Hackettstown Property Taxes

Did your taxes get to the point that you have to move out of town.
What is going on? Where is the money going?
The town is debt free and we are overtaxed.
Isn't it time for all of us to report to the mayor and complain to her about the taxes and for her to explain why the town is debt free and the taxes are so high.
Denville taxes are much lower and have more services.
We are only about 3 square miles and I feel we are spending money like fools.
How about owning a ranch home and a piece of property and the taxes are over $15,000 a year. Retired and collecting Social Security. Yes time to consider to move out of here or put pressure on the Mayor and Town Counsel
I would like you to comment on this overspending town.
Please send your comments on Hackettstown Life and lets hear your thoughts.

OLD MLAN
Feb '18

Sadly, it's old news. And it's part of the same problem the entire state (and other states) are facing. The local and state governments are over-spending, which means they have to raise taxes, which makes residents and businesses leave, which reduces tax income, which means they raise the taxes even more. And the cycle just continues to spiral out of control.

And at this point, it would be very difficult to fix. Most of the over-spending goes to employee salaries and/or benefits. Thus, the only way to truly correct the problem, permanently, is to significantly decrease the amount spent on employees. But because of labor laws and contracts and unions and such, a town mayor can't just simply declare that all town-employee salaries will be reduced by 15%, even if it's the only logical way to balance the budget.

And so, it will just continue to spiral, until one day, the town has to declare itself bankrupt and start all over again. Best to move out now, before that happens. . . .

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
Feb '18

OLD MAN -- did you apply for the senior tax freeze? I have been benefiting from that.

happiest girl
Feb '18

If you have no family here, move out of state, do not move to denville
Your property taxes get split to municipal taxes(Hackettstown) school taxes, county taxes and state taxes, good luck figuring out where the money goes.

RiRa
Feb '18

If schools stopped the "after hours " sports programs from the budgets and had the parents that wish to have these programs pay for them, taxes would be substantially lower.

It is time that the "public masses" stop paying for the "selective programs" to fulfill some parents after hours babaysitting or aspirations of their child being a sports superstar.
Focus on education ! <- imagine that

Steven Steven
Feb '18

Let's see, how do you think they can pay a cop and firefighter to retire at 40 with a large pension and medical; and the much larger numbers of teachers retiring with an excessive pension and medical? Plus other typical public corruption wasting at the local and county level.

We are in a hole and to get out would take harsh measures that the public unions will try their best to stop. The NJEA doesn't spend about 40 million a year "for the children," they spend this money to ensure their members benefits.

Time that the masses who are not public workers stand up, let you voice be heard. To those that think you should just "take" annual tax increases much over 2% are just wrong...


Look at your tax bill to see how much of your taxes goes to which agency, then go to that governing body and ask for their explanation.

Music gal Music gal
Feb '18

How does one go about applying for the senior tax feeeze and what exactly is the benefit? Do your taxes remain the same forever?

Parental Unit Parental Unit
Feb '18

I recently found a listing that indicates a salary of $78,600 a year, for just ONE of the "social workers" at Hackettstown High School. Assuming that employee also gets health insurance and other benefits, and possibly a pension, that means the town is probably putting out at least $85,000 a year, for a high-school social worker. Not a teacher, not the principal, not a district administrator--a social worker.

Yes, I'm sure that person serves some useful purpose in the school. But $85K a year? And another listing indicates town elementary school teachers have a base salary of up to $87,450 a year. (So you have to figure an actual outlay of at least $95K.)

And they have summers off.

THAT is where your property taxes go.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
Feb '18

But that social worker probably has a masters degree. So $85K for someone with a masters isn't a lot of money.

not sack
Feb '18

and social workers are usually part of child study teams - a pretty important part of the staff - and you don't say how many years those people have been teaching - geesh - lets all go kick teachers - without whom some would not be able read or post here -
Get your town budget and see where the money goes and decide what you'd like to have removed from the budget - what services you'd like to remove..................enough said.

4catmom 4catmom
Feb '18

Eligibility requirements for the NJ senior tax freeze are here:
http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/ptr/eligibility.shtml

There is a link within for the income limit.

OnTheEdge OnTheEdge
Feb '18

Teachers, etc.,pay into their pension and benefits!

Sport
Feb '18

"Teachers, etc.,pay into their pension and benefits!"

True, but a very small, inadequate fraction. Not sustainable fiscally speaking hence the ever increasing costs to the taxpayer.


man I wish people would have attended the 2/8 Town council meeting when the budget was passed and fully explained. I will recap:

the 2018 town budget actually went down. However there were some commercial properties in town that had their taxes reassessed which lower the ratables in town by nearly $8million.

The avg home in town is assessed at $276k. For that avg homeowner your town portion of your taxes went up $31.68/ year or $1.14/month. So depending on where your home's assessment is compared to the town avg you can see how much/little your taxes are going up.


The Town makes up 21% of your property taxes
the County makes up another 21%
and then the BOE makes up the remaining 58%
which means on avg the town portion of our property taxes is around $1750/year, The rest of your taxes the town has no control over. The BOE is still working on their budget but most likely they will hit the 2% cap yet again.

lastly for you to be paying over $15k a year in taxes your home would need to be assessed at roughly $500k.


The next town council meeting is on 2/22 at 7pm if anyone would like to discuss the budget/taxes any further.

Jim L. Jim L.
Feb '18

Sports programs kill a school budget. Football in particular. Hackettstown spent over $1 million on a turf field without even knowing the cost to maintains such a field. Oh, by the way the field was purchased without competing a contract. Just good 'ol boy stuff. Football should be completely pay to play out of the parents pockets who want their kids concussed by 14.

Doug Williams Doug Williams
Feb '18

happiest girl - The screen name is "OLD MLAN". Let's not confuse them with other posters. We don't even know if this is a man or not.

OLD MLAN - Although I suspect the mayor & council would actually welcome the community to come out to a meeting for a change, you only bring up town issues. Less than 1/4 of your tax bill is from the town. County tax is larger - why no mention of them? And the School Tax is well over double the municipal tax. If we want to be effective, we have to go to where the source of the issue is. We also need to be edicuated before that conversation takes place. Going to the Council and bringing up Board of Ed matters is not going to help. Where is the money going? Check the budgets. The Town, BOE, and County all are required to publish the budgets and are freely available for download. More than that, the town does a budget workshop where you not only see the process, you can participate in it. How many people go to any council, BOE, or freeholder meeting let alone get involved in the budget itself?

Just as a side note, you need over a $500,000 assessment to get to the kind of taxes you've got. You may imply it's not much because it's "a ranch". But since there's only a single property listed in the public records with that level of tax, it's not hard to see that's quite a house. On the other hand, personally I don't see why the assessment hasn't been appealed. The #2 ranch pays a good amount less and there isn't a person in town that would argue with the reasons for the valuation.

As a final PS - I moved here from Denville. I can think of a house right in town, sitting on a lot over double sized with a pool - when I look up the taxes it's well over $18,000 a year. I don't think a good thing to shoot for.


I wasn't knocking the importance of teachers or a good education. But in NJ, $85K a year is more than the average salary of a COLLEGE English teacher. In fact, it's more than most people make--and most people have to work 12 months a year. It's simply an absurd amount of money to be paying someone to teach things like basic algebra to teenagers for 3/4 of the year. Especially when the residents obviously can't afford it.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
Feb '18

Wasn’t Doug Williams a Redskin QB?

Iroonic. Ain’t it.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Feb '18

Bring back the ability of citizens to vote on the school budget instead of allowing it to simply be passed. Without the afore mentioned there is no incentive for BOE to hold down costs.


Get rid of pensions and free health care for state workers and your taxes will go down. Why should the rest of us have to pay a health insurance premium and put money into a 401K, while these people get crap handed to them...

Metsman Metsman
Feb '18

Steven - eliminating sports from budgets unless the parents of the participating students pay for it is a slippery slope. While I get where you're coming from, it seems like that would need to be applied across the board (marching band, band, orchestra, choir, all the various clubs, in short any and everything that requires money to be run). I'm not singling out sports, music, activities, or anything else, but it should be consistent, and while I don't have children in the school system (yet), I'm not sure that's the best way. That said, i fully agree our taxes, public benefits, etc. are completely out of control and need to be addressed.

The R The R
Feb '18

Get a better paying job or move to West Virginia. NJ is expensive. We deal with it. Blaming teachers and police isn’t going to solve anything. We need them to do their jobs and they deserve to be paid.

NJ has way too many municipalities. That is what is costing us. Duplication across the state with thousands of school districts police departments and on and on.

Sucks but ya gotta pay or move.

Grumpy oldgit Grumpy oldgit
Feb '18

if taxes are too high, then what do you want to cut? what services are you receiving that you no longer want to receive? you can't say something that has been promised to someone in the past, as that's already been agreed to by both parties. only things not promised (contractually or verbally).

ken e
Feb '18

Good education is important.

OLD MLAN is property rich but feeling poor.

HG and PU are old.

All taxes are too high.

All public benefits are too much.

All public salaries are too high.

Social Workers are worth less than most.

NJ is expensive.

Blaming teachers is fun.

Extra curricula should cost extra.

Ijay hates NJEA for self-lobbying, hates teachers for having a career and hates BOE for everything......

Got it. Let's move on.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Feb '18

NJ has way too many school districts with way too much administration

Bug3
Feb '18

...yet, you all still vote for the Democrats...(look at the Newark Assembly you continue re-elect, year over and over) to fix the system they broke - continue spend and defend the contracts, abbots, unions, etc.

Oh, if I'm wrong, I'll concede once I see what your Phil Murphy will do [at least Christie did much more in breaking some of unions' muscle, municipal's shared-services, and cap on property taxes {which your Democrat assembly would not allowed without the towns loophole to go more than that}, so we'll see]

Living in a Democrat state is a Terrible state to make ends meet

mgitti mgitti
Feb '18

"The avg home in town is assessed at $276k. For that avg homeowner your town portion of your taxes went up $31.68/ year or $1.14/month."

my apologies, avg town taxes went up $13.68/year not $31.68 :)

Jim L. Jim L.
Feb '18

Parental Unit,

I was initially mailed the senior tax application ..... if you do not get one by Feb. 22 you should call them. The telephone number and information are on this website.
Yes, my tax froze that year and stays at that amount forever.

www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/ptr

happiest girl
Feb '18

Schools costs are out of control, every school should be built in a modular fashion,
add ons would be simplified and standardized expense to expend.

Sports ( football, base ball, soccer ...any sport that requires a field or any other building or property outside of the standard school building must be "pay to play"...that is the only equitable way .

Teachers tenure should be revoked until every veteran that served this country has FREE medical care, they have earned it regardless of the cost and it should be the same Health Care provider the teachers union supports...don't wan t them to be the hypocrites.

We need educated children to be going thru the school systems, not sports heros .

Steven Steven
Feb '18

Steven, please show us your facts regarding sports and other activities being budget savers. How much will the average homeowner see in savings?

btownguy btownguy
Feb '18

Either Steven has no kids or they are out of school. Anyway some of these comments regarding public education are really funny and surreal. I think everyone is willing to cut someone else's benefit but not their own. Imagine the outcry if only veterans who were wounded or in the front lines during an actual war received VA benefits. Think of the money we would save. Our country has priority issues and there are funding problems as we all know. Unfortunately there needs to be tough decisions but as always there are no easy answers. Kind a like NIMBY...................


I'll bet the insurance costs schools need to carry to cover sports events is pretty high due to high medical costs for injuries.


I will not calculate the expense of outside of Education costs of uilding and maintaining fields , lighting , bleachers, buses to transport these "special students", cost of payroll & benefits for the drivers, the maintenance of the buses, the salary of the mechanic , his benefits, the insurance for the bus, etc., you re more than ignorant if you cannot extract the obvious.
Ask for a financial accounting from the BOE., whatever I say you will be critical of.

Why should parents that do not have children , or have put their child thru school , have to continue to pay for the spiraling "after education" programs ?
Things change and the system needs to !

And for the record ..I do have children and I pay in excess of 28k a year in taxes between my homes .for more than a few decades...the time to re evaluate and re align the accountability has been long overdue.

Would you like to discuss college tuition as well ? ( oh I imagine that does not count , you will "borrow" that ? )


When I see parents with their children, outside Walmart "begging to sell cookies for their school trip", it really turns my stomach, what values are you teaching your child ?
How about if the parent went and got a part time job to be accountable for the child they brought into the world and show the child thru example , how to be responsible for their actions of bringing a child into the world and the responsibility that goes along with that life long commitment made when they decided to have children.

Steven Steven
Feb '18

The state and local municipalities need to be run like private sector businesses. When costs increase you reduce the workforce in the private sector. The same needs to be done by the state and local municipalities. Start by cutting the workforce by 10% per year for three years. Also, freeze employees' traditional pensions and enact a 401K where employees contribute to their pensions. The way it's set up now the state and lical municipalities simply extract more money from citizens. In NJ, democrats are responsible for giving generous benefits and wages hikes to their union buddies. It's unbelievable how NJ residents don't realize how they are being fleased and continue to re-elect these democratic clowns. On top of that now we have the tax and spend Murohy as NJ governor who has already begun raising the deficit with his programs to support illegal aliens. It's so out of control in NJ that the only viable way to get relief is to leave the state.


Kudos to the parents "begging" to sell cookies. They're teaching their kids BY EXAMPLE that you have to get out there and work for what you want.
Yeah, I buy a box ( and usually bring the to my office).
Positive reinforcement for hard work.
I have no children , but don't bit@h about paying school taxes- someone paid them for me.
And BTW-I probably learned as much about success on the playing field as in the classroom in HS.

Stymie Stymie
Feb '18

"Ijay hates NJEA for self-lobbying, hates teachers for having a career and hates BOE for everything......"

Having a career? What is this supposed to mean SD, you are speaking gibberish?

A public job retirement medical and pensions in 2018.

In the 85k Social Worker example the salary alone isn't the biggest problem. Yes, maybe it could be trimmed to 70k and I am not impressed by any Masters of Education. The realm problem is the Cadillac medical plan and especially retiree medical and pensions. So,

1) Medical while working is brought in line with the private sector
2) Retiree medical ended
3) Pensions transitioned to 401ks

Doing any less is giving the middle finger to the taxpayers, which the NJEA has been doing since at least the 1980s.


“I think everyone is willing to cut someone else's benefit but not their own.“

Best definition of democracy I’ve ever read lol

Justintime Justintime
Feb '18

What is fair or excessive is subjective. However, it is very clear that the public unions have driven up total compensation. To believe otherwise is to be foolish which many public workers have no shame being as long as they are over-compensated.


Steven, so you claim that “If schools stopped the "after hours " sports programs from the budgets and had the parents that wish to have these programs pay for them, taxes would be substantially lower.”

OBVIOUSLY a statement like that must be backed up with some facts and research. I asked for those facts or research that brought you to that conclusion.

You then replied: “I will not calculate the expense of (this stuff) you re more than ignorant if you cannot extract the obvious. “

So how did you come to this conclusion then? If you didn’t calculate it, we can only then infer that you’re assuming what those costs are and thus what the savings are. And we all know what happens to dummies that assume...

So, in short, you have no proof to back up your hyperbole, otherwise you would have shared it. Thanks for contributing nothing!

btownguy btownguy
Feb '18

Sports and extra-curricular cost $1M per year.

https://www.hackettstown.org/Page/8726

Mark Mc. Mark Mc.
Feb '18

Now THAT is what's wrong with American education! You now have to provide actual factual evidence that athletic fields cost money to build and maintain, that athletic equipment costs money, and that athletic coaches get paid. Because unless and until you can prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt, you must presume that it's all "free."

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
Feb '18

Thank you Mark for educating the critical parties here , however I am certain you will now be challenged....because that is easier than facing the reality of the broken system.

By the way , I believe 1 M is not covering all the expenses , but that's just me.

Steven Steven
Feb '18

So just for some comparison...

My house in hackettstown is ~700 sq feet....on a 50x150 lot, I pay just under $5000 a year in taxes

My new house in blairstown is ~2800 sq feet....on a 3 acre lot.....i pay $7500 a year in taxes

So for a heck of a lot more, my taxes are only $2500 more

Also, in comparison, my grandfather lives in hackettstown....his house is 1300 sq ft, on a 100x150 lot, and he pays $6500 with senior and veteran tax breaks. as well as constantly fighting re-assessments

when I was shopping for new houses, I did not even bother looking in Hackettstown, you can go 10-15 minutes out and get so much more for so much less.

Darrin Darrin
Feb '18

Steven, that $1M is just for the “instructional” portion of athletics and extra curricular that the budget broke out to separate line items.

New fields, equipment, etc. is probably buried in another item for facilities or something.

Mark Mc. Mark Mc.
Feb '18

Sports programs cost so much money. They ultimately eat away at the arts and music programs, which cost money to run as well. Pay to play is the way to go. And in no way to high school students need to play on professional fields. It's just irresponsible and a bullish jock mentality that runs these programs. But guess what most of the board members are big time football heads with skin in the game. So it comes down to an irresponsible set of priorities.

Doug Williams Doug Williams
Feb '18

Yeah lets stop after school programs so that kids can play more playstation, get fat, and get into trouble... That's ridiculous. Playing on a sports team teaches dedication, working with others, and taking care of your body through exercise. If everything was pay to play then the school wouldn't be able to field a team for some sports and activities. Some families can't afford an extra cost like that. The way to save money in this state is to overhaul the pension and benefits fund. It probably won't ever happen because of the unions, but what these people get is ridiculous. Very few people in the private sector get pensions and free healthcare. That is the way of the past. It's time teachers, cops, etc. live the same way that we do.

Metsman Metsman
Feb '18

Gotta keep the kids on the field, in the band, in the art studio or the after school computer club
OR,
they might be BEHIND the school learning to roll joints and make crack pipes.
Never, ever inderestimate the value of extracurricular activities.
IMHO- the benefit packages given to public employees is way out of wack.

Stymie Stymie
Feb '18

I agree benefits packages are a huge part of it. But I have news for you not every kid in a school's student body is enrolled in sports. And not every sport draws the same financial demand. Why doesn't Hackettstown have a hockey team? Cost very expensive cost, and if those programs did exist they would draw on heavy subsidy from those parents to make it happen. Spend more money on art and music less on football. Here's a whole thread discussing it from a few years back.

http://www.hackettstownlife.com/forum/667312

Doug Williams Doug Williams
Feb '18

Gee Doug - sounds like you didn't make the team...

Academics, athletics, art - all contribute to an education and make the person a well rounded individual, a better citizen, a better taxpayer, etc.

Not all lessons are learned in a textbook.

Red Grange
Feb '18

Wow, all of our problems could be solved if anyone here had the guts to run for a BOE seat or higher. (dripping with sarcasm)

The link provides all the information you need to get on the ballot for the BOE.
(you know you won't)
When you run, please make sure to include your screen name so that we know your platform.

https://www.hackettstown.org/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=10556&dataid=9424&FileName=How%20to%20Become%20a%20Board%20Member.pdf

Have a nice day.

crazyjane crazyjane
Feb '18

Red, I think the main point is that some kids are getting extra, taxpayer-paid education than other kids. Football fields, equipment, and coaches cost a lot of money. But even if every kid wanted to be on the football team, they couldn't. So the kids who DO get to play football are getting something extra that the other kids aren't.

And there is also the issue of necessity. Yes, kids can learn from participating in after-school sports, or band, or even the chess club. They would also learn more if the taxpayers sent every kid to live in Paris for two weeks to study at the Louvre. But a line has to be drawn, somewhere, because the state and the town are going broke, which was the point of the whole thread. And there is logic and fairness in cutting programs that only benefit a small percentage of children in the school district, OR allowing those programs to continue, but only with volunteer, private funding.

Personally, I'm in favor or cutting costs from other areas, but I do think the taxpayers need to seriously consider whether the costs of some school activities and facilities are really worth the limited benefit they may provide to the community.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
Feb '18

Red, you're not an Illinois grad by any chance, are you?

The R The R
Feb '18

Just a bit of math if anyone actually cared about it - Total $31 mill budget vs $800k sports + $200k extra curricular = approx 2.5%. Average $280k house, 1.64 rate school only is right about $4500. Times your 2.5% and after generally rounding up this is an argument over $115. Just to have only the elite $ folks to play.

There are far bigger fish to fry.

Get the admin costs down. And get all the mandated programs down.


The entire State with how many districts...How many Supers, etc are needed and what do they really do...or know about the Students.... The Sports is terrific but at what cost for Foot Ball Field ?...How many students had the opportunity to benefit their education on playing , how many have gone on to Major teams ?...any Girls in that ?.... The Arts and music opened to all certainly didn't need NEW TURF... And the major blast to BOE....who decided that FFA and Ag was no longer needed...To both males and females to carry on generations of their Families belonging. How many went on to family businesses. Farming...Florists..land scaping etc... certainly a huge amount more than what I saw HHS former players in the Super Bowl...


Should we cut the Theater Program?
Don't see any Hackettstown students nominated for an Oscar.
How about we cut the Chess Club?
Don't see any Hackettstown Grandmasters.
Let's just teach one foreign language- why so many?
We should be brainstorming ways to make MORE programs available to the next generation, not eliminating them.
The problem is too much $$$ on administrative and benefits.
We've already hobbled our future generations with incredible levels of debt.
The least we cam do is give them a well rounded education- both in classroom and outside- so they might be able to find success.
We have certainly stacked the deck against them.

