours.

Put monitors on non-violent offenders instead of sending them to jail and let them be monitored at their homes at their expense instead of at taxpayer expense.

Has any state, county, municipal, or school really thoroughly audited their organizations? It used to be called zero-based budgeting. This includes staffing and salary levels. What is the cost of benefits to each client of the services of that organization?

The pensions funds for these workers have to be examined and have to be adequately funded to pay them when they retire. Audits must be accomplished to see whether pension promises are all viable. If an organization that does not have the funding to provide for what they promised their workers the promise must be adjusted.

The State of New Jersey pays pensions to mayors, police, teachers, legislatures, governors, office workers, maintenance workers, you name it at the state, county, and municipal levels. Most workers receive a pension from their one any only government job. But many others receive a bunch of pensions for each job like mayor, member of some agency, teaching, legislature, elected office, and such. These are the double dippers and triple dippers. And I am sure some people receive more pensions than that. Many receive more money retired or semi-retired than when they were working full time. No-one should receive a state pension more than the most money they ever EARNED in one year from government while up to age 65.

There are also Port Authority of New York and New Jersey retirees that are paid excessive pensions when they retire because their retirement is based on the maximum pay they receive for any year they worked for the agency. What has been happening for decades is that the pay is inflated sometimes as much as three times due to overtime. These people make much more in retirement than they ever did working. Even in the private sector, pensions are usually limited by the straight time salary of the worker less social security benefits. This should stop yesterday, but do the governors of New York and New Jersey have the guts to do it? Most private sector corporations have dropped defined pension benefits. Think about Enron employees and most of those in the steel industry that have lost all of their pension?

I have many more ideas on how to save millions of dollars in New Jersey taxpayer money, and maybe I can add them to the blog at a later date.

New Jersey Requires a Tax Freeze For The Next Few Years, because the taxes are already excessive. Many citizens are fleeing the state's high taxes. Many have to choose whether to pay all of the taxes or for health, food, energy, shelter, or other necessities. New Jersey is loosng good paying jobs to more affordable states.

If things remain constant, the population of the United States will rise another 100 million people within 33 more years. And I am sure New Jersey will get its fair share. If we cannot handle the burden of tax increaes now, how are we going to handle them as the population continues upward and the needs also increase proportionately or even more with future necessary replacement of infrastructure?

What do you think? Have you written to your federal, state, and local representatives?

The George W. Bush School of Executive Administration

A man and another conspirator were arrested this week for stealing funds from the Salvation Army, provided by The Unites States Government U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General. The thefts occurred between October 1995 and July 2002.


I guess all of the federal auditors have gone to the The George W. Bush School of Executive Administration and we cannot expect any better. We all know about the delays in gaining federal assistance during last years hurricanes. We also heard about the delays in removing Americans from harms way in Lebanon more recently.

All employees receive some in-house training or brain washing and the Executive Branch is no different. I guess we are learning some of the rules of the GWB School such as there is no such thing as an emergency. I don't really care what happened to taxpayer funds, especially with republican Congressional pork. You can ignore federal laws and not enforce them. And taking a quote or paraphrasing somethings from "Mad Magazine", Who Cares, and What, Me Worry? Incompetency is good for the nation. I am going to take all really otherwise genius competent Secretaries of my administration and hog tie them and make them all look like blathering idiots and shame them for sticking with me. Ten thousand ways to lie and try to confuse everyone. Productivity, I don't care about and such thing as productivity. I am the President, I have all powers, don't worry about the Congress, Judiciary, or the people.

I care and most Americans care also. Mr. President, you are the worst administrator of any President in history. I don't know how you get so many idiots to continue to follow you, but at least now, the number is diminishing.

In New Jersey, Former Salvation Army Financial Manager Arrested
Former Salvation Army Financial Manager Arrested, Charged With Embezzling More Than $385,000

NEWARK – A former financial manager at the Salvation Army was arrested today for embezzling money from the Salvation Army that was intended to provide rental assistance to persons with low income, U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie announced.

Brown and his co-conspirator, who pleaded guilty on Monday, allegedly cashed approximately 585 fraudulent checks between October 1995 and July 2002, stealing approximately $385,760 from the Salvation Army.

Brown was arrested at his home early this morning by Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General. Brown made an initial appearance later in the morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan D. Wigenton, who set bail at a $250,000 unsecured bond.

What do you think? Aren't you sick and tired of all of the BULL?

Solution for Social Security and Medicare Crises

I obtained my working papers in the early 1960's as a tenth grader in high school and pretty much have been working since then, more than 40 years. I still have a few more years to reach 65. Except for something around 5 years, social security and Medicare was continually withheld from my paychecks from January 1 through December 31 of each year and they were additionally withheld from any additional checks such as vacation checks and bonus checks. I'll admit I was thrilled when my annual withdrawals on Social Security and/or Medicare were completed early, but I don't think that ever happened before Thanksgiving. We all know the Social Security amount is high and it is really nice when you have the cash in your check instead of being withdrawn.

Even in the late 1960's when I was on active duty in the United States Army being gross paid around $116 per month, Federal income tax, Social Security, laundry, and other things were withdrawn from my monthly pay and I think my monthly takehome was around $80 per month.

My proposal is to increase the maximums of gross salary and bonuses to at least one million dollars annually for everyone to be withdrawn to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes while not increasing benefits except for cost of living. At this level maybe the tax rates for withdrawal could be reduced for everyone.

