3 things critical to restoring liberty and prosperity to NJ (Opinion)
There is no doubt that New Jersey needs help. Rising costs, debt, and crime all contribute to the continuing out migration of families, business owners and parents looking for normalcy.
Perhaps the most concerning loss is that of higher-end income earners who are taking their income and tax revenue for the state to lower tax parts of the nation. Billions of dollars leaving NJ and thousands of families earning in excess of $200,000 are leaving the rest of us with a higher tax burden as the Democratic majority in Trenton continues to spike spending and borrowing.
There are dozens of policy points that need to be implemented in order to restore fiscal sanity, protect our communities, safeguard our kids and move New Jersey back in the right direction. The ideas fall into three general categories.
Protecting Parental Rights
This includes ending the sexualized curriculum, empowering parents with education choices with their tax dollars, ending politicized gender studies and barring schools from hiding gender and other mental issues from parents.
The idea that children who are eagerly anticipating Santa Claus to deliver presents on Christmas morning are being "empowered" to change their gender is an affront to common sense and abusive. Gender dysphoria needs to be addressed as a mental health issue and we need an education policy that reflects a desire to help people. Unlike the serious condition known as Body integrity identity disorder, gender dysphoria is treated like a fashion choice.
Thankfully, despite threats of being canceled, doctors are standing up and pushing back on puberty blockers and irreversible surgeries being pushed on kids. We need to make sure that gender identity is based 100% on biology when it comes to youth sports.
The Department of Education needs to be focused on guidance and structure for alternative education, and creating a school curriculum focused on reading, writing, math and American history. We need to bring in financial literacy, better driver education and a refocus on trade and vocational schools. We need to ensure that the state intervenes in local districts that violate parental rights and never repeat the mistakes of the past.
Masks and isolation were devastating to the mental health of our kids and the state needs to ensure we don't repeat these ill-advised practices if we face a future health crisis. Let's remove political virtue signaling and follow the strong examples from states like Florida, Georgia, Texas and South Dakota and countries like Sweden — who all fared much better than NJ during covid. We need to have logic, reason, science and our constitution be our guide for policy, not panicky political solutions.
Empowering Small Businesses
Small business is the backbone of our NJ economy. Employing nearly 2 million New Jerseyans, small businesses are the foundation of our neighborhoods and help define our great local culture across the state.
Unfortunately, NJ small businesses are subject to heavy tax burdens — higher than all of our neighboring states — and onerous regulations that serve more as revenue generators for local government than guidelines for best practices. We need to cut the corporate business tax — even to ZERO for businesses with fewer than 10 employees.
We need to employ retention credits — specifically for hiring kids out of high school who stay in New Jersey. We need to protect the thousands of liquor license owners by preventing the Democratic governor and Democrat majority in Trenton from devaluing their equity with an ill-advised and economically destructive push to eliminate license limits and ban private sales.
Part of empowering our small business is to focus on our infrastructure needs. Both transportation — starting with fixing the 482 bridges considered "structurally deficient" by the federal government — and energy are top priorities. That includes ending the folly of state-sponsored "alternative energy," scrapping the governor's "energy master plan" and refocusing our efforts on natural gas and nuclear. Safe, affordable and abundant energy needs to be the guiding principle.
We need to focus on our water infrastructure as well and entertain local ideas of bringing in private investments to upgrade the sewer and water delivery systems.
Additional ideas are a part of my Small Business Protection Act, which will serve as a guideline for future executive orders and legislation.
Focus on Public Safety
We cannot have prosperity or liberty if we can't keep our streets safe. It's time to reverse the criminal coddling trend in the Garden State. Let's end bail reform, which has become a revolving door for domestic abusers and drug dealers.
Let's empower local law enforcement to work with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement in order to enforce legal detainer orders for criminal aliens, which is a situation that has spiraled over the past 30 years.
We should implement stiffer sentences for illegal fentanyl dealers and end the backlog in our courts by filling EVERY judicial vacancy. We need a "broken windows" style crackdown on crime in NJ, arresting and handing our longer sentences for small crimes like shoplifting and larger crimes like home invasions.
The superintendent of the NJ State Police would report directly to the governor instead of the Attorney General and the AG needs to build a task force to root out conflicts and corruption among the political class. Law enforcement needs to be separated from politics by ending the practice of sheriffs holding positions in a political party.
Beyond that, we need to restore Cost of Living Adjustments to our first responders who have sacrificed so much for the rest of us.
No family should live in fear of drug gang violence while their kids walk to school. No family or business should live in the anxiety of dreading the next break-in, theft or other assault on their person or property.
We need to fill our jails with criminals and if we run out of space, we build new ones. Of course — and this shouldn't need to be said — no man should be able to serve time in a woman's prison. Gender identity ends with biology when it comes to serving time.
Simple solutions will require leaders in Trenton who are strong and courageous enough to push back on groupthink and propaganda that is destroying our culture, our environment, our economy and our communities. It's time to stand up for New Jersey. As far as the radicals currently in charge, it's US against THEM. And I speak for US.