Stymie Stymie
Feb '18

“Get the admin costs down. And get all the mandated programs down.”

Agree completely. We have a top-heavy problem that starts at the state and federal level where school districts are presented with carrot-on-a-stick spending: do xyz or we take funding away. Very few of us have the desire to say no to money...

Justintime Justintime
Feb '18

I guess electing three republican mayors in a row hasn't helped like it's supposed to, eh ?

DevilsFan DevilsFan
Feb '18

The Mayor had no one running against her. It’s actually gotten worse.

pampurr pampurr
Feb '18

Worse? Doesnt the town have zero debt now?

Justintime Justintime
Feb '18

We are done with this area. Husband is retiring this year and we cannot afford the taxes here on my salary. Putting house on the market this spring and moving out of state!


So some of you think police and teachers make to much? They have to live here as well

Tommy
Feb '18

I think that many teachers and police in NJ are over-compensated, when one considers ALL the factors involved, compared to other occupations. That means considering things like education/training requirements, health benefits, whether you have summers off, pension benefits, occupational risks, job security, availability/requirement of overtime, cost of work clothing, other people willing to do the job for less, etc.

Compensation for such jobs is heavily skewed, compared to the private sector. If M&M needs to hire an accountant, and they know they can hire a qualified person for $50K a year, then they will pay $50K a year to hire an accountant. If there are plenty of accountants looking for work, and M&M can get someone for $45K a year, then they will offer $45K.

But if the police department wants to hire a new officer, and the salary is set at $50K a year, then they offer $50K a year. And if they get 200 qualified applicants for the position, then never try to get one to accept the job for $45K a year--they just pick the person they think is best out of the 200. And if they get 500 qualified applicants, they don't try offering $40K a year--they just pick the best out of the 500.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
Feb '18

Wow, they just pick the best instead of getting the cheapest.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Feb '18

@JerseyWolf - or maybe everyone else is underpaid? Why people begrudge others a decent living (in their opinion) is beyond me. 50k is not a lot of money and still puts you in the working poor, living paycheck to paycheck class of people just like the rest of us schlubs.

How much money do you need to not be considered poor nowadays? 90-100k married without kids?

scottso scottso
Feb '18

At one of the town council meetings I went to the mayor described how the town has only minutely raised taxes and that the majority of our hike is coming from the schools. She actually called to the school board and challenged them to not raise the taxes as much as they did the previous year.

Darrin Darrin
Feb '18

I don't begrudge others for doing well and making a good living. But as a citizen, voter, and taxpayer, I--as every other such person--have a responsibility to oversee the government to ensure that it operates in the most practical, efficient manner possible. And right now, it's not working efficiently, which is why the property taxes are skyrocketing, which is the whole point of this thread. And therefore, it is our responsibility, as citizens, to try to fix the problems.

Basic economics: If you can't afford to meet your financial needs, then you increase income and/or reduce costs. The government keeps attempting to raise income, by raising taxes, but it has become counter-productive, as people keep leaving the state, which ends up reducing tax revenue. Therefore, the government needs to reduce costs. And the biggest, most unnecessary costs involve employee compensation. That means that the only logical solution is to reduce that compensation, by reducing the number of employees and/or by reducing compensation for some employees. And of those two options, it is more practical to reduce compensation (if possible--assuming you can still find people to fill the positions for less compensation). It means that you still have the same number of people employed, without a reduction in government services.

Yes, it will not be pleasant for employees to suddenly start being paid less. But it will be a whole lot easier than watching the government financially collapse and putting those people out of work, anyway.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
Feb '18

Are we saying that government is running like a lean, well oiled, fiscally responsible machine, however the darn teachers and police officers are making too much money?

If so, then I say that taxes are where they should be. I don't see the point in slashing salaries of the people doing the thankless job of teaching our children and protecting our communities. That's just silly. If the bulk of my property taxes are going to teachers and cops, I am perfectly fine with that.

The argument is lower middle-class warfare.

scottso scottso
Feb '18

Thankless but a lot of time off, good medical benefits for life, and a generous pension; all on the taxpayer dime... PRICELESS...

BTW, it is not lower middle-class when they retire, it is upper middle-class.


Where is the other 3.5 Billion going to come from?

"Christie scraped money together to get through the first half of a 10-part ramp up to full pension funding — a $2.5 billion payment this year. But the second half building up to a more than $6 billion yearly payment will be tougher."

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/02/phil_murphys_very_first_ask_the_governor.html#incart_2box_nj-homepage-featured


anyone wondering what the new infrastructure budget plan will raise state taxes?
from today's NYTimes:
Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Puts Burden on State and Private Money
The president’s $200 billion plan recasts the federal government as a minority stakeholder in the nation’s new infrastructure projects.

Hmmmmm.......................

4catmom 4catmom
Feb '18

The only thing worse than tax and spend is to cut taxes and spend..... Isn't that how we got Atlantic City? Ah, the memories....

iJay; there are two sides of the pension/benefit story --- legacy and going forward. Conflating the two as a monolithic problem requiring the single response of don't pay it is misstating the issue to begin with.

Good luck getting out of the debt or wriggling out of the IOUs.

Probably have better luck cutting bene's going forward, but that's a different story and you keep treating both as one.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Feb '18

" I--as every other such person--have a responsibility to oversee the government to ensure that it operates in the most practical, efficient manner possible. And right now, it's not working efficiently, which is why the property taxes are skyrocketing, which is the whole point of this thread. And therefore, it is our responsibility, as citizens, to try to fix the problems."

So Jerseywolf, I'm curious, have you looked at the town's budget? The past years are on the website and 2018's will be up soon.
Have you attended Town council meeting where the budget has been discussed openly?
In the past there have been Saturday budget meetings where each department comes in and council goes over each department's budget one by one, have you attended any of those?
Because you have spoken broadly about government spending yet none of your examples applies to Hackettstown so you come off as a little uninformed locally.

Here are some facts,

2018's budget is actually less than 2017's
The town is debt free
On top of that the town has just shy of $2mill in capital improvement surplus so if any projects are needed we can pay out of pocket vs issuing debt that the taxpayers are on the hook for.

I encourage all to look at our budget and come to council meetings to discuss ways you feel we can save, we are proud of our budget and would love the opportunity to discuss it. Old Mlan started this thread telling others to tell mayor and council how the spending is out of control and the taxes are too high yet every example since has nothing to do with anything the town has control over. The next town council meeting is next Thursday 2/22 at 7pm, I welcome all to attend.

Jim L. Jim L.
Feb '18

I agree JL, lots of thinking with one's tummy versus one's noggin. Turns out it's not that he's paying too much in taxes, it's that he just doesn't make enough money. All depends on your angle :>)

Factually, Hackettstown falls in the middle of NJ municipality property taxes at 276 out of 565 municipalities with an average of $7,780 in 2016. High end was Millburn at $22K, low end was Walpack at $1,800. (There were a couple more higher/lower but sort of outliers like Camden and some rich place I have never heard of.) Points of interest: Washington Township $3,882, Phillipsburg $4,272, Sussex Borough $5,398, Alpha Borough $5,527, Vernon Township $5,734, Dover $5,866, Lebanon $5,862, Oxford Township $6,518, etc. You get the drift. So move there, iJay…..

https://patch.com/new-jersey/hackettstown/who-pays-njs-biggest-smallest-property-tax-bills-check-hackettstown-0

Don’t know if this will display, but here’s 9 years of tax rates for h-town and indy (for reference). The strange number is undoubtedly a re-assess year so wild rate changes accompany wild home value changes that year. With 8 years of usable data, H-town’s average increase was 2.65%; the highest was 4.37% in 2016. Indy was 2.35%, the highest was 3.79%. Average inflation over the entire period was 1.89% making the actual increase, above inflation, .76% for H-town and .46% for Indy increases, on average, over 9 years. That's point-xx% increase folks, above inflation.

So I can understand being upset about the total cost, I mean $50K is still a lot of money in my book. I can also understand your ire about the recent 3 years of plus 2% increases for H-town, but where’s the applause for 2017? Sort of let that one just slip right on by ya, didn't ya.

Facts are our friends.

htown % increase indy % increase inflation


2008 4.156 1.978 3.85
2009 4.246 2.17% 1.975 -0.15% -0.34
2010 2.458 -42.11% 1.987 0.61% 1.64
2011 2.485 1.10% 2.022 1.76% 3.16
2012 2.553 2.74% 2.097 3.71% 2.07
2013 2.611 2.27% 2.167 3.34% 1.47
2014 2.703 3.52% 3.027 39.69% 1.62
2015 2.794 3.37% 3.168 4.66% 0.12
2016 2.916 4.37% 3.215 1.48% 1.26
2017 2.965 1.68% 3.324 3.39% 2.13

total 21.21% 18.80% i 16.98
average2.65% 2.35% 1.89

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Feb '18

and again SD only 21% of your property tax in Hackettstown actually goes to the town. The rest is county and BOE

town's avg taxes went up $30/year the past few years and $13.68 this year.

Jim L. Jim L.
Feb '18

Thanks JimL, that punctuates that “facts” without context don’t always paint a true picture.

Justintime Justintime
Feb '18

Jim L. - that is an awesome stat. What is each percentage for the BOE and County?

scottso scottso
Feb '18

Maybe we could have the town work with our local congressional office to help return federal tax dollars to Hackettstown...PD, First Responders and Public works are easy grant opportunities...Belvidere got a $1M

http://www.nj.com/warren/index.ssf/2017/12/belvidere_gets_1m_worth_of_trucks_generators_compu.html


way ahead of you PWMS. The town passed a resolution to participate in the 1033 program. Congressman Gottheimer was in town a few Sundays ago to meet with us and we have put together a grant committee to look for opportunities that will benefit the town


scottso, the breakdown of our property tax goes as following:

54.51% BOE
22.26% County
20.78% Municipal
1.33% County open space
1.12% Municipal Library

http://www.hackettstown.net/finance-office-c-f-o/
you can see it in our user friendly budgets

Jim L. Jim L.
Feb '18

No doubt schools have been sucking the wind out NJ budgets for ever. Maybe time to do some consolidation, we don't really need over 500 municipalities doing the same thing. The problem is obvious the solution gets muddled with our racist leaders who have a not in my backyard mentality.

Doug Williams Doug Williams
Feb '18

You're the man Jim thanks.

Scottso Scottso
Feb '18

Well there you go... time to trim the fat with the BOE budget.

Metsman Metsman
Feb '18

Turns out it's not that he's paying too much in taxes, it's that he just doesn't make enough money.

This! +100 forum points SD.

Basic economics: things have a cost.

No one is 'for' wasteful spending, but educating our children should be a municipalities top priority, no? Would you rather the majority percentage went to the police? That's rhetorical because the answers are obvious.

scottso scottso
Feb '18

Jim, I actually wasn't criticizing the Hackettstown government's operation or spending. Although the town's residents are dealing with rather high property taxes (particularly relative to their incomes), as you noted, that is only partially under control of the town government. There exist a HUGE number of county, state, and federal laws, rules, and regulations regarding how municipalities are operated and financed (and how employees are hired and compensated), and the towns are only partially in control.

All I was trying to point out, in my last post, was that the only logical way to correct the problem is through a reduction in employee compensation. Raising taxes isn't working. Cutting taxes, hoping that it will somehow (miraculously) lead to higher tax revenues, isn't working. Adding all sorts of new lottery games isn't working. The federal government is too broke to bail the state out. The only reasonable fix is to reduce costs. And since cutting the power to traffic lights, to save on electricity, isn't going to make the state any better, the only practical thing to cut is employee compensation, which represents such a large portion of the government budget.

Exactly how and where those cuts are made and implemented is ultimately up to the voters. And ultimately, to do things properly, some things will have to change at all levels of government. But if they are not made, then things can only continue to spiral out of control, with an inevitable result.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
Feb '18

Think we have to bring new public employees on to the payroll with a revised, more realistic benefit package and longer length of service until retirement.
Sunset those now covered- phase out their packages.
If their Unions won't cooperate- default on their current package.
AND- just so you don't think I'm unwilling to feel the pain- raise the full Benefit retirement age for SS.
Do the math- no other way.

Stymie Stymie
Feb '18

I admit I'm no economist. But to me, it seems the changes need to come, first, at a federal level. Congress needs to order that all pensions be phased out (not just "canceled," but phased out), as they are causing/allowing the state and local governments to effectively run up huge future debts. It's a political maneuver used to bypass the state balanced-budget requirements--they promise to give money in the future to current employees, even though the state doesn't actually have that money (or, at least, not all of it).

Unfortunately, the states are unwilling and/or unable to fix the pension messes they've gotten themselves into. Thus, unless the federal government does something, those pension debts are only going to continue to grow, until they are finally unsustainable. Then, one state after another will essentially go bankrupt.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
Feb '18

That's pretty funny JerseyWolf when you consider the pensions and benefits congress receives............

4catmom 4catmom
Feb '18

And that, 4cat, is why America is really screwed. And why everyone is miserable and complaining that nothing is getting fixed.

And in 50 years, people will look back and ask, "They could see what was happening--why didn't they DO something?!"

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
Feb '18

You are no economist :-). And doubtful the fed will stomp on states rights; and least not ubtil one goes bankrupt.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Feb '18

we don’t even have busses and pay more tax than some towns

fed up
Feb '18

Hackettstown doesn't have that much commercial to help and even then all towns are high even those with a lot of commercial, e.g. Fairfield, Paramus, Bridgewater. And sorry to say (not really) the main cause is the education system.


"And sorry to say (not really) the main cause is the education system."

Have you read some of the ridiculous comments and grammar used by some on this forum? I wouldn't blame the education system but instead those that did not take advantage of it and continue to remain ignorant throughout adulthood. While it doesn't fit into your agenda, location also matters.

Goeagles
Feb '18

iJay has a serious inferiority complex stemming from his "earning" an online degree. Read all his comments through that lens. Quite sad actually.

happybdaycalico happybdaycalico
Feb '18

"and again SD only 21% of your property tax in Hackettstown actually goes to the town" Yes, thanks for reminding readers of this. And NJ revenue, all taxes, consists of about close 50% property tax dollars; one of the only states to structure taxes in this fashion: https://taxfoundation.org/property-taxes-percent-collections/

And IMO, it's the tax structure that NJ needs to change.

"Thanks JimL, that punctuates that “facts” without context don’t always paint a true picture." What a bogus snarky back-handed comment from my favorite lurker. I painted a very true picture with just the right amount of context. JimL just expanded the picture, his info is great, its additional information, but it was not missing or needed to explain my comments. The subject was Hackettstown Property Taxes --- and that's the context I reported on, property tax collections. Nothing missing, no spin, no need to taunt about the "facts."

As JIT knows, and as I have said in the past; it's not the NJ total tax burden that's totally out of whack (it's bad, but there are worse); it's the NJ tax structure that relies on property tax which unfairly targets fixed income workers and is completely uncompetitive with 49 other states and the District of Columbia. If you own property, on a fixed income, you can't help but save a lot of money just by crossing the state line --- to almost any other state. We are not competitive with this tax structure.

My facts stand, they are valid and true. JimL's addition adds some valuable insights, but does not change nor correct anything I said. I did not leave anything out, there was no "context" missing from the "facts."

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Feb '18

OK. Start a municipal income tax and lower property taxes. Fairer to those who are less wealthy???

twentytwenty
Feb '18

Online degree, me? No, I did mention that "younger" folks getting Masters are doing it online. No problem as long as it is from a reputable source. I have taken online courses, from such sources such as:

https://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cbmp/pages/home

So, inferiority? Sorry, if anything superiority...


ij...... c'mon man...

twentytwenty
Feb '18

twentytwenty: JIT is fond of pointing out that first, any tax plan is theft, and two, in any tax plan there are winners and losers. Just a fact of life.

IMO, you are correct, certainly roughly right, although I am not sure it's municipal since much of this is intertwined with the state. IMO we need to move away from asset taxing (fixed assets, property) and move towards income, usage and consumption taxes. That is, tax more based on what you make and what you spend versus the house you live in. Losers will be those making and spending money; winners will be those no longer earning or spending that much.

NJ takes about 50% of its revenue from property. US Average is 35%. If NJ moved to that, we would see a 30% drop in our property tax. Granted, our other taxes would rise, but the burden now would be born by the working, the spending, and not those not spending with homes --- the retired.

Or another recommendation is look at 49 states and model yourself after the best of breed, tax structure wise.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Feb '18

Do something but the unions want to do nothing, continue with the excessive unsustainable total compensations...


There’s nothing wrong with online degrees from reputable brick and mortar universities. Only old farts who are unable to get with the times think there is.


Unsustainable compensation? That's instead of increased salaries.

I'll tell you the unsustainable compensation I don't like - $3K to each veteran (from separate thread), from the state. That's more than any teacher is getting in this compensation scheme. Why is NJ, and not the Federal Government, providing whatever is appropriate compensation to veterans to ensure enough of the right people join?


You want to see what teachers are making here in our district then take a look at his site.

http://php.app.com/agent/educationstaff/search

We pay the HS librarian and a Spanish teacher $80K a year... What?! That's insane...

Metsman Metsman
Feb '18

80 grand a year? Maybe they should find a better district.

Goeagles
Feb '18

Mets should find a better job if he thinks thats flush for nj.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Feb '18

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEHOINUSNJA672N

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/NJPCPI#

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEHOINUSNJA646N

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/17/09/21/interactive-map-charting-the-terrain-of-racial-disparity-in-nj/

$80k income is pretty good in warren county all things considered.

Justintime Justintime
Feb '18

I don't even have a college degree and make much more than that. I would say for how important good teachers are to our future seems a little under paid to me!


Oh my, I’m so sorry josh. No, most of us have no idea what that’s like. I just know that no matter what goes on in this country I’m very grateful I won the birth lottery and have all those things you mentioned and more. May you lose some of the heat and sting of those horrible memories and peace be with you and your family.


Kinda have to agree with jerseywolf. These people who work for Htown school system they are getting a gift. I've learned single handed that if ur child in the regular system needs help they r useless. I have a child that is special needs with walking crutches and was told to call warren county special services. My child is very smart and attentive has no brain or thinking problems its just walking. They had no clue what to do
It's so sad. Our taxes are gonna make a lot of people who own homes here leave. Quite frankly they don't go out of there way for anyone. In the past 4 years the school system has gone way down. I've had other kids there but year by year they get worse. It really should be a juvenile jail. I guess I suppose the mayor and associates should b there as well.

Being myself Being myself
Feb '18

Fortunately I have moved out of the district and couldn't b happier. And just wanted to say to jerseywolf as far as the sports are concerned by the time football season is over each parent has paid at least 300.00 to 350.00 on all the stuff the program wants. So i would think that wouldnt affect the taxes. But i guess it does.

Being myself Being myself
Feb '18

RAS- I am sorry for what will probably be conceived as a rant.

I am aware that it is pretty much impossible for people to even remotely understand unless they lived it.

I am proud of my service.

I am unfortunately ashamed of what many of our population have become and take for granted.


Josh thank you for your service
That is truly meant. I have family members that have fought for our freedom. I cant say first handed I know what u go through but I've seen my family members suffer after combat. God be with u and thank u for ur honor of our country.

Being myself Being myself
Feb '18

I gotta say between the ignorance and the hatred and negativity on these boards, it's discouraging to think that so many people walk around blindly filled with resentment and misinformation. My prescription is to get your news from multiple sources...not just one channel (left or right).

Guess what?
Teachers are the the only people between kids who have parents that are ill equipped to raise them turning into adults that we really don't want as neighbors. They work harder for less and get no respect due the agenda of others who want us to resent them instead of who we should really be angry at.

Instead of resenting what teachers make why not turn your attention to the 1% who are bankrupting this country in order to fill their pockets even more so with this tax plan that gives the 1% a lot more than the few thousand dollars a year we are getting in the way of reductions.

Those reductions are DEBT that the USA will owe to the CHINESE. Thanks but no thanks.

Have you driven through Mendham lately? Guess who is going to get a LOT more $$$ thanks to the tax plan?

grumpyoldgit grumpyoldgit
Feb '18

I think it's quite possible to respect teachers, yet also believe that they are overpaid. There are overpaid people in many different occupations, both government and corporate.

Simply put, if a teacher is making $80K a year, yet another person could and would do the same job, just as well, for $60K a year, than the teacher is overpaid.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
Feb '18

SD for what they do yes that is a lot of money.

Metsman Metsman
Feb '18

I could see paying a math teacher who has been around for awhile that kind of money, but a librarian and spanish teacher? Give me a break... And I hate to break it to you SD but if you had a couple each making $80K in NJ, they're living pretty well.

Metsman Metsman
Feb '18

JerseyWolf, Just one question and not picking just trying to make sense of your comment. Are you saying all teachers salaries should be capped at $60,000? Regardless of longevity? Even if a teacher works 30 years? If so then should any public servants salaries be capped at same? Or anyone who does the same job/position for many years? Why pay more and give raises if there is someone else out there willing to do a job for less? I'm not in the teaching profession but it doesn't seem fair to me unless all positions in all professions are capped unless that person picks up more duties or hours. If that's the case all rules should be changed to where each prospective employee was told prior to hiring that there is a cap so they do not expect more down the road...in all professions?

