A recent article posted on Assemblywoman Wagner’s Facebook page boasts of a program to give away tens of thousands of dollars to “NJ’s brightest” but it actually does little more than chase away NJ’s most productive and erodes the reasons to stay.
NJ is one of the nation’s most over taxed states. We also are consistently in the bottom 10% in terms of getting money sent to Washington spent in our state. Instead of focusing in on how to address these facts, Ms Wagner would like to redistribute (under threat of force) more money from NJ Tax payers.
She would like to give $20,000 or more to recent grads at a time when we are cutting our Teacher’s salaries, reducing the size of police departments and under funding the pensions of our state employees (which they are not allowed to opt out of).
The State of NJ has been under funding the pension system since the early 1990s. If we continue to harm our schools and punish our emergency responders and other public employees, who would want to stay here? More people will simply vote with their feet and leave, further reducing the tax base, making the problem worse and incentivizing even more to leave. Its a vicious cycle.
If we want to attract more of the best and brightest, we should create conditions that will attract them. Not bribe them to live and work here to start their careers only to watch them leave when they start to make more money and start a family. Its a loose-loose situation that Ms Wagnor is proud to support.