The Race to Financial Freedom: Taking Back our Fair Share

By: Tod Theise

Aug 30, 2010
Scott Garrett’s op-ed titled, “Race to the Top Gaffe is a Teachable Moment” stands as the best evidence to date that Scott has lost the fire that initially propelled him to Congress. Let’s forget for the moment that Garrett using the Obama-esque phrase “teachable moment” is as out-of-place as Snooki from Jersey Shore quoting Shakespeare. The real problem for those of us residing in the 5th District is that Garrett has absolutely no solution to the fundamental problem sucking the lifeblood out of New Jersey taxpayers.
Garrett states that, “It is absurd that New Jersey should have to apply to get its own money back in the first place. Why should New Jersey’s hardworking taxpayers continue to send money to the U.S. Treasury so that Washington bureaucrats can dole out money to states that have most closely conformed to their ideas of reform?” No Congressman Garrett. What is really absurd is that New Jersey gets back only 61 cents back for every tax dollar it sends to Washington. I’m told that once upon a time when he waged a primary challenge against former Congresswoman Marge Roukema, Scott actually said that it was “immoral” that New Jersey got only 65 cents back on each tax dollar. Well, fast forward a decade later and we get back four cents less. By Garrett’s own standard we are mired in an abyss of fiscal immorality and he has failed his constituents.
We lose 39 cents out of each dollar that we send to Washington. This comes to a whopping $27.5 billion that we “donate” to the other 49 states. To put this sum into perspective, the entire tax revenue stream for our own state budget is roughly $28 billion. New Jersey taxpayers are left footing the bill for two budgets – one for us and one for every other state. Some states get back as much as two dollars for every dollar paid in federal taxes and a recent study showed that Alaska gets back $5.67 in stimulus money for each federal tax dollar. The greatest absurdity in this massive redistribution of our wealth is that Garrett has sat idly by as New Jersey has been relegated to serving as America’s ATM.
My Fair Share NJ Plan and the attendant Fair Share Tax Act (“The Act”) will decisively address this colossal rip-off by returning $9.8 billion back to New Jersey. Under The Act, a minimum return on federal tax dollars would be set at 75 cents. Any state receiving less than the 75 cent baseline will be refunded the difference between their actual return and the baseline. In NJ’s case, the 14 cent differential would translate into $9.8 billion. Can you imagine what we could do with this massive infusion of wealth back into our state’s economy? Forget poorly executed applications to the Feds for $400 million. My plan would allow us to invest far greater sums into not only restoring cuts to public education but bolstering science and math programs critical to our nations retaining its competitive edge in the world. And what about meaningful property tax relief, tax cuts for small businesses to stimulate job growth and expanding programs for seniors?
The bottom line is that my plan doesn’t seek a handout from the government. It simply demands that we get back a fair share of our own hard-earned tax dollars. I call that real reform. And I call it long overdue. The question for Scott Garrett is why should New Jersey’s hardworking taxpayers send him back to Washington when he has failed miserably for eight long years to get back our fair share?
Tod Theise is the Democratic candidate for Congress in the 5th District. A full explanation of his Fair Share NJ Plan and Tax Act can be found at www.theiseforcongress.com.

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Remember Election Day  is  November 02, 2010

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