Grascal
Feb '18

So teachers are only worth 60k a year in somebodies mind.

At 80k a year, nj has one of if not THE BEST school systems MAGA. We’ve been on top for years

Do I hear a thank you? You should kiss their overpaid ass

Other systems, lots of them, pay 80k.

What do you expect to get for your 60k? An improvement in education? Or do you even care about quality?

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Feb '18

so one person who teaches math is worth more than others who teach other subjects? geeze - what was I worth - I only taught prek or kg kids over 44 years- with ba ma and another 30 credits - and annual staff development --
there are so many crap requirements now for teachers - that have nothing to do with teaching - that more and more seasoned teachers are having a harder and harder time dealing with the crap instead of their real passion - TEACHING - and the crap is going to cause less people to want to go into the field- some of you ought to go sub for a week or two and then spew your misinformation and bias

4catmom 4catmom
Feb '18

Agree with most of that grumpyoldgit, especially that the 1% issue should be dealt with first, but also agree with jerseywolf about competitive salaries vs salary-by-mandate.

Also, part of the problem imo are the requirements needed to become certified as a teacher simply to get the job. For the older generation, think back to your school days and ask yourself if the education you received was enough to make it in life (use the scope of our entire country as a guide post as to our collective educational successes), then compare teaching requirements then vs now. Big changes from what I can see, and the higher education requirements (master’s degrees for instance) are readily used to justify the higher salaries. So the real question is whether or not the requirements justifying the higher salaries today do result in increased student performance or can someone with less formal education (as was the case for previous generations) do the job just as well? I don’t know the answer, but sure someone has done studies about it.

Then there’s the whole “choice” thing, which is the primary driver for this discussion imo. Since the majority of us don’t have the choice to put our kids into a competing environment that means we more or less just have to take what we’re given. Sometimes (ok, a lot of the time lol) that creates an environment like this.

Justintime Justintime
Feb '18

I only offered an example in basic economics. It doesn't matter what the numbers actually are. The job is worth what people are willing to do the job for, to the standards required. You don't pay more than that, just because of union rules or state guidelines or friends in high places. You don't pay more, just because somebody has been doing the job a long time. You don't pay more, just because somebody has several different college degrees. And that doesn't refer to only teachers--it should apply to any government position. (And, of course, none of that even touches upon the ridiculous injustice of government pensions, which should have been phased out decades ago.)

Sometimes, it can be worth paying more than that minimum, but it should be for the right reasons. You don't pay somebody more, just because they've been in the position for years--but you might pay them more, because they are a known quality, the act of replacing them would cost administrative time and money, because they have become better at their job, and/or to improve morale and attract better employees.

But keep in mind that this assumes the same quality of work. If, for example, Teacher A is able to teach children to understand and retain information than Teacher B, but Teacher B is willing to do the job for less money, then it is an administrative decision, as to whether it's more practical and more feasible to pay more money for a better teacher.

And so, it all boils down to one simple question: Can the government realistically provide an adequate education for children, even if they offer slightly lower salaries to teachers?

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
Feb '18

80k is nothing. It used to be DOUBLE in total compensation -- 160k before my man Christie made teachers contribute to their medical. Probably more like 150k now.

My company cannot be alone in giving annual raises and bonuses with ALL costs -- medical, 401k, etc. So, you get a lot of figures but there is a new total compensation number and a new total compensation number. We have an unenforced target of 10% of the staff to be rating at below expectations which means 0% raise and 0% bonus -- kind of a wake up call to shape up or you might get shipped out within 6 months.

I understand there will always be differences between the private and public sector but they must be minimized.


No, JW, it doesn't work that way. First, yes, you do pay according to Union contracts and state regulations. Sorry.

Meanwhile.....if you're question is can you pay less than what someone is making, yes, sure, why not. As long as you are abiding by your contracts and your regulations.

But you brought up the 80K and now are re-casting this as pay-them-less-if-you-can. That's a Captain Obvious moment, isn't it?

So, you got your wish. Avg nj teacher salaries fall under 80K: New Jersey starting average $48,631, NJ average teacher salary $68,797

Of course if you lower it like you have suggested but now say the numbers don't matter, you get.......Michigan and Pennsylvania ----> rated number 42 and 33 in the national rankings for public education. You see the trade-off? Number 2 for your dollar or number 33+ to save some money.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings/education

My point is not whether salary reductions might be made and quality remains at parity or improves; my point is that's not necessarily so and unless you have a plan for lowering salaries while maintaining quality ----- let's here that.

MA and NJ trade the top spot in public education: MA pays starting avg $40,600 and avg salary of $72,334. Hey, we need to give a raise :>) NH is the other state we trade top spots with: they pay starting at $34,280 with an avg of $55,599 -- but no big cities. And the next two CT: $42,924, $69,397 and MD: $43,235, $64,248.

Methinks we seem to be getting what we pay for and thoughts that we can wave a magic wand and pay less really is non-factual given the good teachers will just leave since there are plenty of places to make NJ dollars and you will be left with what you deserve ---- a cheap date.

Yes, facts can be your friends.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Feb '18

Just a guess...... most posters here are against raising the minimum wage? Why pay more when you can fill the jobs at $8.50/hr? Why pay YOU what you're getting when someone else will do it for less? .....by the way that applies to EVERYONE not just teachers, cps etc........ then of course someone brings up the top 1%. Don't you realize that as we eat each other and even think about squeezing salaries down, that that puts the despised 1% further ahead?

More of a share for all...teachers etc and Metsman, JW, JIT.

GOG- you hit it on the head.

twentytwenty
Feb '18

There are ways to get more money from the top 1%--and to prevent them from making so much more money. But over-paying government employees doesn't hurt the wealthy much--it hurts the middle class, the people who really can't afford it.

The top 1% can afford to pay New Jersey's high property taxes. It's the average citizen who is being squeezed to the point of moving out of state.

And, yes, I am against a high minimum wage. I AM in favor of creating more jobs, which creates more competition, which ultimately leads to increased wages and opportunities.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
Feb '18

Oh, and strangerdanger, here's a basic fact of logic: correlation does not necessarily equal causation. Your entire argument rests on the assumptions that NJ really does have overall high-quality education, and that the reason for that quality education is high wages.

In fact, you are relying upon are certain standardized test scores, not upon such things as study of the arts, overall happiness and well-being of students, practical skills, etc. Correlation does not always equal causation.

You're also not taking into account other possible factors. For example, NJ is, by comparison, a wealthy state. Perhaps that wealth allows parents to raise their children better than other states, so the kids to better in school, regardless of the teachers.

You also offered no actual facts to support your argument that ultimately lowering compensation for teachers (in any of a number of ways) would lead to quality teachers leaving the profession and no quality teachers replacing them. In fact, most Americans would spend their days shoveling horse manure, if it paid $100 an hour. And if you suddenly started paying only $95 an hour, you would still have to hire a clerical staff, just to handle the massive volume of job resumes.

You are, however, entire correct about one thing: Facts CAN be your friends.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
Feb '18

"Why pay more when you can fill the jobs at $8.50/hr? " Actually, as I pointed out on the snap thread, you do pay more when they fill jobs at minimum wage. That's where a lot of the snap dollars go ----- to bring minimum wage makers closer to the poverty level. To the point that we "subsidized" with taxpayer dollars, every MikeyD burger, every single item you buy at Walmart.

Many HLer's bemoan the SNAPper with their fancy cars, sneakers, and tvs, but keep sucking it up at the government trough whenever they shop fast food or minimum wage retail like Walmart. I think we subsidize Walmart workers at $6B a year, McD's for a couple of billion. Heck McD's even has an employee SNAP hotline to help folks sign up. Saves on burger theft :>(

It's between $100 to $200B a year in welfare subsidies to minimum wage workers and this doesn't even begin to count the agro subsidies lowering your fast food prices.

We are all scofflaws in this not accepting the bill for what we buy.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Feb '18

Finally you are talking your strength: manure. Reminds of that old one: she was only the stableman's daughter, but all the horse men knew her.

Of course another Captain Obvious moment with "correlation does not necessarily equal causation."

To repeat myself: "My point is not whether salary reductions might be made and quality remains at parity or improves; my point is that's not necessarily so and unless you have a plan for lowering salaries while maintaining quality ----- let's here that."

not necessarily so, etc. If you read carefully, I think you will see a lot of correlation, caveats, but not statements of causation. Pretty sure I was careful.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Feb '18

SD living in illusion again, if you were 2 or 3x younger you might actually be a threat to society. Transition to 401Ks and cancel retiree medical. Homeowners are bleeding, this is the only way to make an impact. As Christie said, the have-nots paying for the haves.


Educational costs?
It's the cost of their health benefit while working ( for which they contribute very little) and the LIFETIME HEALTH COVERAGE upon RETIREMENT

Stymie Stymie
Feb '18

I'm a teacher in a wealthy school district. I make 6 figures, have a 5 dollar copay at the doctor, have tenure, teach children that actually want to learn, and sit by my pool all summer long. Life is grand.

Goeagles
Feb '18

Now we are getting it. Fleecing of the taxpayer is what we are talking about. Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for anything that has total compensation above the private sector.


"Now we are getting it. Fleecing of the taxpayer is what we are talking about."

After reading the opinions of many in this thread, I could care less. Actually, I'm enjoying it.

Goeagles
Feb '18

You could care less? Then the logical inference is that you are an insider enjoying the overcompensation at the taxpayer expense, or someone in your inner circle.


"Goeagles"

I am going to go out on a limb and say you are also a utter liar, or a troll...one of the two, probably both

the 5 dollar copay was a dead give away, teachers for the most part all have the same NJ health insurance through blue cross blue shield.....and the copay is not $5

Unless of course you work at a private school....but you wouldn't care to clarify where you work now would you??? Because that would disrupt the emotional hit and point of your made up post....now woulden't it....

Darrin Darrin
Feb '18

"enjoying the overcompensation at the taxpayer expense"

I charge and get 100 dollars per hour for private tutoring. You do the math.

I stand corrected, Darrin. It's 10 dollars. I opted for the best plan. Why not? As an aside, I did consider the NJDirect15 plan but decided against it. A nice catch but ultimately you're wrong.

Private school teachers make peanuts. I wouldn't waste my time.

Goeagles
Feb '18

Direct 10 here too - note teachers are definitely paying into their plans now - and the pension formula was changed about 6 years ago - no not in favor of the teachers - the gravy train is not as juicy as it used to be (your way of thinking)

4catmom 4catmom
Feb '18

goeagles!!!!! You deserve it!!!

twentytwenty
Feb '18

Teachers, police officers, other state employee pay is listed at data universe, link below.

Some teachers and school staff nearby make 6 figures, many very close to that amount. $10 copay for doctors visits and $5 copay for prescriptions is a reality in at least one local district, that I know for a fact. Those employees do pay for part of their prescription plan. Still a good deal for what they get, better than most private insurance.

Darrin, as far as your wife's pay, I believe you totally. Pay varies GREATLY district to district, and even employee vs employee in the same district based on years of service, previous military service (you get credit for that) and your college degree level (eg: masters+30 vs bachelors), difference can be substantial. Also some districts AVOID like the plague to allow anyone to tenure, they get a reputation for firing after 2 years.


In the right place at the right time, you are golden. The typical millionaire in NJ is a teacher and a cop. Good salaries, good health insurance, good pension, save and invest and that combo is a guaranteed win-win.





http://php.app.com/agent/

Dodgeball Dodgeball
Feb '18

Still waiting to hear what district......

My wife makes no where near what you make, teaches low function special education in a large district, pays 5% of her salary towards benefits, which does NOT include dental and vision.....

And yeah, she spends her summer volunteering for autism awareness.....NOT sitting by pools gloating about her pay

$100 per hour for private tutoring???? Grade school??? how do parents afford you?

It's teachers like you that give the hard working under paid teachers a bad name, making it so hard for aspiring teachers to get jobs.

I am all for defending teachers and the teachers union...but NOT for teachers like you....

Darrin Darrin
Feb '18

And for the seniors,
So many people complain that they don't want socialized medicine, yet that is basically what Medicare is. Try and take that away from a senior citizen and you will start a war.

OTOH, it is headed towards insolvency along with Social Security. The age to enroll in Social Security keeps going up. Reports vary, but it is currently expected to be insolvent in 17 years. Yet a pimple faced kid working at Mc Donalds is paying into a system to support grandpa and grandma, yet will not be able to collect when his time comes. Sounds like a raw deal for the younger generation. Look also at home prices, for example, in 1960, one could buy a house in Levittown, NY for 10k, brand new. Ok, it's built to 1060's standards, has asbestos, etc, but hey, it's a new home. Account for inflation using a calculator, that 10 k is worth 83k today- you could not buy the land under that house today for 83k, so grandpa and grandma did ok in their investment when they sell that house today for 350k and it still looks inside like it did when Eisenhower was president. Links provided.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/social-security-trust-fund-will-depleted-17-years-according-trustees-report10 k in

https://www.saving.org/inflation/inflation.php?amount=10,000&year=1960

Dodgeball Dodgeball
Feb '18

Your point?

Stymie Stymie
Feb '18

Darrin,

Where were you when all the people in this thread were bashing your wife and family members' profession? Nothing but silence. At least I spoke up and defended teaching. These people on here aren't going to be convinced so I just rub it in. Perhaps more people connected to teaching should push back.

That's great that your wife does all that. Considering how hard she works, I'm sure she doesn't like it when people want to cut her pay and benefits because they think she works a part time job. I work in a district that pays well and teach high functioning honors students. I don't work hard during the school year? I didn't work hard to make it to a top notch district?

I make it difficult for people to get jobs? There are lots of teaching jobs. Paterson is begging for teachers.

I'd hate to break it to you but this is America. Nothing is free. I know my subject very well and have the degrees to prove it. It's AP level work not grade school. I shouldn't be compensated for my services? My electric bill from running the pool filter all summer is outrageous.

Goeagles
Feb '18

"These people on here aren't going to be convinced so I just rub it in"

IMHO that is no way to go about it, it just infuriates people even further and just plain makes teachers look bad.

I have been involved with teacher threads in the past, it never goes well, but when I see a teacher gloating, meanwhile I know how hard my wife, as well as many other have worked just to get a job, let alone keep it...it really irks me.

Patterson..,...yeah, my wife student taught there, was involved in a hit and run as well as a attempted car jacking......I told her I would rather her sit at home then work there.

Darrin Darrin
Feb '18

Darrin ---- Private sessions can go up to $120 an hour in our area depending on the type of instruction. The price is higher in places like New York. I don't know why you think people can't afford it. You obviously don't know what you are talking about.

happiest girl
Feb '18

"IMHO that is no way to go about it, it just infuriates people even further and just plain makes teachers look bad."

Good. I don't care. They will never be convinced and politically nothing is going to change in their favor so I'm going to enjoy it. You have your tactics, I have mine. I think you may acknowledge that playing nice doesn't work.

"but when I see a teacher gloating, meanwhile I know how hard my wife, as well as many other have worked just to get a job, let alone keep it...it really irks me."

You are making assumptions about my career. You don't know what I endured to get this job or to maintain it but I'm happy to see any teacher succeed. As a colleague, I hope she does well. But my position in a district very far from here has little to do with your wife's job prospects.

"Patterson..,...yeah, my wife student taught there, was involved in a hit and run as well as a attempted car jacking......I told her I would rather her sit at home then work there."

That's your prerogative. Don't blame me for a lack of jobs in decent districts. Nobody's stopping her from sending her resume elsewhere.

Enjoy the snow.

Goeagles
Feb '18

Don't compare a private teacher for AP courses with say a gym teacher or janitor or social studies teacher etc. BTW, I am never against someone making money in the private arena, people are paying without a gun-to-the-head. Heck, there would be no Zuckerberg Facebook if his papa didn't pay a programmer to teach his son while in high school.

Like I always said, I am not against the profession. I am against excessive total compensation of public workers; which is based upon fact and all of you know it.


HG, as usual your insults fly like a loose cannon for no reason as opposed to just sharing information like an adult, or guiding the misinformed...like a adult.....maybe you could use some tutoring in the world of how to talk to people with respect......and, what I do PERSONALLY know is that some teachers tutor for free, or for gas money for the well being of the student....not all are looking to make a buck off people's misfortune of a struggling student.

But with that being said, as Goeagles pointed out, there is a difference between teacher ethic between special education as I am familiar with struggling students as compared to the gifted AP honors students goeagles is teaching.

Goeagles, I am not making any assumptions about your career, I am calling you out for how you are selling yourself as having it oh so easy (as you have stated it is a ploy to toy with people). Like I said, anyone that personally knows a teacher knows the struggles, do what you want, present yourself as you may, but when a teacher is on a open forum saying how easy they have it, they are going to be questioned by people who know that is not the case.

"That's your prerogative" what to not allow my wife to get killed trying to follow her career.....yeah I guess it is my prerogative.

I understand you have your tactics, and I couldn't agree more that people won't be convinced regardless, that's why I have just stayed out of discussions, as opposed to making the discussions worse for people who "do actually care" but I am still wondering what your tactics are accomplishing other then trolling the page pissing people off?

Darrin Darrin
Feb '18

Darrin,

I understand your point. It just amazes me how people on this forum casually bash teachers. They are shameless. We know the realities of teaching; it's not easy but I do like to toy with the ignorant.

I tutor students that want a leg up on the competition. My point in mentioning that was to prove that the market is willing to pay.

Goeagles
Feb '18

I agree with you, I just choose not to toy with the very people that are for teacher cuts, because I know how hard it was for my wife as well as 100's of others behind her to get a job because of the teacher cuts already occurring, so why piss them off more, essentially proving their point that tenure is a bad thing?

My wife deals with less fortunate students, many of the family's have spent so much on doctors bills they can't afford tutoring. Sure the market is willing to pay, but my wife would rather not get paid and help the less fortunate.

Darrin Darrin
Feb '18

I suppose its easier to come on a forum like this and bash teachers, police and other public workers then it is to confront the politicians that take pension money to offset out of control spending and make themselves look good. Its easier than demanding health insurance companies that charge excessive amounts for premiums or drug companies charging hundreds of dollars for medicines that cost pennies to make. As long the attention is deflected from the real cause than this over taxing will continue.

Boobalaa Boobalaa
Feb '18

You still don't get, there is overcompensation occurring. Goeagles is an edge condition likely a STEM teacher to assist those willing to pay for better scores; this is by no means par for teachers. For example, how much is a Social Studies teacher going to make in the open market per hour? What is a gym teacher going to make over the Summer, $20 per hour, if they are lucky? Sorry for the brash talk but the taxpayer should not be on the hook for overpayments, whether they are due to road construction or teacher, firefighter, police officers.


"I just choose not to toy with the very people that are for teacher cuts, because I know how hard it was for my wife as well as 100's of others behind her to get a job because of the teacher cuts already occurring, so why piss them off more, essentially proving their point that tenure is a bad thing?"

Why am I going to grovel? Many jobs have perks. Want tenure? Go into education. Want to make a lot of money? Go into finance.

The reality is that the people on this forum have no power because they already vote for Republicans in safe legislative districts. They talk a good game and love to complain but when push comes to shove, they're not running for state assembly or state senate, flipping districts, and creating change. Chris Christie was a threat but in the end, he changed very little.

"Sure the market is willing to pay, but my wife would rather not get paid and help the less fortunate."

My statement was meant for all the Ayn Rand types out there. I wasn't trying to gloat. If your wife chooses to volunteer her time and skills, good for her. Teachers go above and beyond every day. Look at how much goodwill it's getting them.

Goeagles
Feb '18

For some it's not about the goodwill, it's about knowing you helped a child. My wife blocks out all those outside nay sayers and never lets it bother her, she does what she knows is right and that is helping the children forget everything else.

Darrin Darrin
Feb '18

Boo...

You're right. That should be the focus. Also, the lack of state aid to "the clean 525".

twentytwenty
Feb '18

"does what she knows is right...helping the children"

The mortgage company doesn't accept that as currency and like every other profession, I provide a service that does good and receive payment in return. Teachers don't need to be martyrs.

Goeagles
Feb '18

"For example, how much is a Social Studies teacher going to make in the open market per hour?"

I teach Social Studies.

"Sorry for the brash talk"

I appreciate the cordiality.

Goeagles
Feb '18

The reality is that the people on this forum have no power because they already vote for Republicans in safe legislative districts. They talk a good game and love to complain but when push comes to shove, they're not running for state assembly or state senate, flipping districts, and creating change. Chris Christie was a threat but in the end, he changed very little.

Spot On!

pampurr pampurr
Feb '18

Right.

*Public* schools are inherently political since they are funded through a constant threat of force against the citizenship (aka taxation) ;-)

Justintime Justintime
Feb '18

Put that guy on an island. It's the only way he can be happy. He won't answer no stinkin bell.

"'No man is an iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee....'

John Donne -- 1624 Meditation 17, from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions

That's 1624 JIT..... :>)

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Feb '18

The numbers are vastly different, depending on who is doing the calculation. One thing is in common, the letter "B" at the end of the debt.