Just about everyone pays Social Security and Medicare taxes all year long just as I have. It's is fair.

There are too many people in the United States that are paid so much money that they are finished with their withdrawals when it is taken out during their first or second paycheck each year. I don't think that is fair. Do you?

I am so sick and tired of all of the hideous ideas going on about the crises. George Bush and Congress seem to be leaning towards reducing benefits, which would be a crime. The vast number of Americans, legal immigrants, and yes, even illegal immigrants are receiving Social security benefits and Medicare and depend on them.

What do you think? Have you written to your federal, state, and local representatives?

Congratulations for Chicago Living Wage

Congratulations for Chicago Living Wage

The City Council of the City of Chicago, Illinois, approved an ordinance that makes the City of Chicago the biggest city in the Nation to require big box retailers to pay a living wage.

It is too bad the federal senate voted against increasing the American wage on March 7, 2005.

Many cities and state governments are stepping up to the plate to increase the minimum wage in their city or state. This is because the current President Bush and the current Congress will not step up to the plate and pass the legislation for the president to sign or veto.

Prominent against the increase was:

Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), she was senior executive of the Red Cross, a charity that is supposed to assist people during disasters. Most of the people requiring assistance are the poor and middle class citizens and legal immigrants of America, not the wealthy. It seems incongruous that she can reject a necessity such as in increase in minimum wage and still hold her head up as the past senior executive of the Red Cross. Either she is a hyprocrite or the Red Cross organization is or both.

John McCain (R-AZ), our good buddy who has a really big halo over his head. And he wants to be President. Well, we now know where he stands in view of America's poor and middle class, because he rejected the minimum wage increase. His cavalier attitude for America's poor and middle class cannot be tolerated. He is still popular on various TV shows but if I see him, I turn him off, no matter what program he is on. McCain is probably America's biggest hyprocrite. I don't want to hear anything he has to say.

The Vote Counts: yeas 46
nays 49
Not Voting 5

The vote to pass was 1/2 of the vote. Only 4 more votes yea were necessary to pass.

On March 7, 2005, these senators did not vote.

Not Voting - 5
Baucus (D-MT)
Conrad (D-ND)
Ensign (R-NV)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Specter (R-PA)

If these senators voted yea, then the increase in the minimum wage would have passed. The citizens of the states where the senators did not vote should ask their senators, where were they? What were they thinking?

An Inconvenient Truth

An Inconvenient Truth

Several families arranged a free screening for students, of Vice President Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" at the Maplewood Theatre in Maplewood, New Jersey this week for free and even had the luck to have the movie's director, to show up and answer questions.

Before long, an older theater- goer arrives and plunks down her $9 for "An Inconvenient Truth," the Al Gore global-warming documentary that has made box-office history by managing to stay in the Top 20 in ticket receipts.

"It's about time I saw this movie," the woman says as she hands her ticket to Rinaldi, who was also filling in as the ticket- taker.

The audience demographics are not lost on Rinaldi.

It's the old -- not the young -- who have flocked to see "An Inconvenient Truth." She said as much to Stewart Glickman, a 43-year-old who came to see the movie a few weeks ago with his wife, Sarah, and asked about the turnout.

"I said it was fabulous," she said, "but the wrong people were seeing it. ... You're going to give up your plastic silverware and big SUV?"

Afterward, Rinaldi said, she thought she had chased a customer away, but instead she fanned a fire in Glickman's heart, unlocking a string of events that will culminate tomorrow with a free screening for middle- and high school students and a visit from the film's director, Davis Guggenheim.

"It's apolitical," says Glickman, who has distributed fliers touting the 4 p.m. showing and listing "10 things to do" to curtail the carbon- dioxide emissions contributing to global warming. "Any one person can make a difference."

Shortly after the Glickmans first saw the film, they had dinner with friends Claude and Elana Szyfer. All they could talk about was the "powerful" message of the movie. So the Maplewood families -- both with children -- decided to sponsor the free screening.

That's when the celebrity connection hit.

Paramount Pictures gave its blessing for the group showing, but Glickman was looking for someone to speak at the question-and-answer session after the movie. Word found its way to the West Coast, where Guggenheim was in a big meeting about the DVD release of "An Inconvenient Truth."

"Maplewood? I know Maplewood!" Guggenheim was quoted as saying.

It turns out Guggenheim is married to Elisabeth Shue, the Academy Award nominee who be fore starring in "Leaving Las Vegas" was a student at Maplewood's Columbia High School.

I saw the movie at the Maplewood Theatre a few days ago and thought it was very honest and provoking. Yes, there were mostly all adults that evening and on child, probabnly dragged by his parents. Everyone was absorbed by the movie. While there were dozens of people in the theatre it was very quiet and nobody walked out.

I recommend all grammar, middle, and high school students see this movie, this year. Free screenings should be made available. Discussions have begun about the DVD release of "An Inconvenient Truth", but no release dates were mentioned. The movie could be used as a catalyst for age appropriate related studies for the students.

More than one hundred people died this week in America due to the heat wave. We saw long power outages due to the excessive storms. We have been having unusually powerful hurricanes during the past few years. I am no scientist, but there seems this could be a link to global warming. It seems that America should step up to face the challenge or else we will probable see more tragic events occurring within earths ecosystem.