"B" is a lot of money to owe. "M" is also quite a bit, but not like "B." It's a whole different category, and it's a number that if not addressed will be harmful for generations to come in NJ, but hey, I got mine so screw the younger generation, let them pay for it. Question is, are they going to be able to? The credit card has been charged-how do we pay the bill, or better yet who can we get to pay the bill for us.
No one mentions returning any of the items back to the store-that's a non-starter.

The train is coming, the NJ taxpayer is tied to the tracks. Now please look away from those lights, ignore the loud whistle, nothing to see here. Another episode of Game of Thrones is on. The Eagles won the Superbowl. There is 9" of snow on my deck. What train?


"Unfortunately, New Jersey provides a convenient case study. By some calculations, New Jersey’s unfunded liability for state and local pensions and state health benefits combined tops $178 billion, among the worst in the nation."

"N.J. pension debt soared to $49B last year"

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/02/njs_pension_deficit_reached_491_last_year.html

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/17/02/22/opinion-the-coming-federalization-of-nj-pension-and-benefits-crisis/

Dodgeball Dodgeball
Feb '18

Finny how some folks can’t (or refuse to) understand basic human motivation, not even their own lol.

Btw, the wink means it was a friendly reminder to think about what motivates people, not as a political statement. But thank you for continuing to make my points for me through your words and actions. Very gracious of you.

Also btw, your analogy in the other thread applies to taxation as well. It’s oh so easy to get what *you* want when the funding comes from pointing that terrible tool at your neighbors head. Point. Shoot. Done

Justintime Justintime
Feb '18

Yes, no man is an island. However, this does not give carte blanche to excessively tax individuals. I guess the question is what constitutes too much, which is where we get a wide range of opinions.


Re: taxes

https://www.bloombergquint.com/politics/2018/03/13/new-jersey-s-new-budget-aims-to-raise-taxes-on-almost-everything

justintime justintime
Mar '18

Hold on to your wallets, because Murphy is coming! The sad thing is that the fools who elected this guy will probably have the means to move out of state, and the fools who didn't will be stuck picking dust out of their pockets.

USAfirst USAfirst
Mar '18

Millionaires tax at 10%, he is going to drive out people who pay. And $3.2 billion into the pensions that doesn't cover enough and will keep on going up. Take a stand and convert to 401ks; Murphy is just placating the unions.


https://nypost.com/2015/10/11/when-pensions-implode-silicon-valleys-lesson-for-new-york/

Good reading. California will implode first. They protect property taxes which is great but then the truth comes out, money is not available for core services to support generous pensions.


The "fools" who elected this guy are for the most part, urban dwellers who care nothing about suburban property taxes and public service union people who care about absolutely nothing but keeping their snouts in the public trough. I left NJ seven years ago - best thing I ever did.

ExTownie
Mar '18

We did not elect this imbecile! Newark, Jersey City, Camden, Gloucester county did. Phil is signing off on executive orders so get ready for more of Murphy’s Law. My NJ exit plan expedited as soon as this guy immediately pandered to illegals. You can tax my middle finger Murphy!

SiaP
Mar '18

2 1/2 weeks and I'm out of here.

kb2755 kb2755
Mar '18

Goldman Sachs 2 is going to be 10 time worse than one. A tax and spend liberal with a super majority in the Legislature,living up here in a red county,we are screwed. It is time to put up the For Sale sign folks.

hammer hammer
Mar '18

hammer, we should put the for sale sign on Murphy. Maybe we could get rid of him.


I remember those days when folks asked us to give Don a chance, he just got there. heh, heh.

He's asking for a 4.2% budget increase with extra spending on pensions, schools, and mass transit: oh the horror of that! Pensions are an IOU, there's no way out of the payment for past transgressions. Schools and mass transit: are you just against these or are you just against any spending?

Phil promises "value" for your dollar; I suggest grading him on that versus your knee-jerk reaction. I mean Christie's not spending put us last in the recovery, first in jobs disappearing, and the continuance of quality people fleeing the state upon retirement merely because they can't afford more elsewhere. Those cuts did not product "value" in my book.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Mar '18

No way out? How about California where they have overpromised even more.

IMHO, when compensation was awarded unfairly it does not have to be immutable.


"Pensions are an IOU,there is no way out of the payment for past transgressions" When the stock market crashes this whole government debt ponzi scheme is going to make it impossible to fund these pensions. So dream on if you think you will ever see any where near what is/was promised.

hammer hammer
Mar '18

At the end of the day, the state has to balance the budget every year. This is what takes precedence over everything else. Shifting money to pensions and retiree medical takes from other programs and prevents tax decreases, property tax relief, etc.


And we thought Florio and Corzine were tax zealots. Murphy will leave them in the dust.

mike l mike l
Mar '18

N.J. pension crisis explained with popsicle sticks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZk0-R6Gbio

Tiger Dad Tiger Dad
Mar '18

If hammer is right everyone's pension and 401k's are doomed. Isn't it all just a Ponzi scheme? Promises are made to be broken, right? 'gonna be a lot of people on welfare, food stamps, free cell phones, free medical....... that might be better than all the promises- right?

twentytwenty
Mar '18

To further emphasize my point. The state pension plan is projecting a positive 7.5% returns forever. If for this year we earn a 0% return, the plan is now 7.5% behind which means it must now earn 15% next year to make up for the shortage for this year. Further more, they invest the plans assets with 60% in stocks and 40% in bonds. The best you can earn in bonds is 4% (without going into junk bonds). Because you are projecting a 7.5% return on all monies in the pension plan you are now earning 3.5% less on the 40% of your bond portfolio. This 3.5% must be made up by the Stock portion of the pension plan,forever!. As I write this the DJIA is down 323 points. I will leave it to all to connect the dots from here.

hammer hammer
Mar '18

Tfemp.

What you say is true of investments of all types. 401ks, 403bs, pensions.. all.
Please don't say we're all doomed.

twentytwenty
Mar '18

Stock market closed down just under 725 points today.


More Hammer lies and spin cycle... it’s cute.

What Hammer neglects to tell you is that the Pension had a 13% or so returns last year and over the last 20 years has had a return average of just under 7%. So there is actually a basis for those numbers, not just wishful thinking.

Source: 15 seconds of googling.

btownguy btownguy
Mar '18

That was the last 20 years. Going forward it is not expected to be as good.


yup....we're doomed. Capitalism is dead.

twentytwenty
Mar '18

Take a gander on how Phil got elected and you’ll find out why it’s literally Murphy’s Law. Taxes going up substantially...my exit plan for this state sped way up

SiaP
Mar '18

The big issue with raising the Millionaires tax is these people do have the ability to leave and go to NC or Florida, for example. Very shortsighted to raise the tax on the relatively few people who already pay the majority of the taxes. For what, to raise the pension payments, etc.? California will go down first, we will follow in a few years after that...


For those of you who do not realize it, while your 401k becomes a 201k the government pension plan is backed up by you the tax payer. It has guaranteed benefits (or so they think) by you. Also,we have one of the largest unfunded pension plans in the country,only Illinois is worse. Now are you getting a better picture of where we are heading.

hammer hammer
Mar '18

And Hammer why don’t you tell everyone the reason the pension plan is how to is?

Back in the 90s, the pension plan was in great shape and all was well. Then Governor Whitman found a way to borrow 2.75 BILLION from the fund (4.2 billion in today’s dollars). Note that it was not a reduced payment or a withheld payment, but actual extraction from the fund. In the 10 years that followed, she and other governors contributed about 25 MILLION per year (when they should have been contributing close to $600 million).

So, in short, the fund is like it is because a Governor stole money from our teachers and the governors that followed didn’t repay the loan/theft. It’s not due to teacher greed, union mismanagement or anything else. Our elected officials stole from their pensions and didn’t pay it back.

Source? A 5 second google search.
(See? I provide sources unlike Hammie who cannot for his false statements!)

btownguy btownguy
Mar '18

“Our elected officials stole from their pensions and didn’t pay it back.“

Kinda like how the social security fund contains nothing but IOU’s because the federal government “stole” those funds for other uses? So now that the SS Administration must sell those IOU’s just to make payments, that means that our federal government must sell more debt to someone else to come up with the actual funds for the checks.

IOW, partisan politics has nothing to do with the debt-creation that’s needed today in order to provide the illusion of our supposed prosperity. That ship sailed long ago as the “shifting of the deck chairs” game is embedded into our economic system, and every Republicrat is responsible for it because not a single one of them ever wants to deal with the root causes of it.

Source: a 5 second internet search!

justintime justintime
Mar '18

btownguy, explain to me why the private sector has essentially phased out pensions?

As mentioned before, you cannot put this risk on the backs of NJ taxpayers. If something like this exists it has to be at the federal level. Again, the Canadian system where the employee pays (automatic deduction) 9.5% and the employer matches 9.5%; placed into an quasi public pension system where, to be blunt, excessive pensions don't exist as we have with police and firefighters, and some in education.

Many companies are starting to go the right way by upping matches from 4.5% to 6% with the 6% employee deduction defaulted upon hiring, all with no vesting period. The next step is to bump this up to 9.5% or 10%.


"For those of you who do not realize it, while your 401k becomes a 201k the government pension plan is backed up by you the tax payer." Oh man.....

First, obviously a 401 is not a pension and why would anyone expect them to be the same?

Second, the private sector turned away from pensions to 401k's because WE LET THEM. Saved them money, more important it reduced corporate risk and we thought it would make us money. The same people botching about NJ pensions were probably on the front line saying ---- let us be responsible, let us manage our money, we can do better than the pension fund.... That turned out swell, didn't it.

Third, yes state pensions are not insured, idiots didn't think they needed it. Private pensions are insured, by law. 401s --- depends what you invest in, but probably not.

Fourth, if you're going to do the Canadian comparison, you have to be comprehensive. You did not show an apples-to-apples comparison.

Yeah, we have a pension problem in NJ. We owe and we need to pay existing pensioners. For the future, we should turn the system to 401ks, right or wrong it is the market standard now. Beyond that, expecting to wiggle out of the existing IOU is, frankly, stupid. You will lose more money that way. Changing to a 401k going forward is doable, we should do that ASAP.

Murphey taxes: I really think you both need to wait, and perhaps try a few facts before you lambast the guy for a freakin .375% increase in the sales tax. What's that cost you, $50 and a donkey?. But thanks for caring about the millionaires. I mean after your man gave them all the Federal bucks back while giving you pennies, you are afraid they will leave NJ taking all their money with them? Good --- I'll take their mansion on the cheep as they flee and no rich guy will take their place. Ha, ha, ha.... It's really not that bad....factually at least: https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/2018/03/23/wall-street-firm-explains-why-phil-murphy-needs-raise-taxes-new-jersey-millionaires/452362002/

While we see "millionaires fleeing NJ" in droves in the media, it ain't necessarily so. In the past, this trend was poo-poo-ed by the facts. Today: "New Jersey had 237,000 millionaires in 2015, compared with 207,200 in 2006, according to Phoenix Marketing International, a research firm." Same for other tax heavy states: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/01/business/one-top-taxpayer-moved-and-new-jersey-shuddered.html Certainly worthy of looking at but until those McMansions start selling for peanuts, I think NJ is millionaire safe for now.

Meanwhile, minimum wages will be rising, maybe that will reduce our Main Street men-looking-for-work crowd, that might be good.

For me, the jury is still out. Sure, Murphy is spending more but he is raising more too, and, for me, spending in the right places like paying down the pension debt, raising our credit rating and the such. And the tax increases have a minor effect on me; I can live with it given Murphey gets the returns he was estimated.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Mar '18

Stranger, you consider $2.1 million to assist illegal aliens money well placed? That's what Murphy wants from NJ taxpayers. There will be more squandering of funds to come from this democratic nut job excuse for a governor. It's early yet and you seem to be floating on your dream cloud since Murphy was elected. Hang on. You might just find that cloud has a hole in it. Maybe you don't mind being taxed to death for nothing but many other NJ citizens wouldn't agree with you.


A company can close its books every year. True pension costs are nebulous. Nebulous costs down the road are not good for for-profit entities that are publicly traded; where stockholders want return on their investment.

Now, should it apply to public workers? Hell yeah. The nebulous aspect is the same, but instead of investors getting less return it is taxpayers who have to cover the underperforming amount. In addition, the amount of pensions are too high, plus there is retiree medical, and the sick day payout (which looks like it finally will be capped).

Finally SD, open your eyes. The McMansions are already selling for peanuts.


Interesting

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/03/nj_towns_where_property_tax_bills_were_smaller_in.html

Bug3
Mar '18

BC -- yeah, that's an interesting one. We are talking $2.1M basically for legal aid to get through the deportation process. Should we provide legal aid to aliens? Our national Constitution does not cover than one unless they are US citizens or born in the US, illegal or not. However, we provide tax-funded lawyers to all citizens who can't afford them so Murphey's intent is to make sure everyone has a basic level of legal support. It's also .006% of our budget, so while 2.1M looks big, it's not. So, IMO, interesting, but at .006% of the entire budget, a small interesting.

iJay: all businesses exist on forecasts, and that's what you are talking about. It's also about WIFM and corporate taxation. And while pensions offer deeper tax breaks to companies, I agree that the risk of doing the appropriate actuarial work outweighs the financial benefit. However, to us....the little guys....pensions are more lucrative providing a better retirement. It's just that a huge proportion of Americans don't believe this. They have been proven wrong. In both cases, we, the taxpayers, fund the corporation to make the offer. Right now, we have, at our own cost, made 401s more attractive as a tax break than pensions. IE ------> we did it to ourselves.

"The McMansions are already selling for peanuts." Gee, I missed that one. At least beyond NJ housing market prices across the boards. Didn't know that McMansions were priced low because there is no demand in that segment. Kind of flies int eh face of NJ having more millionaires than ever unless they are coming here for the cheap housing. Got a source for this one iJay?

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Mar '18

Stranger, It matters not what percentage of the budget $2.1 million amounts to it's still $2.1 million added to the backs of NJ citizens. I'd prefer to see a $2.1 million reduction in the state budget. At least it would be a start at some fiscal responsibility by NJ lawmakers. But we don't see decreases, instead it's always an increase strapped to the backs of NJ citizens. Immigration is a federal concern, not a states' responsibility. Therefore NJ funds should not be expended for the purpose of supporting illegal aliens. Along those lines, Murphy has also stated he wants NJ to become a "sanctuary state" in violation of federal immigration laws. These are just a few examples of Murphy's lawlessness linked to his liberalism. Not good for NJ citizens.


SD, you tell me how a teacher will get anywhere near the pension benefits, not to mention retiree medical, with 10% of their annual salary put into the pension pool (assuming 5% employee match and 5% employer)?

Regarding McMansions, just Zillow Sparta for homes where the property taxes are 20k plus per year and you will see bargains.


"I'd prefer to see a $2.1 million reduction in the state budget." Really. Against $37B, you can see $2.1M? :>) All I was saying is chances are you can find lower hanging fruit than chasing the .006% hitter.

What is a sanctuary state? Whatever it is, you're conclusions are interesting. On one hand you say "Immigration is a federal concern, not a states' responsibility." Isn't a sanctuary state doing exactly that? And what federal immigration laws do you say sanctuary states violate? Not spending money to do the fed's job (which is what you want). You got us a bit confused on this one.

But on this one: "These are just a few examples of Murphy's lawlessness linked to his liberalism," you lie because there's not one example of lawlessness here but less lawlessness link to liberalism. Whatareyoutryingtodo: just pick a fight?

iJay --- not a clue what your question means.

Sparta on the other hand, at 500K to 800K in price (looking for 20K taxes) Zillow returned zero results.

First one listed at 299K, Zillow at 292K, house sold in 2016 for 235.
second one 410/383/2008 sale for 429

Where's the bargains?

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Mar '18

btown guy, don't place 100% of the blame on government. And boy do they derserve most of it. The union leadership was complicit also. What basic math course taught them that vacation and sick days banked from the 70's and paid out on the 2000's was sound financially? How about 'retiring' from one 200k job and taking another 200k job government job, aka double dipping? That's money coming out of the fund that could support 3 or more of the rank and file. They and the government treated the fund like it was a golden goose. No, it mostly benefits the leadership and they gladly signed off on it. They took money out of your pocket. Hold them accountable. Fix it going forward. Convert to 401k's.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ
Mar '18

“The union leadership was complicit”

I know I’m a broken record with this but what else would we expect when most folks see the government as a pie from which they are deserving of as large a piece a possible?

The government is *us* and always had been, so gaming the biggest piece of pie really means using the force of government to get you what you want, always at the expense of your neighbors.

justintime justintime
Mar '18

ijay,

teachers already put more than 5%. it is 7.34% and going to 7.5 on July 31. I don't know what the BOE pays... I believe it is zero. The state is way behind on its required contributions. Shame on Trenton.

twentytwenty
Mar '18

I would be ok with 7.5% by the state but that is not going to cover your pension and retiree medical. 15% of your salary just isn't enough.


who said 7.5% from the state. They know what they owe and 7.5 isn't going to pay the interest from the Whitman borrow (stole) or the recent neglect by the state.

The state owes tons of money to hold up their end of the deal. Raise taxes or put people to work and get them off public assistance......... then you won't have to raise taxes at all.

Trenton- pay what you owe. It's a disgrace. Shame on you.

Pleeese get off the retiree medical stump. Medicare is the primary payor just like everyone else.

twentytwenty
Mar '18

Look at this chart, the left 2 figures is the propaganda, the right 2 is the true adjusted.

Benefits as a percentage of wages, 2010, according to Richwine and Biggs

INITIAL DATA ADJUSTED DATA
Public school teachers Private workers in large establishments Public school teachers Private workers in large establishments
Paid leave 6.6% 11.4% 6.6% 11.4%
Insurance plans 16.1% 13.3% 16.1% 13.3%
Retirement and savings 11.1% 5.4% 32.0% 6.2%
Legally required benefits 7.4% 11.3% 7.4% 11.3%
Retiree health care — — 9.9% 1.3%
Work-year leave — — 28.8% —
Total benefits 41.2% 41.3% 100.8% 43.5%

3 things stand out:

1) Pensions cost 32% of salary versus 6.2% in the private sector where mostly 401Ks
2) Retiree healthcare is at 9.9% of salary versus 1.3% in the private sector where it is rarely found anymore
3) Work year leave 28.8%, yes a lot of days off for teachers.

In summary, teacher benefits are essentially a little over 2 times the cost of the private sector. Wake up or stop with the anti-teacher stuff, you know the truth, we know the truth, enough already.


Before it's over with, NJ will be giving CA a run for their money in the "crazy liberal sanctuary state hellhole" dept.

If my wife's entire family didn't live here, I'd be gone- I'd leave you to it; and wait for you to run out of money because you run short of taxpayers to steal it from.

If you think Corzine was bad, hold onto your hats....

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
Mar '18

Strangerdanger,"The american electorate maintains a willful ignorance regarding the implications of there own contradictory thinking" that is you for sure.

hammer hammer
Mar '18

iJay using the old Richwine and Bigs study that’s flawed and outdated. Tsk tsk tsk.

Here’s a more recent study:

https://www.epi.org/publication/new-jersey-public-school-teachers-are-underpaid-not-overpaid/

btownguy btownguy
Mar '18

The Economic Policy Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit American think tank based in Washington, D.C. that carries out economic research and analyzes the economic impact of policies and proposals. The EPI describes itself as a non-partisan think tank that "seeks to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions".[2] It is affiliated with the labor movement,[3] and is usually described as presenting a liberal[4] viewpoint on public policy issues.

kb2755 kb2755
Mar '18

Really btownguy, teachers are underpaid? Then why don't they join the private sector and have 401Ks and no retiree medical? Your denial tactic isn't working...


kb2755... tsk tsk tsk ;-)

justintime justintime
Mar '18

iJay, your flawed sources and same old rhetoric aren’t working. Nice try though.

btownguy btownguy
Mar '18

Time will prove my case sir!


https://www.epi.org/about/

“The Economic Policy Institute’s mission is to inform and empower individuals to seek solutions that ensure broadly shared prosperity and opportunity.”

Translated to “more more more from someone else else else” lol

justintime justintime
Mar '18

Awe, come on, JIT.... "Economic Policy Institute" sounds TOTALLY legit to me....lol

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
Mar '18

Hammer --- prove it. Try using some facts to support your allegation. Can't wait. Otherwise, I will have to surmise that you are evincing the same....:>)

iJay: gee, you didn't respond with any of those mcmansion bargains. I found this on the Zillow site you recommended. Looks like prices are going up, expect 2-3% increase this year, with the caveat that we have a lot of mortgages underwater; about twice the national average rate, over 3%.

Time will prove your case indeed. How much time? Is that why you use dated flawed studies?

Meanwhile, NJ's credit rating has moved from negative to stable. So far so good under Murphey in this regard.

The only major downside in all this is with the Trump Tax Law, NJ housing prices may take a 5%-7% dip to cover the property tax deduction reduction that hits NJ housing extremely hard. Chances are that Murphy voters did not vote for that; you did.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Mar '18

Re: property tax deduction reduction. Isn't it the most hyprocritical thing you'ver ever seen? Schumer, Pelosi, Cuomo, Murphy are all up in arms about losing the deduction and that it hurts NY/NJ/CA the hardest. Never mind the high taxes in the first place. They're insulted that they didn't get to raise your taxes more themselves. Then they try and create work arounds with charitable deductions...to the state..., so that they're giving you a 'tax break'! Why don't you pee on my shoe and tell me it's raining. Know what the state cap on deductions is? 10k. If Murphy is so against the Fed cap of 10k, how about increasing NJ's then for a little break? Never happen.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ
Mar '18

"Meanwhile, NJ's credit rating has moved from negative to stable. So far so good under Murphey in this regard. "


wow... Murphy accomplished that in 2 months? He must be a superhero. Murphy for President!

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
Mar '18

FACTS:

1) 401Ks cost the employers generally up to 6% in matches
2) Pensions cost the employers about 32%
3) Retiree medical cost about 10% while working to cover in retirement

So, the NJ taxpayer is overpaying each and every teacher, firefighter, cop, etc. by 36%. Then the teachers are overpaid by another 25% due to excessive days off which has them listed as a part time employment. So teachers are at 61% overcompensation.

Now, we really can't lower their salaries but the benefits need to be brought in-line.

Some beautiful stuff going on in Kentucky, may it come here to NJ to save this state:

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/03/30/598341937/irate-teachers-skip-class-across-kentucky-to-protest-surprise-pension-overhaul


Come on iJay:

"42 percent of companies now match dollar-for-dollar, up from 31 percent in 2013. Before 2013, a 50-cent per $1.00 match was the most common formula. The majority of plans (56 percent) require workers to save 6 percent or more in order to receive the full employer-matching contribution.Oct 30, 2015" SHRM

"For every $1 you contribute to your company 401(k), your company will contribute 50 cents. About 40% of companies contribute 50 cents for every dollar employees contribute up to 6% of their pay. Another 38% match employee contributions dollar for dollar, but the maximum is normally lower – commonly 3%.Dec 3, 2015" Investopedia

I am 100% at 6% of salary.

Define match for 401ks. What you wanted to say was employers will match up to 6% of employee salary IF the employee invests 6%. I am not sure what you were saying.......

Here's the costs for pensions, as an hourly basis. I don't know about you, but I don't see anywhere's close to 32%.

Perhaps you could source before you throw your stuff at the wall....Because 61% overcompensation is, frankly, a stupid fact.

Maybe you needed to pay your teachers more......

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Mar '18

Oppps, for the pensions: https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-5/trends-in-employer-costs-for-defined-benefit-plans.htm

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Mar '18

Nope


ijay.. show us where a BOE pays 32% of employees pension. Thanks!

twentytwenty
Mar '18

Unfortunately, what is paid out in pensions, and how it is paid out, is often not clearly disclosed (even though many seem to think it is). And, of course, there is no sure way to foresee how current pension plans will pay out, in the future. Simply put, there is no possible way to say that pensions cost taxpayers exactly A for exactly B with a resulting total cost of C.

For example, Employee A might pay into the pension fund for 29+ years, but the day before he is set to retire, he drops dead of a stroke and never collects his pension. Employee B might retire at age 50 and live to be 102, collecting a full pension every year.

There is also a "trick" than many government employees take advantage of (though it may or may not apply, for NJ employees). Their pensions get based upon their annual salaries in the years just before they retire. So, what they do is work as much overtime as they possibly can, during their last couple of years of employment, to boost their pay way up. (It;s much easier for state prison guards than teachers, obviously.) Their pensions are then calculated based upon the full payroll they received, NOT upon their base salaries.

For all such reasons,the pension system can never work properly. It's just one big quasi-guesstimate as to how much money will be needed in 10 years, or 20, or 50. And because they don't want to get voted out of office for raising taxes, the politicians always use the most favorable numbers and estimate the lowest possible costs. Which, of course, never ends up being enough, which is why so many state pensions are failing.

There IS only one possible logical solution--pensions MUST be phased out. How that is done is the only real question.

JerseyWolf JerseyWolf
Mar '18

Don’t expect much, twentytwenty. iJay won’t have proof or it will be so twisted from the actual truth that it’s laughable.

btownguy btownguy
Mar '18

Not sure of the actual funding but the state does pay a significant part as Murphy just did from the state budget.

Teachers already have a lot of vacations and a pension is just a real long one. Enough corruption, which is what it is. Why do you need a union other than to get more than you deserve.


"Teachers already have a lot of vacations"

They do???? News to me!

Darrin Darrin
Mar '18

I would like to see "full disclosure " from the teachers unions of what monies they have given to the "lobbyists and special interest groups that benefit them.

Perhaps "those monies" should have gone to their pension fund pool ...!

All these systems are broken and need to be reformed, however , before this one , how about addressing the social security funds that have been taken by the politicians for decades...and now they say there is no monies !!!

Steven Steven
Apr '18

“how about addressing the social security funds that have been taken by the politicians for decades”

They already know how: take on more debt.

justintime justintime
Apr '18

JerseyWolf is spot on with his comments but it is even worse than that. The funding of these pensions is based upon a return of 7.5% forever. We are already under funded by some where in the neighborhood of 80 billion dollars. When we go into a bear market and generate, let's say, -7% returns for X amount of years with the on going draw down of present and future retirees actuarially and actually you are broke. So either benefits have to be cut and/or taxes raised or a combination of both. As a tax payer in the most over taxed state in the country I don't think raising my taxes is going to be the answer. Also,in case you have not connected the dots,Your home value is going to drop dramatically,at least 60% of the states home values will be under water and of those,how many will not be any taxes at all? This is just one example of my quote above of the american public maintaining a "WILLFUL IGNORANCE".

hammer hammer
Apr '18

"I would like to see 'full disclosure' from the teachers unions of what monies they have given to the 'lobbyists and special interest groups that benefit them.'"

It's not a secret.

"how about addressing the social security funds that have been taken by the politicians for decades...and now they say there is no monies !!!"

That's exactly what happened to the pension fund. Thanks for making the argument for us.

Goeagles
Apr '18

Darrin, are you kidding me, all Summer off. How did I spend a lot of Summer days at the Jersey shore without a friend's mother being a teacher and at the shore all Summer at their shore house.

Bottom line is don't hold the taxpayers on the hook for lack of performance of the pension funds, take your 401ks and join the risk pool like everyone else.


Hammer's numbers are all wrong. 90% completely fabricated, 10% spin, no sources, no links.

Beside's that, how did you like the play Mrs. Lincoln?

Sorry for the reader's digest version, but website ate my long form :>)

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

""how about addressing the social security funds that have been taken by the politicians for decades...and now they say there is no monies !!!"

This is not true. No SS funds have ever been taken. They are invested in T-bills, very special T-bills made just for us. What would you have them do? Under the pillow? Chinese bonds? US equities? Would be conflict of interest or no interest.

Meanwhile SS actually is stealing funds from any illegal alien that has a fake SSN, or has a viable SSN, because non-citizens can not get SS. That's billions you've taken.

Meanwhile, SS is not bankrupt; there are funds to pay out till 2035 under current estimates. Just google it. Of course this could change either way by some years AND we still need to re-engineer to retain viability beyond 2035.

Once of the best social programs ever invented. It does take a brave man to create the village to allow the elderly their best chance of continued independence and liberty until the end. Thank you Mr President; a real President.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

So basically anyone that is under 49 years old will never collect ( but has paid in since they were 16 years old-plain outright theft from a younger generation to a older one) and anyone that is just a little bit older will collect for a short time until it goes belly up.

Bottom line is the older generation has taken way more than put in. Let's not forget about medicare, which is going bankrupt even sooner.


"Meanwhile, SS is not bankrupt; there are funds to pay out till 2035 under current estimates. Just google it. " - So not bankrupt for someone who is going to expire in 2035, forget everyone else....

Dodgebaal Dodgebaal
Apr '18

Sdanger ....take a look and see where LBJ ( and the administrations after ) got monies from the address their deficits....

Bernie Madoff is in jail for doing the "exact same " as our government .

Steven Steven
Apr '18

“Meanwhile, SS is not bankrupt; there are funds to pay out till 2035 under current estimates. Just google it”

Technically speaking SS has t-bonds they need to sell to *get* the funds, they don’t have the funds themselves. Thus the real issue isn’t SS being bankrupt, rather the issue is who will they sell the bond to?

The treasury of course, which begs the question of whether or not the treasury has the funds to send back to SS. They don’t, obviously, so more t-bonds will necessarily have to be sold just to do the transaction.

So ultimately the problem is one of increasing federal debt, not short-term SS solvency. Big picture stuff.

Even though you know all that I can’t help but wonder why you always try to minimize the situation? It’s more serious than any SS discussion imo.

justintime justintime
Apr '18

SD,
Current debt on pension is 49 Billion, depending who you ask.
It's a crap load of money.
Be willing to double your tax bill and pay it off already. Stop leaving it for future generations.

Police and fire are separating their pensions from the teachers now.

They will have full control. they will get raises as they want.
You will pay for them.
Teachers are expendable, but the police are the enforcers. Their check will always cash.

Have you tried high end virtual reality equipment, professional style? This will be used for teaching in the future. 1k set of glasses, one computer, one high speed internet connection will eliminate a school. No need for multiple teachers, no school building, no janitor, no buses, no lunchroom. A virtual classroom with a virtual teacher and a virtual test. See your classmates by looking left and right in a virtual classroom.
This is the future. No more school shootings if there is no more school.

Dodgebaal Dodgebaal
Apr '18

“Meanwhile SS actually is stealing funds from any illegal alien that has a fake SSN, or has a viable SSN, because non-citizens can not get SS. That's billions you've taken. ” - spin that much? They’re faking an SSN because their very continued presence here is illegal. Costing the tax payer approximately $116B a year - sorry if I don’t cry a river that they don’t get additional benefits

http://www.fairus.org/issue/publications-resources/fiscal-burden-illegal-immigration-united-states-taxpayers

Skippy Skippy
Apr '18

Dodgeball, if police gets out of control they will go to county based police force like in Camden. Everyone is replaceable on this planet, everyone...


Skippy, You may have a point but posting fake news from a fake news organizaion is not going to cut it.

Again.

FAIRUS is a xenophobic hate organization that any researcher qould avoid using ad their source.

Are you?

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Apr '18

Based on what ? Becuse they lobby based on their reporting? Even they southern poverty law center says while the facts are accurate they are a hate group based on spurious connections with “holocoust deniers” - more propaganda sir

Skippy Skippy
Apr '18

Is he?
Did it snow today?

Stymie Stymie
Apr '18

https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/110th-congress-2007-2008/reports/12-6-immigration.pdf

here you go - congressional budget office


http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/california-forum/article206132139.html

Sacramento Bee

http://www.fairus.org/sites/default/files/2017-08/NewJersey2014.pdf

our friends at FAIR again - break out what it's costing the NJ tax payer.

Liberals would be taken much more seriously if a charge of "ISM" (race, sex etc.) did not get leveled every time an opposing viewpoint is presented. You and your ilk have proven time and time again you don't want a discussion - you want to set the tone and shame others into compliance.

skippy skippy
Apr '18

" The funding of these pensions is based upon a return of 7.5% forever." Actually.....In October 2017, the rate was 7.65% and Christie as a parting gift to Murphy changed it to 7.0% in December of 2017; Murphey's move to 7.5% saves taxpayers over $800M they would have to cough up at the 7.0% Christie rate. Apparently Hammer needs help on the definition of forever.

That said, IMO 7.5% is too high, too risky, so we should lower ASAP once Murphey gets the NJ economy rolling again, at least at the national average....

As far as Hammer's housing value loss of 60%, he's lying. The federal tax law may cause a 10% value loss due to NJ's excess property taxing combined with no continued Federal deduction but 60% ---- not in Hammer's lifetime.

No JIT, I was just responding to the misconception that SS is bankrupt; it is not. I realize your root cause to everything is our debt-based society but why would I bring up something I don't even believe? Plus, I think your SS model is a bit fractured: first --- no one except the Treasury can buy back these T-bills; like I said, they are special. As to the government raising debt to by them back; why would it? Are you calling in the loan?

Your issue is one of understanding the big picture JIT; SS T-bills are special and redemption is not the same as if YOU were redeeming a T-bill and the government had to take a loan to pay out. That's Peter paying Paul. But in the case of SS, Peter is Paul so you need to understand you're Peter :>) which clearly you don't. Rather than get complicated, let's just go with SS-tax receipts and interest (inflows) have exceeded outflows every year since 1984, I think. And they are projected to continue doing that until 2022 with the fund being exhausted by 2035. Sorry, but that's the way it works.

The concept of everyone under 49 getting nothing or getting less is true IF we don't act. People are living longer, the fund needs more cash, less benefits, or both ---> that's a law of physics. So, yes, younger people will need to pay more or get less or both. We pay 6.2% of up to 114K in salary today. If that rose to 7.6%, the system is fixed: that's under $1,500 a year if you are making $114K or higher; less if you are making less.

If you raise the cap above $114K; the factor would be less than 7.6%.

Over 15% of the shortfall would be erased if we raised the payout age by one year.

There's other re-engineering items like means-testing, etc. as well.

Point is saving SS is a math game for actuaries, it's a do-able thing.

Medicare is another topic, funding process out of general fund is stupid, rates are skyrocketing (until ObamaCare slowed the increase), expected w/o ObamaCare or SOMETHING to skyrocket again, people living longer, getting more healthcare, -----> it's a bugger to fix and in terrible financial shape.

But it's a different story for SS, and I was just trying to bring some facts to the table.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

@IJAY "Darrin, are you kidding me, all Summer off"

Correct.....except it's 2 months and it's also unpaid

The way I see it, between how "bratty" kids are today, along with what schools push for, teachers deserve those two months off....they work harder then a majority of us.

@IJAY "Bottom line is don't hold the taxpayers on the hook for lack of performance of the pension funds, take your 401ks and join the risk pool like everyone else."

You say that now, but NJ was awful happy to have that pension fund to steal when it needed money....now that it cannot pay it's debts back it's "go get a 401k"???

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

“Your issue is one of understanding the big picture JIT; SS T-bills are special and redemption is not the same as if YOU were redeeming a T-bill and the government had to take a loan to pay out.”

Would love an explanation that demonstrates your point here. To me it’s pretty simple: the govt in general has no money: it collects what it needs through taxation and borrowing (via treasury actions) and really nothing else.

If you’re talking about intragovernnental debt (spending, really) then we’re saying the same thing. But it’s almost like your saying borrowed money is the same money when it’s paid back? But it can’t possibly be because it was borrowed because the borrower had a need for it to be spent, meaning new money is always required from somewhere to pay it back. That new money *will* be in the form of new debt because the reality is that it won’t cone from new taxation in an environment where everyone is overtaxed already. Besides, we’ve decades of precisely confirming precisely that.

justintime justintime
Apr '18

https://www.ssa.gov/oact/trsum/

Social Security report on it's two main trust funds, OASI (for ‘Old Age Survivors Insurance’) and DI (‘Disability Insurance’)

DI was actually depleted in 2016 - Congress quietly diverted funds from OASI, just enough for DI to limp along.

"Provisions in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 that became law in November 2015 were projected to postpone depletion of the DI Trust Fund by six years to 2022 from 2016 under the assumptions of the 2015 Trustees Report, largely by temporarily reallocating a portion of the payroll tax rate from the OASI Trust Fund to the DI Trust Fund. "

The Hospital Insurance (HI) fund, one of Medicare’s major trust funds is going to completely run out of money in 2028, and the entire Social Security program will be fully depleted six years later in 2034 if it paid out at full benefit.

But when the taxes collected and the program earns interest on the treasury bonds it holds exceed benefits that amount is deposited in trust as the “Social Security surplus.” The boomers have also started to retire - we will need that fund.

In reality - will it go broke? probably not but surely benefits will be reduced. In 2035 it is projected that the plan will only be able to pay out to recipients what it takes in through taxes. - ergo recipients would get paid only 77 %

https://www.fool.com/retirement/2016/10/23/the-reason-why-social-security-cant-go-bankrupt.aspx

Raising the payroll tax earnings cap and raising the exposure limit of Social Security benefits subject to taxation for high net worth individuals appears to be the way out of this.

now here is an economist that calls shenanigans on the whole SSI Trust fund and essentially says that the shortfall will most likely defund a great proportion of government operations. (probably a racist)

https://fee.org/articles/the-myth-of-the-social-security-trust-fund/

skippy skippy
Apr '18

Year 'round school.. that's the answer
.....and school should start at age 2 or so....expand the free lunch program... and after care..... add more languages to the curriculum.....and lower my damn taxes while you're at it.

twentytwenty
Apr '18

Darrin,

I think the point is- a teacher gets 2 months off in the summer, but gets the same years pay (or more) as someone who works *all* year, and the teacher gets waaay more benefit later on in retirement due to the public taxes....I can't see a logical argument to that.

You can try- it will be proved and buried....


Josh- try approx 180-185 days in classroom ANNUALLY.
Retirement=Lifetime health benefits.
Darrin laughing his butt off at us.
Party soon to be over.

Stymie Stymie
Apr '18

"You can try- it will be proved and buried...."

Can't argue with that logic.

Goeagles
Apr '18

"Josh- try approx 180-185 days in classroom ANNUALLY.
Retirement=Lifetime health benefits.
Darrin laughing his butt off at us.
Party soon to be over."

Just because you sat in a classroom doesn't mean you know the amount of work that is required to teach properly.

Party soon to be over????? New Jersey is (mostly) a pro-union, pro-education state. Look at who was elected governor.

Goeagles
Apr '18

@Josh "a teacher gets 2 months off in the summer"

Yeah...and I am a engineer and between vacation/sick/and personal time , I get two months worth of time off per year too (NOT including holidays...I get 14 of those)...with the exception that I still actually get a pay check during that time........so what is your point?....try to "prove and bury" that!

I get that there are some teachers who ride the system, I am not defending them.....but there is also still teachers who put their heart and soul into RAISING our children.....those are the teachers I know....and for that I will never live this argument down. "some" teachers deserve every dime they make x2! "some" teachers come home from work and work an additional 6+ hours at night, or sometimes work on weekends doing lesson plans, grading, HW assignments....that stuff doesn't get done in the classroom, and that stuff doesn't "come" prepared to teach.

@Styme "Party soon be over"

Sorry but have you noticed who you elected as NJ governor? you had your chance with Christie....that ship has sailed!

Why is it just teachers? Do you guys have any idea how many other state and government employees get those SAME exact benefit package? but it is always the teachers....It aggravates me when people are so quick to pick on teachers, yet they
1. Have absolutely no idea or have a false idea of what teachers ACTUALLY do, and how much personal time and money they spend
2. There are PLENTY of other state/government employees reaping the same benefits doing 1/2 the work.

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

@Darrin

1) According to figures Summer plus breaks is an excessive 25% over the private sector so teachers should adjust what they declare their salary to be at an annualized rate, plus they get year round medical care.

2) It was Democrats in Trenton that pushed the pensions and increased the amounts (since pulled back). Acting like it was the personal slush fund for its members.

3) Deserve all the time off due to dealing with bratty kids? You think this is the hardest job, try hot tar roofing, being a Walmart cashier, etc. Don't get me started on this profession that attracts those that cannot cut it in the private sector.


The economics of SS and the SS Trust Fund are anything but simple JIT. Try the reader's digest version: https://www.cbpp.org/research/social-security/policy-basics-understanding-the-social-security-trust-funds

The real thing, almost: https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v75n1/v75n1p1.html

I tried to make it simple via the Peter/Paul reference; nowhere else in the world of economics and finance will you find this relationship.

You might see it as debt creation; I see it as investing in ourselves. It's weird, but as I said many moons ago, in a very long thread, not sure where else you would put it? You didn't answer that question then either.

We take our salary, invest in some T-bills, and later we get a pension. Live long and prosper. Die young, stay pretty, and thank you for your support. (You too, illegals, thank you for your SS support). Or we lend the government some money, they spend it, and later hope to be able to pay us back based on other people doing the same silly thing --- Ponzi.

The fund is solvent, has been so for decades, has had some problems in the past, it has some problems now, it is fixable via simple re-engineering without anyone having to lose a testicle.

But basically cash out is payments. As Skippy embellished, there are two funds, Old Folk and Disabled Folk. However, Skippy, SS is solvent at the top line, OF/DF combined. Cash in is 6.2% of your salary up to $114K plus interest on those very special T-bills with different rates, rules, etc. As stated, this has been positive since 1983, will remain so until 2022 when it goes negative and by 2035, drains the fund.

That's what socialism gets you when done right. It's a good program unless someone believes it's their pension rather than the basic safety net it is targeted as. I can't live off it.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

@Ijay

For comparison reasons, maybe you should look at pay scales for a job that requires a minimum of a Bachelors degree, preferred masters degree along with carrying a state licence and mandatory un-paid student teaching prior to getting your licence? Just out of interest, how much do "you" feel teachers should make? keep in mind...it IS a profession, and people DO need to support a family with that money

"teachers at specific experience and degree levels appear to earn an annual wage about 67% of that of their non-teaching peers – annually. Okay, but they don’t work as many weeks. So, they earned 67% of the wage for working 87% of the time. Still a significant disparity."

So teachers work 87% of the time as compared to a"normal" job but also make 67% of a normal job....pretty much squashes you time off and pay argument.

https://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/just-the-facts-nj-taxes-teacher-salaries-and-spending-fluff/

I never said it was the "hardest" job...and why should it be? You clearly have no idea what teachers deal with. As for your job list, I have done both actually, well shop rite cashier (can we count that as the same?) Sure roofing is strenuous work...a cashier...I was one for two years...not hard work at all by my standards....sure there was the occasional insubordinate person...just like there is the occasional person who forgets who taught them mostly everything they know.

I welcome you to come up with and post your own factual info showing otherwise, as opposed to personal observation and feelings

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

When you go to teacher conferences make sure you smile at the teacher, tell him/her how much your kid loves their class..... but don't admit you're a backstabbing, phony, jealous, po* whose college didn't offer teaching degrees. Pathetic thread.

Bash teachers.... cowardly, envious, ignorant. Green looks good on you.

By the way I, too am a private sector engineer and get way more days off with pay. Didn't your college offer engineering either?

twentytwenty
Apr '18

"The way I see it, between how "bratty" kids are today, along with what schools push for, teachers deserve those two months off....they work harder then a majority of us."


Can't agree with that. And I have 4 teachers in the immediate family, and more in the extended.

They picked the job. They wanted to be teachers. And while *I* wouldn't want to teach today's kids, their job is no harder than anyone else's. And in fact, much easier, physically, than many others. No doubt mentally stressful, but you can count MANY MANY jobs in that category, including white collar corporate.

And how many other jobs in this country have such a thing as "tenure"? (you can't be fired except for extreme circumstances)... not many.

I'm not anti-teacher, but they signed up for it, just like everyone else did with their jobs. They are not special.

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
Apr '18

@SD

For 2018, the SS tax is 6.2% on the first $128,400 (not $114k). You have to go back about 5 years to find when it was *only* $114k.

FarmerJake FarmerJake
Apr '18

Uh oh; you’re right and that means some of those end dates might have shifted too. My bad, old data, roughly right....

Didnt even notice that we were not being over the cap as early in the year as usual.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Apr '18

twenty-twenty, impossible you get more than 13 weeks vacation in the private sector unless you work for a non-profit or it is published days that nobody takes. Do you get sick days too, are your days PTO? You seem like a fraud.

Darrin, those jobs I listed give next to nothing in benefits. Why not stop the shell game about making less money for the benefits, it is not being genuine to treat the taxpayers this way.

What about those in the private sector working 50-60 hour weeks plus commute. They don't have the time to work additional jobs. What about the 20 somethings in Silicon Valley (and in the NYC area too) who work 80 hours weeks and make 135k. Is 80 hour weeks a life? Plus they don't have retiree medical and pension to look forward too, heck in IT in SF you are old at 35 (45 in NYC area).

Time to wake up, look around, and see what people make in Warren County. Teachers, Police, and Firefighters are among the highest per total compensation.


"Don't get me started on this profession that attracts those that cannot cut it in the private sector."

iJay's projecting again because he works a tech job in northwest New Jersey. Loser.

happybdaycalico happybdaycalico
Apr '18

SD, SS isn't that complicated once you get beyond the rhetoric.

From your first link:
“In 2034, the combined trust funds are projected to run out of Treasury bonds to cash in“
I’ve been saying exactly that. Off-loading t-bonds means that someone else has to buy them. It really is that simple, that the debt “owned” by SS is being shifted from intragovernmental to somewhere else. SS will get its money but it *will* be borrowed from somewhere else.

Anyway, my recollection from past reading is that SS is in no way, shape, or form an actual “trust fund” as it meets almost none of that definition. It’s more like a treasury account than anything else. I just googled again and found this link that summarizes my past observations:
https://fee.org/articles/the-myth-of-the-social-security-trust-fund/

justintime justintime
Apr '18

Social security

1. You don’t opt into Social Security - You are issued a number at birth - To be employed legally get credit etc. you have to provide this government ID number. For the right of being a person - the government takes 15.3% of your lifetime income. 7.650 % paid by the employer and 7.650% paid by the employee (but it is the employee that feels that effective burden in lower wages etc.) if you are self employed - you get to pay the whole thing.

https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/ProgData/taxRates.html

2. This money is "invested" in "non-marketable government securities" The securities pay interest, a whopping 3.154 % in 2016 and we are directly funding the treasury.

Guess how that is paid for - taxes and more debt.

https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/ProgData/fundFAQ.html

If this money were put into index funds - they would actually be productive investments. New wealth would be created rather than existing wealth being redistributed . That would mean a growing economy, more prosperity, more lucrative employment opportunities, and less reliance by individuals on government programs as well as more personal autonomy and freedom.

As we covered before Medicare began paying out more in benefits than it receives in tax revenue in 2007. Social Security hit that point in 2010. The difference is being paid by the interest on the securities in the trust funds - with more taxes and debt. Social Security works only so long as there are far more people contributing than receiving benefits - a condition that no longer exists.

skippy skippy
Apr '18

Re: Hackettstown Property Taxes

&ijay “What about those in the private sector working 50-60 hour weeks plus commute. They don't have the time to work additional jobs.”

Oh, so like me???? Don’t try to play that game....you don’t even know what I do or have done for a living.

But, the numbers don’t lie.....comparatively 67% less pay for 85% less work. Secondly with half the parents sending their sick kids into school teachers NEED good health benefits.

As for the pension....I know what I signed up for in the industry I work...I put my 6% in and my company gives me 3%.... just like any decent company would who offers a 401k

BUT.....with that being said you do realize teachers contribute to the pension fund right???? Contributions are spot on if not more then what is taken out of my check for my 401k

AND you do realize teachers pay a percentage of their salary for benefits right??? Contributions are the same as what I paid for benefits.

They pay like the rest of us....SO.....where is your argument?

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

@JR

And how many other jobs in this country have such a thing as "tenure"? (you can't be fired except for extreme circumstances)... not many.

Actually all the jobs I work for you pretty much keep unless there is extreme circumstances....maybe it’s because I am that good, or maybe it is a unsaid tenure per say.

I'm not anti-teacher, but they signed up for it, just like everyone else did with their jobs. They are not special.

I am not saying they are “special” I am saying they are the ones raising our kids and the certainly don’t deserve to be sh** all over like this. They are trying to earn a living like the rest of us....they are teaching our next generation.

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

Darrin, um, don't you mean 15% less work?

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ
Apr '18

Lol, my bad...typing on my phone not thinking

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

"They are trying to earn a living like the rest of us....they are teaching our next generation."


To eat Tide Pods & snort condoms???

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/04/02/condom-snorting-challenge-every-parents-worst-nightmare/477431002/


But seriously, I'm not blaming the teachers for that, and I'm not anti-teacher. But imo their job is no harder than anyone else's, they did sign up for it. Just like a garbage man, ditch digger, or anyone else. "Teaching our next generation" isn't any harder than anything else. I also have homeschoolers in my family, who are also "teaching the next generation."

It's their UNION that needs to be tamed. And the NEA. IDK if teachers realize their union is their own worst enemy.

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
Apr '18

Darrin- you want to have it both ways?
How, on one hand, can you justify teacher’s overcompensation stating that teachers are “ educating our next generation”
...and, on the other hand, trash this generation of students for insolently marching against gun violence in schools?
Sounds like , in your opinion, teachers are failing miserably in the task at hand, ergo overcompensated.
Bottom line is that the only thing you care about is that when you fall off your ATV, your injury is covered. (by tax payers)

Stymie Stymie
Apr '18

Stymie...did you miss where I said....

BUT.....with that being said you do realize teachers contribute to the pension fund right???? Contributions are spot on if not more then what is taken out of my check for my 401k

AND you do realize teachers pay a percentage of their salary for benefits right??? Contributions are the same as what I paid for benefits.

They pay like the rest of us....SO.....where is your argument?

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

@JR

“It's their UNION that needs to be tamed. And the NEA. IDK if teachers realize their union is their own worst enemy.“

I agree with you. The teachers I know wish they didn’t have to be part of the union. But it is required. And unfortunately after years of attacks just like from some on this forum, they have become the angry pit bulls fighting all the time.

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

Nice job JIT pulling a leans-right website instead of Skippy's' alt-right fictional news sites. I think we can all tolerate a good leaning. Skippy, I discounted your first source because their report has been soundly discredited many times and most of their "facts" are alt-right opinions. Now you have used better sources but basically are just doing a deeper dive to what I said.

JIT has basically defined the complexity of what it takes to understand the economics behind SS funding, investment and payout. I agree, not exactly a trust fund, but even here your Libertarian author makes an interesting comment: "There is no trust fund, and Congress is doing nothing wrong. What’s more, the source of this misunderstanding is the government’s own public-relations efforts to create support for Social Security." Hmm, OK, I agree, not a trust fund, Congress is doing nothing WRONG, but note the PR effort, probably more due to the complexity of description and the attempt made to make it easy to understand (the same mistake you and your author made.) I mean who really cares whether a trust fund, a bank fund or no fund at all.

Then he says: "Though Congress legislated the Trust Fund, it is not the settlor, because a settlor puts his own property into a trust, which Congress did not do." But actually they do put their own property into this trust; it's just a group trust....so again, it's a very unique situation making description in normal terms complex.

So, not a trust, I can live with that. So what? And again, what would you do with the money? Skippy wants to invest it in higher risk, higher gain options, like index funds. We could do that, how about Amazon? We actually did that once, and changed in favor of lower risk assets. US T-bills are the safest investment above CDs which is why the world invests in America first. I personally like index funds, use them a lot, like REITs too. But I would never put my nest egg of last resort in these higher risk assets.

I am not in favor of increasing SS fund risk nor would I ever suggest privatizing or allowing directed investments by participants. We have proved how that sucks via the pension/401k revolution. Remember, this is not an investment portfolio, this is the nest egg of last resort ---- you don't $$%^& with that. Skippy can have his opinion here, 1A and all.

But in the end JIT, the complexity is that this is a unique financial arrangement where you are lender, borrower, investor, banker, and sovereign state all at the same time. I mean just the special nature of those special T-bills where interest is not determined by the Treasury or the market but by Congress --- how weird is that? How you describe SS depends on which of those vantage points you are taking; your author took the investor perspective while deciding it was a banker's portfolio. OK --- both are true at the same time.....and more. I find it complex, and unique and very hard to understand.

OK, your point. First, IMO in no way are the T-bills debt instruments for consumers. IMO they are investments in America. When I am standing in my shoes, I have a pile of tax dollars and I buy T-bills which later MIGHT be returned to me with profit depending on my lifespan, like insurance, another vantage point. But T-bills are debt issued by the government, in this case to pay for other things, not to pay for SS. Again, depends on your vantage point. The interest is another thing --- it is a profit to you, a payment from the government and may or may not increase the deficit and debt --- depends on whether it comes from the General Fund or from more T-bills sold on the open market --- not to SS.

To me, it's very confusing like lending yourself your own mortgage to live in your own house that you sold to yourself, but its that model on super steroids since you can also create the money to lend yourself to get your mortgage to live in your house that you sold to yourself.

I think your debt-based society argument is better served by discussing other things beyond SS; it's tough to describe and define which is why, IMO, they probably went to a trust fund model description. Just wanted to keep it simple and no common economic reference model will work for this one.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

"The teachers I know wish they didn’t have to be part of the union."

What teacher wouldn't want to be part of an organization that gets them tenure, better benefits, and better pay? Without unions, public education in New Jersey would be on par with the South. I'm sure teachers are just dying to be fired for political reasons, have zero benefits, and make 25k per year. Darrin, being an anti-union apologist is against your own economic interests.

"IDK if teachers realize their union is their own worst enemy."

I don't think teachers care about your musings or your opinion. Things are working out quite well for them without winning over the small government crowd.

happybdaycalico happybdaycalico
Apr '18

"What teacher wouldn't want to be part of an organization that gets them tenure, better benefits, and better pay? "

The teachers that care more about teaching the kids then their pay for one, and for two, the good teachers that are sick of being piled in with bad teachers and constantly attacked due to the unions choices.

Not all teachers are over paid, yes some are....I am not denying that

Over-benifited.....sorry but I don't see it...they pay out the same if not more as I pay out and I work for a private corporation.....their pay out increases as their pay increases....unlike our health benefits that stay the same cost....employer contribution is ballpark the same as what my company pays as well.

It's funny to see the Murphy voters complaining about this though.....you do realize who you voted for right? Guaranteed nothing is going to be done about your concerns with a Democrat in office.....

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

I wish the teamster's had been more successful in white collar unionization; then we might have pensions, benefits, and salaries higher than teachers.....still. Like we used to before we went "free market."

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

"What teacher wouldn't want to be part of an organization that gets them tenure, better benefits, and better pay?"


And also the dislike they suffer from some people.


"I don't think teachers care about your musings or your opinion."

Well that makes us even, since I don't care about theirs (any more than anyone else's)


Aaaand...... I come from a union family. Not teachers, but union nonetheless. Union members ARE starting to figure out their charters are not necessarily acting in their own best interests.... just like government. It's the way of things.... allow something to get too big, and it becomes self-important, even over those who put them in their positions.

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
Apr '18

aspiring teachers that are trying to get into the field - the current system rewards seniority over ability and merit for starters.

Skippy Skippy
Apr '18

100% agreed with skippy

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

"The teachers that care more about teaching the kids then their pay for one"
"Union members ARE starting to figure out their charters are not necessarily acting in their own best interests...."

Made up anecdotal evidence.

happybdaycalico happybdaycalico
Apr '18

no one has brought up the incestuous relationship between government unions and the Democratic party. 99% of all NJEA political funds go to electing Democrats in this state,who in turn write laws that are very favorable to the union and extremely detrimental to the tax payer. Who will ever forget Corzine talking to a huge union crowd down in Trenton and shout out "WE are going to fight hard to get a fair contract". Have you ever wondered how NJEA union members can sit on school boards despite the inherent conflict of interest? The above is your answer. The above is also why we have the highest property taxes in the nation and the reason why people are leaving this state in droves. This corrupt process deserves our scorn I know it has mine.

hammer hammer
Apr '18

Special interests... This is the corruption of our country. NJEA at the state level in NJ. Plenty in Washington too...


The debt to the NJ Pension is 49 Billion dollars.

You wanna pay up? Gonna cost you a bundle. You're whining about your taxes now- just wait till a 49 billion dollar bill comes due.

We are not talking millions folks. That's Billions with a big B.

Cat food for everyone...

Dodgebaal Dodgebaal
Apr '18

Nope, Christie already fought this and the courts sided with reason. NJ has to balance its budget; you can't take blood from a stone. Amazing how the NJEA is all about the children as their slogan when the truth it has never been more than getting the most for its members, i.e. teachers not students.


"99% of all NJEA political funds go to electing Democrats in this state, who in turn write laws that are very favorable to the union"

You can blame the First Amendment for that. I'm sure you don't mind when the NRA does the same thing.

happybdaycalico happybdaycalico
Apr '18

Is the NRA a labor union? Are you forced to join the NRA by virtue of your employment?

Skippy Skippy
Apr '18

I think hbc means that both the nra and njea lobby the government for special privileges that give benefits to each of them at the expense of the public.

However, those lobbied-for benefits are monetary stipends for the latter and freedom from restraint for the former. Not exactly the same end goals.

justintime justintime
Apr '18

No, the NRA is worse, it's a manufacturer's lobby. The rest is the same. Let's kick them all out for conflict.

http://www.businessinsider.com/nra-political-contributions-congressional-candidates-house-senate-2018-2

hmmm, jit, I thought the same thing only vice-versa.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

"Is the NRA a labor union? Are you forced to join the NRA by virtue of your employment?"

The discussion is about political lobbying not where the NJEA gets its money.

"Amazing how the NJEA is all about the children as their slogan when the truth it has never been more than getting the most for its members, i.e. teachers not students."

Are you that gullible?

happybdaycalico happybdaycalico
Apr '18

that's all well and good - but there is zero correlation between an organization running a PAC that employees have no choice to participate in and another group that one joins by choice.

they both do it through a PAC btw - which you can opt into or out of as a member of the organization

https://actioncenter.njea.org/contribution/#1489339007672-b99e44d9-b040

https://www.nrapvf.org/

it's kind of a moot point

skippy skippy
Apr '18

NRA is voluntary, they take the money they receive and line the pockets of politicians.
All lobbying should be banned-not just the NRA, but all of it.

It's the same thing as taking an envelope under the table, only legal.

Dodgebaal Dodgebaal
Apr '18

"but there is zero correlation between an organization running a PAC that employees have no choice to participate in and another group that one joins by choice."

Zero correlation? Absolutely no correlation at all?
All because of voluntary versus mandatory membership?

I didn't notice the teacher's union being funded by corporate America with it's own corporate PACs to add even more muster. I didn't notice teacher manufacturing entities proliferating the Union board. Teacher Unions don't get Hollywood's Heston and Selleck for PR. No members of Congress belong to NJEA.

In the end, these are both lobbying organizations: there's your correlation. As to the differences, sure, there's plenty.

And you are right about mandatory participation; even if you opt out you pay up to 85% of dues; think current rate is slightly over 80%. You can not opt out of payment, I think. I can not find how many do, but it's a couple of hundred bucks savings so I doubt too many opt for the lesser rate.

But the point is NJ taxes. It seems most here concur we should move to market-based salaries and benefits meaning 401ks, more health employee participation/less benefits, and perhaps higher salaries, all commensurate with the market. Or something like that.

Where I think we differ is in the current pension debt. Many, myself included, believe we need to pay the bill. Not sure what the others want to do, but seems like they don't what to pay the existing bill. What do they actually want to do about that?

Meanwhile, IMO, while the overall tax burden probably can't change much, NJ tax code needs to be re-engineered so that our property taxes are not the highest in the nation driving down home values and forcing fixed incomers to flee the state upon retirement. That does not mean de-funding the schools; note the overall tax burden would not be expected to change much. It means getting school funding from other tax sources versus the current reliance on property tax.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

As far as the 49B in debt owed to the pension plans, let's stop kicking the can down the road already, having the old goats leave the debt for the younger generation, while demanding that they be paid.

Either pay or dissolve the debt already. But don't charge on the credit card and leave the debt for the new guy.

Dodgebaal Dodgebaal
Apr '18

As far as teacher pay vs degrees, why not just treat that industry like every other one.

Use the Visa program and hire teachers from other countries. 50k or less, no benefits will get you someone with a masters degree from many other countries, keep them for 2 years then send them back.

And before American cries about this, it's fine in all other industries/businesses so why should teachers be exempt? If it's ok to do this for other peoples jobs, than why not this one?

We are all created equal, aren't we? That is the American way. Or was Animal Farm really right?

Dodgebaal Dodgebaal
Apr '18

"It's the same thing as taking an envelope under the table, only legal."

You can blame the conservatives on the Supreme Court for supporting the argument in the Citizens United case that money equals speech and is protected by the First Amendment.

happybdaycalico happybdaycalico
Apr '18

Actually two SCOTUS decisions: one to allow the speech, the other to remove any monetary caps.

So not only can they give, they can give as much as they like.

I, for one, do not deny them the voice, heck we need their expertise in the issues, especially right now at the clueless top. But to give them a voice far, far louder than everyone else is not American.

I say let them talk, Just level the playing field

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

https://www.truthinaccounting.org/library/doclib/NJ-2016-2pager.pdf

"New Jersey's Taxpayer Burden™ is -$67,200, and received an "F" from TIA."

https://www.statedatalab.org/state_data_and_comparisons/detail/new-jersey

you all gotta kick in 67K a pop - wow.

skippy skippy
Apr '18

Municipal Income Tax?

twentytwenty
Apr '18

That's cuz all you zillionaires moved to the Carolina's leaving us with all those vacant McMansions :>)

And yet there's apparently no CarolinaLife there; only in NJ because that's where the interesting folks live !!!!

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

lol true fact

skippy skippy
Apr '18

2020, it is not about being gullible, it is just a logical conclusion that if there charter is in fact a lie then need I dig deeper as to their true intentions?

Worse than NRA, that would be AIPAC costing us Trillions in aid and wars we have no business being in, plus in excess of 100k lives lost on all sides.


Skippy,you are posting some great links I suggest all read. "The NJ taxpayer burden is highest in the nation" shows a Pension deficit of $119 Billion and unfunded medical liabilities of $70 Billion. Hey Strangerdanger,do you still want to pay these fat benefits looking at these numbers??? This is one example of what I meant of maintaining a "Willful Ignorance". Talking about paying for this, has anyone out there received their Homestead rebate letter from your local tax collector? It seems the rebate was cut by more than half. Murphy and his cronies in Trenton are getting off to a flying start to building there Socialist utopia. This is during the good times, watch what happens when things go south.

hammer hammer
Apr '18

Heading into the coffin corner. Look it up if you don't know what it is.

Ramcharger Ramcharger
Apr '18

"Hey Strangerdanger,do you still want to pay these fat benefits looking at these numbers???"

I think, ask and answered, as in commensurate with the rest of the market.

What you avoided was answering, was "Where I think we differ is in the current pension debt. Many, myself included, believe we need to pay the bill. Not sure what the others want to do, but seems like they don't what to pay the existing bill. What do they actually want to do about that?"

So, we probably agree, going forward, but for the existing pension debt, what is your grand solution there?

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

The pension debt is due in part to the state borrowing money from the fund. State employees pay into this fund just like a 401k. If the state borrowed money why shouldn’t they repay it? Seems only fair

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

pension promises are legally binding. ( not sure if backed by explicit state constitutional guarantee or just protected by law in NJ)

retiree health benefits are not - get ready.

Skippy Skippy
Apr '18

SD, the debt has been incurred due to overly generous promises. The Boston Tea Party was about protests over ever increasing taxation for no reason valid to our forefathers. We are at a similar point, do you want a special tax created to pay off these "debts"?

The Unions negotiated essentially "backend" benefits long ago as they new the true costs of the pensions and retiree medical would not be realized for a long time. Classic kick the can down the road, all parties agreed to keep things moving, the alternative would be to get much higher salaries that could not be justified for public workers. I see it all as a sham. I personally know a teacher from Rahway that retired at 55 with 25 year of. service and then retired with a pension (that doubled over time due to Trenton corruption)n and retiree medical until he died recently at 82. Worked 25 years and then a 27 year vacation?
Enough abuse of the taxpayer by unions.

Skippy, retiree medical is not protected and could be cut by in a second. This is why the unions agreed to some of the reforms in the past years, do it or we cut retiree medical; which needs to go anyway (should have been this year).


I think what we need to ask ourselves is, where should public education be as a proportion of the local and state budget? Here is the quick math.

NJ's budget is ~$36 billion.

http://www.state.nj.us/education/guide/2017/

$9 billion goes from the state to local districts for aid.
Actual pension payments have been around $1 billion.
Fully funding pension payments would be around $5 billion growing to $11 billion in 5 years. Majority of obligation is to teachers.
Today, schools are 28% of the state budget.
If we fully funded the pension today, schools would be 38% of the budget.
By 2023, your obligation to the pension will be 50% of the state budget.
Cant find the post now but I believe Jim L said 60% Hackettstown taxes go to the schools, so in the interest of fairness - it has to be at least 50% in most towns.

So today, about 51% of your state and local tax burden is going to education be it salaries, maintenance,, upkeep whatever..

If Murphy fully funds the pension, 54% of your state and local taxes go to education / pension debt in some form. In five years, that grows to 59%. Can the state function when $0.60 out of every $1 in taxes collected go to public education / pension debt?

skippy skippy
Apr '18

And again this is no way the fault of individual teachers - I’m just saying it’s gotta change forthwith

Skippy Skippy
Apr '18

So iJay, you keep ducking the question.

It appears you don't want to pay the existing pension bill because you feel it's taxation without representation, a bad deal, or both. In a weird irony, too bad all the gunnies disagree :>)

But are you really saying skip out on the entire tab OR just some iJay determined percentage? Be bold man and tell how much IOU you want to reject in the name of the Boston Tea Party!

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

http://newjersey.mercatus.org/fiscal-evasion/

full series here - http://newjersey.mercatus.org/category/section/

here is an interesting article on how this situation happened:

"Pension holidays allowed state and local government employers to defer contributions to the pension system between 1997 and 2003."

"The Public Employee Pension and Benefits Reform Act of 2008 raised the retirement age from 60 to 62; Lincoln’s birthday was eliminated as a state holiday; and income eligibility requirements for a teacher’s pension were increased to $7,500, saving the state $6.4 billion by 2022. Yet, the recession is leading to a repeat of past mistakes. In March 2009, the legislature approved the governor’s proposal to allow municipalities to defer, for the next year, half of their payments into the pension system to prevent an increase in property taxes."

skippy skippy
Apr '18

"The pension debt is due in part to the state borrowing money from the fund."


So, who exactly is "the state." It's you, the taxpayer, the resident. The old goats that complained about high taxes, so what did your politicians do? They took money out of one fund to give you your ARTIFICIALLY LOW TAXES that you as taxpayers, DEMANDED. You got your extra bank, built the game room, put in the granite countertops, bought an extra boat, motorcycle, car, or funded your retirement, or maybe, a second home down at the shore. Livin' life good instead of paying what you owed.

Now the bill is in the mail and you are having buyers remorse.
Smart old goat sold/sells house now and gets out of dodge before the house of cards falls.

This cannot and will not continue. Globalist pressure, technology thru robots, selling of best American assets to foreigners, Visa programs.

Be proud old goats. You enjoyed a good life, and in the process are screwing your children if you have any.

That is why they are called the Locust Generation.

Dodgebaal Dodgebaal
Apr '18

Another way America is **s backward--


Why do you tax workers income higher than passive income?

You actually PENALIZE those who get up in the morning and do A JOB.

You give the break to the money that sits on the side.

I am aware there is a risk of loss to those that invest, but not to the extremes as they are.

Dodgebaal Dodgebaal
Apr '18

Some percentage based upon age and money actually put in by the public workers. No magic here SD. Promises, in the end, are not guarantees; and there is no such thing as a guarantee anyway.


At my own detriment, I agree Dodgeball. — tax those capital gains as income. I doubt that one dollar would leave the investment pool over this.

IJay; that may be true but a contravt is binding law. Good luck in your quixotic quest. Usually the best you might get is volunteers for an early lump sum lower percetange payout program. Good idea though. Would increase the debt short term though.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Apr '18

The STATE took from the fund. They owe. You owe, I owe, everyone owes. Pay it back. Or it's theft..... as in stolen money. Put it back where it belongs and start putting in what is promised each year. Quit underfunding... quit stealing.

The state benefitted when they "borrowed it". Did any teachers get a thank you? ............Didn't think so. Two sets of rules? Aim your anger at Trenton not your neighbor or your kid's teacher. Kids can read this thread you know.

twentytwenty
Apr '18

"The Boston Tea Party was about protests over ever increasing taxation for no reason valid to our forefathers."

The Boston Tea Party was not about excessive or arbitrary taxation but rather the idea of "no taxation without representation". iJay, the difference between you and the colonists is that you actually have representation, you're just outvoted.

Goeagles
Apr '18

I don’t think anyone is angry at public employees - and it’s a debt that would have disastrous consequences if defaulted on if that’s even possible. It is readily apparent that going forward this type of deferred compensation is not sustainable - for the healthcare cost alone.

Skippy Skippy
Apr '18

Ssssh, he’s livin the dream!

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
Apr '18

SD, read this, so much for your binding contract statement:

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/06/nj_supreme_court_deals_christie_big_win_on_pension.html

Thursday's ruling marked the second major state Supreme Court decision on the 2011 pension reform law and victory for the Christie administration in as many years. In June 2015, the high court ruled a piece of the law requiring Christie to gradually increase annual payments into the system couldn't be enforced.

In both cases, the court invalidated what public workers believed to be contractual obligations binding the state to make annual contributions or pay out COLAs.


You only owe if you stay in New Jersey. the older people will leave the younger people stuck holding the bag. Win-win if you are a retiree you get the best of both worlds.

Ramcharger Ramcharger
Apr '18

The way the pension fund is now, due in part to the deficit, the current funds being withdrawn from worker's paychecks are going right back out the door to pay for the current retiree's

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

She?

twentytwenty
Apr '18

Actually no, when the can can't be kicked down the road any further adjustments to pensions will be made. Politics 101, why break bad news today when it can be somebody else tomorrow.


Hey Strangerdanger,my solution to the unsolvable pension funding (at present benefit levels) is to leave/get the hell out of this state. The real solution is to have it go bust (which is a 100% certainty) and then see what our feckless politicians and leftist judges come up with. If you think I want to see what happens when that arrives you are out of your mind.

hammer hammer
Apr '18

Ijay,"promises,in the end, are not guarantees;and in the end there is no such thing as guarantee anyway" well said. All the people yearning for there fat paycheck are going to be in for one rude surprise. They are counting on the power of government,which they so whole heartily support, to extort money from the tax payer. When this whole ponzi scheme of debt implodes,they like everybody else will be in misery. "Socialism is a philosophy of failure,the creed of ignorance,and the gospel of envy,it's inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery" Winston Churchill

hammer hammer
Apr '18

Darrin, that is one way to look at it. I see it as overpromised benefits over time. In my Rahway example the pension benefit slightly more than doubled over the 27 years. The COLA previously given was a large cause; great for those in the past. Liberals agreed as the taxpayer is on the hook for any shortfall right (wrong)...


Where does Socialism get the blame for this Hammer? I just re-read my Socialist manual and nowhere does it say: takes yuge loans that you can't pay back. I think that's your guy who said that, a fantastic businessman if he does say so himself.

As to leaving, of course that's the most viable solution to not paying.

Of course you still owe over $64,000 individually at the Federal Level, at the household level over $164K, so just keep going once you hit the border until they build a wall at least to keep those American deplorables out.

Now when you put the obligations of SS and Medicare on top (how you compute those must be fun filled spin), and you owe $272,000 and 704,391 for every household.

So glad you're focused on NJ teachers and you have a way to escape NJ's future, but think you may have missed the point ---- after those massive tax cuts for the rich hit next year, we going in the deficit crapper no matter where you live in the US of A.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

Stranger, I don't often agree with you however you made some interesting points in your latest post. The debt we all owe, including federal to cover the defective and SS and Medicare along with our very own NJ debt is the issue. We see this condition in many other areas too. NJ is not the only state with significant debt. And other outfits such as the postal service have their pension fund deficits. I'm sure there are other companies in the same boat. Schools too, not just in NJ are having a difficult time managing due to increased costs. The entire situation when looked at in a wholistic way seems unsustainable. I find myself wondering when it will begin to collapse when politicians can no longer prop it up by milking taxpayers. Maybe you have some insight but all I see is crash and burn. Not a matter of if but when.


Nope. No they won't. Those that are connected will not suffer one bit. They will just sit until they can pounce on and take everything they can get from those that become desperate.

Without a doubt there will be winners and losers. That you can bank on.


"When this whole ponzi scheme of debt implodes,they like everybody else will be in misery."

Dodgebaal Dodgebaal
Apr '18

"Without a doubt there will be winners and losers. That you can bank on." Well, that's a jit-ism that will always ring true.

Had to pop that feel-good to reaffirm that you don't agree with me often eh....can take that little nicety to the bank :>) And now you want insight from the source you hardly ever agree with? Glutten :>)

There's a difference. NJ borrowed from the pension for Gosh knows what over the years. And we can leave. Or the Fed most likely will bail out.

At the FED level, we bought four wars now, with three ongoing (Syria/Iraq, afghan and terror), a lot of weather, and a stimulus). And we're spending big time for wars which doesn't exactly make the bridges safer as a trade-off. Sure, Medicare doesn't help but SS is solvent, but those wars and the stimulus were the bank breakers.

On top of that, we gave tax breaks to us (mostly gone now) and we gave yuge tax breaks to the rich (still there, never left) which added on top to the Great Recession based tax revenue shortfalls. Now we are attempting to pay it down with the yugest tax break on the rich and a few tax break pennies for us guys hoping to make it up with a growing economy. Can't happen, and most certainly we will be deficit city in 2018.

When the FED goes, there is no FED to bail us out. Everything just stops. It will be the shot heard round the world started by a whimper of no T-bills being sold, none being bought, which will basically end our economy. No one will work, nothing will be bought and sold, it will make the depression story look good.

Problem is, like Global Warming, once we pass the tipping point, which can not be determined or estimated, there is no turning back, no correction. Think Dark Ages and pray for the Renaissance a decade away or more.

But ask JIT, it's what he dreams of.

Bottom line --- NJ can be bailed out, the US will plunge into beyond-depression.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

Well 20% will pay
https://www.wsj.com/articles/top-20-of-americans-will-pay-87-of-income-tax-1523007001

Ironically, Canada has a more fair system to the rich. The top 20% earns 49% of the income and pays 55% of all the taxes: https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/measuring-the-distribution-of-taxes-in-canada.pdf

Skippy Skippy
Apr '18

Stranger, good analogy between global warming and our debt situation. I doubt the fed will be in a position to bail out NJ, or any other state for that matter. Too many would be in line for a bail out. In NJ, our debt is likely to increase with the nut job Murphy spending money like it grows on trees. NJ debt might be manageable if we started living within our means however that doesn't seem likely under the current administration. And, all the naive young folks who believe their free college is great will learn a hard lesson once they begin to pay taxes. Bottom line, most concerning to me is the apparent lack of concern our politicians have toward deficit spending. That goes for both parties. The recent wealth transfer, aka GOP tax plan, ensures the wealthy will be on the receiving end of the cash paid from the sale of more treasury notes. The middle class, as usual will be on the receiving end of the debt.


NJ borrowed from the pension....you're right sd.

Start a thread about NJ.

twentytwenty
Apr '18

“But ask JIT, it's what he dreams of. ”

Typical. As in completely wrong lol

justintime justintime
Apr '18

2020 - "Borrowed" or just overpromised benefits? Unions know they can get more for their members on the "backend" when "kick the can down the road" politics kicks in. You are not that naive are you?


hey ijay.... I referenced a statement made by strangerdanger. If you have a problem with sd .... have at it. naïve, huh?

I've actually called the $ that was taken from the pension fund and used to finance the Homestead Rebate Program (real Fact) stolen money, because it's clear that Trenton does not want to pay it back.

If Murphy pays it back then I guess he will catch crap for "unstealing" the $. lol

twentytwenty
Apr '18

You do realize that the pensions were overpromised from DAY ONE? I don't subscribe to BS contracts, that's not how I roll...


You do realize homeowners received stolen $ from DAY ONE? I don't subscribe to BS theft, that's how I roll...

twentytwenty
Apr '18

Twenty, you don't subscribe to theft but you seem to have no problem with NJ democrats buying union votes by promising them overly generous payment and benefits paid for by NJ citizens.


twentytwenty,
I'm all for it, lets go after all of that money homeowners stole. Let's make sure to backdate it so that we catch all off the retirees that left the state, the children who inherited the homes, and anyone and everyone who has owned property or inherited property in NJ back to 1960.

It won't be 67,000 per resident then, it might actually be manageable.

It's also impossible. One can dream.

Dodgebaal Dodgebaal
Apr '18

https://millennialmoola.com/2016/01/18/new-jersey-teachers-pension-fund/

not necessarily true - the article above has some of the math

skippy skippy
Apr '18

Man you are twisted 2020.

Excessive promises are not guaranteed. And like I said before, nothing is guaranteed.


Stealing $ taken from people's paychecks......

Let's have a nice chat over a cup of coffee. Guaranteed.

twentytwenty
Apr '18

We have opposite views. Enjoy your pensions on the backs off taxpayers this decade, as it will be scaled back the next...


"your pensions"? enough already.

twentytwenty
Apr '18

I hate paying for other peoples retirement...but in jersey thats what we do

Itiswhatitis
Apr '18

Skippy,I do not know where you find this stuff but you linked another great article above,I tip my hat to you. Basically he is saying exactly what I said previously but with far more details and math to back it up. Very informative,I would love to know what the returns were for 2016 and 2017?

hammer hammer
Apr '18

Ijay seems to not want to accept the fact that employees pay into their pension fund like any 401k....ijay also doesn’t want to accept the fact that New Jersey “borrowed” money from this same fund and has not paid it back.

If the fund was “over promised” from the get go well thats the states problem and they better figure out a way to make it right.

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

It looks like Caesar has a little problem. He made promises he cant keep. The same as the Federal Goverment. Caesar looks around and says, Ho!! look. theirs a big fund like Social Security was. Just put a IOU in there. Its just a digit. Maybe we can get into Bit coins, because the natives are getting restless. Thats a good article Skippy.

Old Gent Old Gent
Apr '18

JIT: typically completely wrong --- not bloody likely.... Sorry though, I thought you were on the "it's gonna crash, good, let it burn, we need to start over, debt-based society sucks" crowd. Not gonna look so guess it's my bad, sorry.

Skippy and Hammer, again, forgot to look beyond their link......

First: "As of this article’s publication, New Jersey has not published the official report for the fund for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015. In addition, they have not posted a monthly investment report for the fund since October 2015 (Update: they seem to publish monthly performance reports 2-3 months." One of the first things way back in 2007 when I studied pensions, I learned that pensions, by law, only report out like 2-years back. I guess it's to stop knee-jerk pension fund reactions to recent market fluctuations, but whatever, that's the law...... This guy not knowing that is weird, but just an fyi.

Second --- he states that "Total fund assets across all public sector pension plans as of October 31, 2015 were $74.03 billion, a 8.85% decrease (Update: They are down to $70.8 billion as of end of March 2016)."

And then we use a lot of estimates and assumptions to conclude the sky will fall within eight years.

Except: for the fiscal year 2017, "The pension funds achieved a net return of 13.07%. Indeed, despite paying out over $10 billion in benefits, we began the fiscal year with a balance of $72.94 billion and ended it with a balance of $75.96 billion."

http://nj.gov/treasury/doinvest/pdf/AnnualReport/AnnualReportforFiscalYear2017.pdf

I think that means your report is out-of-date and needs a revamp of estimates and assumptions since it is totally debunked.........

"Very informative,I would love to know what the returns were for 2016 and 2017?"

You just need to look: jfgi next time.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

Darrin, they don't pay enough for the benefits they receive. The pensions without the COLA given one many years is about 30% (more difficult to calculate as it is not a match like a 401k and is based upon estimated fair market returns, employee life expectancies, etc.).

Of this 30%, how much do teachers pay? Used to be 5% but now up to 7.5%. Who cover the other 22.5%? Who essentially gets a 22.5% salary (not savings) match? Who also gets retiree medical which is pegged at about another 10% of salary?

Enough of the games.


My point ijay is that what teachers pay in is the same as any other normal job, actually MORE.... so if there is something “broken” it is not the teachers side.

Maybe compare the money made due to investment of the money as it sits in the fund.....like a 401k

Oh yeah...that’s right...the state uses the pension fund like their personal piggy bank...so the profit on investment would be skewed

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

Regarding senior tax freeze (PTR - Property Tax Reimbursement) go to tax assessor. She will gladly help you! You pay full taxes but get a reimbursement based on calculations.

Capri Capri
Apr '18

SD, you’re limited ability to see anything other than your “I love debt-based money because I get everything I want today while someone in the future will be forced to pay for it (at the point a gun, of course)” selfishness blinds you to the reality of what “just is”.

As you’re well aware, I’ve offered no other solutions, no options, other than to say that some sort of built-in check valve is required. It used to be gold, but it only matters that the selfish among us can’t abuse the system as is done as SOP today.

Do I think our system will fail? Of course, and I’m sure you do too when looking at the long term trends. The difference between us is that, for some reason I can’t explain, I happen to care about the future while you don’t (and instead you argue in nearly every single post for all the stuff *you* can get today).

So stop misrepresenting my views: I want to actually *fix* things to prevent the very obvious outcome that is visible in nearly every economic indicator. All it seems you want to do is push for more more more and not giving a flying fig about he consequences.

So yeah, I kinda have a problem with that.

justintime justintime
Apr '18

Darrin,
You can sue me for 10 million dollars if you want. If it's not there your not going to get it.

Bottom line is the 49 billion debt is not going to be easy to pay back, you cannot even raise the wages at McDonalds without someone replaced by a kiosk. And last time I checked, kiosk's don't pay taxes. The corporations avoid paying taxes. And so it goes.

So now it's going to be the "law" that is going to come after the money due, if it is at all possible. Tax rates would then shoot through the roof, and those that happen to own real estate in NJ will end up dumping it, sounds like fun.

The youth today are dealing with the following-things old goats didn't deal with

Less jobs overall.
Simple jobs that paid well are gone ( even Pathmark was a union job that paid well.
Much higher healthcare costs, even though smoking is down.
Much higher tuition bills and debt.
Outsourcing at an alarming rate ( I have a contact in the business, this is increasing rapidly).
Technology increasing efficiency (no need for 10 old goats to make one car fender)
Robotics taking over multiple careers.
Visa programs that did not exist in 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980.
Foreigners that are becoming more educated than US Citizens.
Increasing government debt left to them by old goats.
Increasing local government debt left to them by old goats.
Costs for single family homes that exceed the value of the homes (they will never appreciate at the same rate as they did for the old goats) so investing in them will not be the same.
Having to pay into Medicare and Social Security, and receiving little or nothing when it goes bankrupt (theft from the youth to the old goats.)

The old goats leveraged out the kids future for their own benefits. Look on the news you are seeing the social structure failing and coming apart. Look in the mirror old goats, the foundation you cheaped out on is starting to crack. Maybe you will get lucky before the whole building falls.

Dodgebaal Dodgebaal
Apr '18

Darrin, let's transition to the system in Canada. Employees pay 9.5% and employer pays 9.5%, which is 19% of salary. Now the monthly benefits will have to be about 1/3 less and healthcare needs to come from another solution, in Canada it is 8% of the salaries which the ultra-rich don't want to pay.

Met a teacher today who blurted out his life story which seems accurate. 75 and collecting a $3,500 monthly pension since 62. He earned in the 70s when he retired 13 years ago and stated he made $3,400 when he started, probably around 1965. He has COLA and medical paid in full until recent years.

All great, but someone has to pay and it is the taxpayer. As the taxpayer, I want all expenses to be at market rates, again, no games which the unions and bought and sold democrats like to play.


So ijay...playing into this idea...in Canada, for pension and medical, employees are paying ~17.5% of their pay check....

How much of their pay check are they paying in state, federal, medicare, etc taxes? Around here it's about 22.65% last I checked.

http://www.venturescholar.org/moneymatters/handle_money/know_paycheck/know_paycheck.htm

Union dues? unless you plan on abolishing all unions, there wi;ll always be dues.

And what take home are state employees left with? We just calculated out 40.15%...is that going to be livable income?

Do you have any idea what you would have to do to pay to compensate for this? AND>>>>>>taxes STILL go through the roof.....yes....paying debt sucks, but it has to be paid, and IMO the borrowed money needs to be paid back first, then we can correct the negative reassessment.

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

We still have a disagreement about your "borrowed" money. It was overpromised and underpaid as given by my latest example of a teacher paying in little and getting a lot.

I do not subscribe to it. It was a form of corruption enacted by the unions. The goal was to get the most compensation for its members and it knew the only way was to negotiate labor deals heavy on the backend (pensions and retiree medical) as these were problems for the future.

I understand for insiders you see these things as a right. As a taxpayer, I see otherwise. I see manipulation ink "getting" these benefits to begin with.

You feel the benefits are immutable, I feel they are mutable.

As far as living wages, etc. this is a far greater discussion point. At the end of the day, the NJ taxpayers cannot afford the pension deficit and it will have to be adjusted, downward.


"SD, you’re limited ability...." I dunno. I made a small comment, pretty insignificant in the scheme of things. You harshly corrected me, I apologized, and then you unleash this rabid rant unsubstantiated allegations and personal attacks. Sweeet.

Ijay: so take it to court. Doesn't anyone believe you?

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

iJay...the facts do not lie

"MacInnes said lawmakers have treated the state's pension fund as an ATM to get them out of tough spots, and now the state can't afford to pay its bills:

"That ATM became the means by which successive governors, Legislatures, abetted by the New Jersey Supreme Court, avoided their responsibilities under the Constitution and their responsibilities as leaders of the state to make the payments required, to raise the money required and to stop promising things that could not be paid for."

DO read:

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/09/are_these_new_jerseys_7_biggest_financial_blunders.html

It's no secret the state has been using the fund as it's personal ATM.....you can try to ignore the facts all you want....there was still "borrowed" money

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

If that is not enough...try this one:

http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/01/post_106.html

"In 1997, she decided the state should borrow $2.75 billion from the fund and use it elsewhere."

" For the next half decade, the state as a whole contributed an average of $23 million per year. The calculations and formulas showed the state should have contributed an average of $600 million per year to keep up with the demand."

I think the bottom line is we are both right. The state DID in fact borrow money from the fund, as well, the state OVERPROMISED money that it never put in.

So either way, the state has been shorting the fund their end of the bargin.....so now what? Say your loss? Good luck with that...let the law suits start piling in now

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

The pension costs about 32% of an employees income. If teachers paid 5% and now 7.5% you want the taxpayer to foot the 24.5% now (previously 27%), plus about 10% for retiree medical. Way to generous to me, wake up from your dream if you think it will last...


Who are you talking to ijay? Obviously not me, because i said nothing of the such.....

Darrin Darrin
Apr '18

If the pensions cost half of this (16%) then there would be nothing to debate (just the retiree medical)...


Looks like a few moving on out.
https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/07931/pg-2

Old Gent Old Gent
Apr '18

Climb baby climb.

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/18/03/25/state-s-bonded-debt-soars-to-nosebleed-heights-46-1-billion/

Dodgebaal Dodgebaal
Apr '18

Dodgebaal,another great link.I can't wait for strangerdangers comments explaining this. Hey,"I feel the Bern" its all "free"!

hammer hammer
Apr '18

I guess the Sanctuary State is coming before this program starts.

http://nj1015.com/financial-aid-for-nj-undocumented-immigrants-to-start-this-fall/

Old Gent Old Gent
Apr '18

California is coming to New Jersey ......time to go..

Steven Steven
Apr '18

Out of control. Nice in theory, but who pays -- Taxpayers. And taxpayers pay for people who cut in line and came illegally. Programs like this will draw more people to come illegally!


While the NJ deficit is the fault of all, not one party, not just illegals, it is not crystal clear whether illegals truly add to it, at what level - state, fed or both, and whether we are economically better off without them, or worse off. Certainly more likely a loss at the State level than at the Federal or combined level due to education but many assumptions and estimates. Not to mention that we all "cost" the Federal and State government tax dollars as in they yearly deficits we seem to always be running and running and running.

Plus, there is a large economic $$$ difference between first generation illegal, second gen, or indigenous specie with second general illegals being the most beneficial to the economy, even better than the average citizen.

Meanwhile, from one vantage point, if one was giving money for college, wouldn't one want to give the money to the smartest students who will return the most to the economy? Guess what, that's probably the illegal.....

However, given the Federal atmosphere, funding someone who is about to be deported does not sound.....sound. Plus, fixing the illegal problem by sending them to school does not do a thing to fix the problem. No state, no matter how sanctuary the state, can truly protect illegals and the Fed can always reach in and undo it if it chooses.

So my take is, although a good investment on its economic face value, fix the real problem and don't invest our taxpayer money in education bandages to what is an illegal alien problem, not an access to education problem with solutions that have an extreme risk of failure (due to federal deportation)

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Apr '18

Did anyone go to last nights Hackettstown B.O.E. meeting,if so,any word on the budget? or details on what transpired.

hammer hammer
Apr '18

I read a lot about our town and the comments from the public.
We are losing good business on main street because tax hikes and the cost for the businesses to belong to Bib.
I recently spoke to a gentleman who had a wonderful business in this town for 28 years. He was forced to sell and retire and his comments were thanks to the $3000 a year going to the Bid any outstanding increase in our taxes with nothing to show for .

The town always has an excuse. Mrs. Mayor It is time to bring a time study man in and see where our money is wasted.

Bernards Township did that and they had to make layoffs as they found a lot of waste from town employees.

Denville has a larger fire department and more DPW worker’s and a lower tax rate. Somebody there is doing their job.
We have a large area of tax exempt especially the New Jersey state property and other organizations. This should be looked into.

Talk about a good education and it teachers pay scale OK but when you have four children who are now paying taxes and you’re in town and you are paying taxes something is wrong in his state and municipal government.
Comment from a neighboring mayor why should we hire more police one we can always use the excess from Hackettstown.

Wake up Hackettstown start think it is people like the older mayors and counsel did.

Old man Old man
May '18

why do you keep comparing Denville to Hackettstown? Denville collects $13million in local tax levy, we collect $6.3million. So their tax rate might be lower but their avg taxes are higher. Their homes are valued more so even with a lower rate they are still paying more in taxes. I don't get the comparison.

btw Denville pays their Mayor $16k/year, we pay ours a little over $5k. So maybe they could bring in one of those time study man you're suggesting. I found $11k right there :). Might help them bring down their $3.2million in debt, something we don't have.

Jim L Jim L
May '18

I agree not a great comparison. Maybe a better question is that would we be better off from a consolidation of Hackettstown and say Mansfield? Too many townships and municipalities in my opinion.


Why does every small town have a need for a police chief ??

Hopatcong, Byram, Andover, Netcong, Hackettstown, Stanhope ,Roxbury ....all with chief of police and the state police are all around ....talk about overlap and wasted expenditures..

So in a 40 mile radius , we need how many chiefs ?????

Wake up people !

Steven Steven
May '18

At the last council meeting I believe I heard that the taxes for the town are going up $14 that does not include the school or county tax. That's .04 cents a day I will take that. I also heard during the budget meeting that all Department Heads have been using the same operating expense budget since 2010.

townie
May '18

My question is, if we have payed off our debt, and we have taken on HOW many new commercial buildings...even letting them convert residential to commercial (recently)...this all was suppose to increase our rateables as well as add to the tax fund....why hasn't our residential taxes gone DOWN?

We are no longer paying interest on debt...so I would think our expenses have dropped.

Just trying to wrap my head around the process here....maybe since we recently payed off our debt, it is too early to see the savings? IDK

Darrin Darrin
May '18

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2018/05/the_average_teacher_pay_in_nj_and_every_other_stat.html#incart_2box_nj-homepage-featured

Top reason your taxers are high. Above market salaries for a part time job even before you include the retiree medical and pensions.


And soon I'll be sitting poolside with my killer medical and 6 figure salary.

Goeagles
May '18

"your taxers" - we're in a different town and different county iJay. You are not familiar with what our issues are. That's fine if yours are an issue which you assuredly have done everything in the world about. But for us when you consider almost 80% is non-discretionary spending thanks to the state, it's a different story.


To answer your question Darrin, the town’s budget was actually lower this year then last. We had some commercial properties get their properties reassessed which lowered our commercial rateables by nearly $8mil. So the residential property taxes went up by $14/yr for the avg home value of $277k. We are also adding to the town’s capital improvement fund each year so that when a project is needed we can pay for it and not bond. We also added more services such as today’s electronic recycle and next month’s shred event.

Keep in mind your town portion of your property tax is only 21% plus 1% for the library. We have no control over the other 78%.

Jim L Jim L
May '18

It's all discretionary. Everything needs to be one the table. The unspoken truth. Is a supervisor at Target so inferior to get 30k and chump benefits? Are teachers that superior working a job with Summers off. I think not, am I alone???


"Much of the $200 million went toward buying out contracts of underperforming teachers"

The system is broke and corrupt.

http://www.businessinsider.com/mark-zuckerberg-schools-education-newark-mayor-ras-baraka-cory-booker-2018-5?r=UK&IR=T


That's the answer I was looking for Jim...thank you.

Round and round we go...IJay me as well as others have previously debunked your teacher theory....but you choose to ignore the facts.

What I could get on board with is standardizing teacher pay....there are some towns with seemingly no money that pay their teachers huge salaries, and there is other towns that have high taxes
, plenty of money, but pay their teachers hardly enough to live on.....it just doesn't make sense.

Darrin Darrin
May '18

Has anyone received their new tax bill yet?

TownFriend
2 weeks ago

They were mailed yesterday / today. Grace period has been extended to August 28.

happiest girl
2 weeks ago

Got our tax bill from Independence Twsp. today... About 1/2 of the total bill was for school taxes. Have not had a child in the school system for 40 years or more..


Joyful -- do you have the senior freeze?

happiest girl
2 weeks ago

Taxes went up again now $3.024 per $100 thanks BOE!


That's a joke considering there's no bussing and taxes are on par with towns like Roxbury and Mt. Olive...


We do have the Senior Freeze that we apply for each year, happiest girl.(our accountant applies for that for us).we are really appreciative of this and do get a few hundred back each year but the taxes themselves for us seniors especially who still have mortgages and also pay high taxes where we live makes it almost impossible for senior citizens who are now on limited incomes to keep our homes..


School taxes are 65% of most property tax bills. I have no kids. I have never had and never will have a kid in school in NJ. That's even worse than not having kids use the school in 40 years. Sigh.....

Calico696 Calico696
2 weeks ago

Remember you and other people paid to have your kids and maybe even grandchildren educated. Now the shoe is on the other foot and if you decide to stay in your town you will be paying to educate other children. Do you remember what like items cost forty years ago compared to what they cost today? It is called inflation. Unfortunately cost usually goes up.


Calico raises a good point. My house has never been on fire so why am I paying for a fire department? Why don't people just use their garden house when their house is on fire instead of being such a burden to the rest of us? The township also paves roads that I've never driven on, wheres my money back for that? I haven't needed to call the police so we should probably get rid of them too.

Reasonable Reasonable
2 weeks ago

Calico, you are paying every year for the education that YOU received, not for your children. Look at it the other way, say that SSI is hypothetically still solvent when you turn 67... you won't have any children paying into it. Some other person has 5 adult kids paying into it. Should you get nothing and he get 5 times more than people with only one kid?


I don’t mind paying taxes for schools, but when you get less than what other towns get for the same amount paid, I have a problem with that. Go on Zillow and look up a property in town and then look at the school ratings. They are mediocre at best.


How many children did you have in the system 40 yrs ago Joyful? There were senior citizens footing the bill back then whom were probably not too happy to pay for your kids. Taxes were surely less as was cost of living, etc. It's all relative to the times.
I agree you should have a freeze, as should all seniors. It's harder to swallow because of the increases. We are all paying..


Thought Hackettstown was receiving an additional $1,002,961 (+18.5%) in state aid.

https://www.nj.com/education/2018/07/nj_school_funding_final_state_aid_2018-19.html

Maybe I am misreading chart? Thoughts?


ianimal, you're just reiterating a similar argument of about a year ago.

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ
2 weeks ago

I know. And IIRC, you're on the same page. Maybe THIS time, it sinks in for everyone else (-;


What about the library tax? I hate paying that too. Haven't used a library since I was in college and my tuition paid for the use of that. Guess who is paying for the nice big new library in Greenwich...... all of us. Libraries should be like YMCAs, pay for a membership if you want to use it.

Calico696 Calico696
2 weeks ago

Why should Joyful have to apply ever year for the senior discount? One would think that when you first applied it should be carried over until they move or the house is sold.


You don't have to apply for the senior discount every year , but you do have to fill out the forms out in the PTR (property tax return) booklet that gets mailed to you every year after you are approved and get them in the mail by June first .


Joyful, be careful. That 1/2 of the taxes might be because Indy tax bills appear to only cover 2 quarters of the year: quarter 3 and 4 were attached, but there was nothing for Quarter 1 and 2 next year.....

summerrain1 summerrain1
2 weeks ago

Jono, 40 years ago teachers were not overcompensated. Overcompensation is the problem...


And you get to fund retirement/healthcare for them as well....thus overcompensated

Itiswhatitis
2 weeks ago

It would be quite interesting to see how things would be if everyone only had to pay taxes for the services they actually benefit from... and I'm not even getting into the argument of "but that wouldn't be fair" or "it doesn't work that way".... I'm not coming down on any side (other than ALL govt spends too much, PERIOD).... it would be interesting to see where we ended up if people only paid for what they used.

I would quite happily trade my school taxes (which I did not use, and will not use) for a new street sweeper and curbside brush removal LOL)

And yes- both SSI and the pension system have been rackets since they were introduced. Thanks, FDR- it was set up as a failure from the beginning for future generations to shoulder, a ponzi scheme that has no choice but to eventually fail.

Both then, that's America- the country has been living on "credit" (both literally and figuratively) for a long time now.

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
2 weeks ago

Hmmm --- not sure who created pensions, but SSI was Nixon.....Not sure how either is a Ponzi scheme either; think you have an idea, but the wrong definition.

But yes, America is living on credit; silly lenders...….but thanks for the fish.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
2 weeks ago

FDR absolutely started social security, its a fact.

GreyHawk GreyHawk
2 weeks ago

Yep, same page ianimal. We all benefit from an educated society and each of us benefitted from those before us paying it forward.

I like my heart surgeons, bridge builders, and plane designers to be extremely well educated.......

MeisterNJ MeisterNJ
2 weeks ago

You are correct GreyHawk. And so am I, SSI was created by Nixon in 1972. SSA was created by Roosevelt.

From the source: "In 1969, President Nixon identified a need to reform these and related welfare programs to "bring reason, order, and purpose into a tangle of overlapping programs." In 1971, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Elliot Richardson, proposed that SSA assume responsibility for the "adult categories." In the Social Security Amendments of 1972, Congress federalized the "adult categories" by creating the SSI program and assigned responsibility for it to SSA."

Fun page: https://www.ssa.gov/history/briefhistory3.html

strangerdanger strangerdanger
2 weeks ago

SSI is "Supplemental Security Income". It is one of the Social Security Administration's programs. Nixon signed it into law in 1972.


Semantics... it's the same system, perhaps streamlined under a different name.

But the "The New Deal" might as well have been called "The Great Debt", because that's exactly where it put us, all these generations later.


from ssa.gov:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: When did Social Security start?

A: The Social Security Act was signed by FDR on 8/14/35. Taxes were collected for the first time in January 1937 and the first one-time, lump-sum payments were made that same month. Regular ongoing monthly benefits started in January 1940.

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
2 weeks ago

One man's semantics is another man's factually incorrect statement. Would you be talking formal semantics, lexical semantics, or conceptual semantics? Trick question; you would be definitionally wrong with any choice. You might have gone with typo, SSI versus SSA ---- probably the better fudge factor.

As to the New Deal debt and is it still with us; it depends. First, it depends whether you blame the New Deal or The Great Depression as to the cause. It depends on what debt is what: New Deal, WWII, Regan and beyond. Because we either paid off the New Deal or WWII --- had to be one or the other.

It also depends on what you count as debt. If anything goes, we have been in debt since the beginning. If you use a debt/GDP ratio and accept a "reasonable' level of debt as being OK, then any New Deal debt was dispatched as Reagan came into office. I mean is full employment 100% or 95% or better? Is some debt, debt or reasonable enough to be called unimportant?

Make no mistake, our debt IMO is way over the top passing 100% debt/GDP ration for the first time since WWII. Trump is continuing to make it worse. The WWII era debt took 35 years to pay down the Depression/WWII debt; that's what the greatest generation did. Our generation, the boomers, has done nothing really. Window-dressing during Clinton at best.

But hey, you were talking SSA, while saying SSI, but in either case, Ponzi scheme is totally inaccurate, adding to debt is mostly inaccurate (SSI adds to debt, SSA does not for a few decades). SSI/SSA, I forgot what you were talking about versus what you were saying.....we need Darrin, the JR-whisperer I think :>). And I hate SSI, Medicare, Medicaid taking from the General Fund, bad accounting, bad Congress, bad for America.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
2 weeks ago

"It would be quite interesting to see how things would be if everyone only had to pay taxes for the services they actually benefit from"

I am 100% for pay for what you use and nothing more.

The money you can save from things you don't used gets saved and invested in case you need to pay for something in the future. You work and you save, spend responsibly, earn your own way. Nobody owes you anything.

If others are fortunate to be able and are willing to donate to people they feel in need- that should be their choice. Family, friend, neighbors, community.

To blindly rob from everyone- and give it to people and projects that others with ulterior motives get to choose and force upon us with threat of guns, violence, jail- yet it is blatantly obvious and undeniable the monies forcibly taken from us are often squandered, given to undeserving.... ugh.

Fair is fair- everything partaken should cost something *directly* to the end user without robbing complete strangers state and nationwide.

If that was enacted, clean slate, start from scratch (because face it- what we are doing is NOT working) the interesting thing is to see how anyone younger than say 40 would react.

The world would be a better place once people were forced to get off their spoiled asses and actually earn their keep through hard work, contribution, skill, etc. The amount of wasted product, time, needles superficial garbage both figuratively and literally would change dramatically.


“Ponzi scheme is totally inaccurate”

Only because a Ponzi scheme can fail when it’s *voluntary* participants demand repayment of *their* funds. Because it’s run by the govt, SS’s mandatory participation and withdrawal restrictions are the two items that keep SS out of the ponzi category.

justintime justintime
2 weeks ago

JIT -- inaccurate is inaccurate.

You can push n shove and redo the characteristics just about any payment plan to make anything look like a ponzi scheme. Of course you left out the part about it being the government so, in actuality, there's no issue with getting your money back --- the govt. can just print more.

And the mandatory is because it's a tax, and even though you disagree, taxes are legal according to the Constitution that citizens agree to follow. Otherwise, amend the Constitution.

But it's not a ponzi scheme and no amount of wordsmithing will make it so. Nice try at the innuendo with the emotionally charged description.

But in the real world, SSA is more like insurance than ponzi, you pay in to potential gain a nest egg if you live long enough. You can live normal and break even, you can live long and prosper or you can die young, stay pretty, and thank you very much for your financial support to the team. While you know some forms of insurance that are mandatory, I know of no insurance that let's you withdrawal all your deposits on demand. We call that a checking account, an asset, etc.

Even ponzi schemes don't necessarily let you withdrawal on demand, that kind of reduces the ponzi profit to do that. Most often they pay out at a standard % and only allow you to withdrawal more than that under extreme duress.

The problem with SSA is that being the government, the fact we are living longer, we are therefore SSA profiting more, means simply that we need to re-engineer the plan for deposits and payments by agreement in Congress. If it wasn't government, that would have already be done. But it's Congress.

You might have a better chance with SSI seeing as that comes from the General Fund, but that's another story. I do have to thank JIT and others though; I would have never looked up the funding, tax aspects, history of SSA if not for your "concepts" of the plan. Thanks.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
2 weeks ago

Lots of words to say “the threat of harm can be very persuasive” lol

justintime justintime
1 week ago

So you drop any insurance you have eh? Perhaps it's a gamble, or harm-based persuasion. Then again, might just be an Occam's razor moment and be insurance.

Keep dressing up that pig :>)

strangerdanger strangerdanger
1 week ago

"Their final report is out, and it includes huge plans for change in New Jersey, including merging school districts, adding tolled fast lanes and cutting government employee health care and pension benefits."

https://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/08/njs_top_dem_lawmaker_offers_huge_plans_change_for.html


Too bad for iJay that Phil Murphy is governor and New Jersey loves home rule.

Goeagles
1 week ago

All your eggs in one basket? Change is coming...


It's just a recommendation and I guess you missed the home rule part. Have fun at work today.

Goeagles
1 week ago

Are they actually creating another lane- or taking away open use of an existing one?

It mentions 80 & 78.

If creating a new one- the cost to build will be astronomical well before the first car ever rolls down it and pays a dime in toll.

If taking away an existing lane- great more traffic for normal people in the remaining lanes.

Who comes up with this stuff thinking it is a beneficial idea?


“Who comes up with this stuff thinking it is a beneficial idea?”

Those for whom money is no object: they win we lose...again

justintime justintime
1 week ago

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