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Spadea: Why I’m diggin’ in and not leaving New Jersey

If you add up the New Jerseyans who say they are "very likely" moving out and "somewhat likely" to leave, nearly 6 in 10 New Jerseyans are headed out.

The top line number reported by Monmouth University was that 48% of New Jerseyans want to leave the state.

But when taking out the desire to leave and asking if they are likely to leave, the number jumps higher.

"Regardless of their desire to leave, 28% of New Jerseyans say it is very likely they will actually move out of the state at some point in their lives and another 27% say this is somewhat likely." - Monmouth Poll

That's 55% of New Jerseyans planning an exit. Interesting that the number lines up with the 6 in 10 voters who skipped voting in the last gubernatorial contest in 2021.

It seems that New Jersey is indeed facing a crisis.

This is not a crisis that will be solved with a gimmick piece of legislation that will give some people a tax break by shifting money around and increasing the burden on others.

The bottom line is that the Stay NJ program will not reduce spending in any way, so the same tax will be collected, the burden will just shift from one group to the other.

But ask yourself, who is more likely to have the ability to leave when costs skyrocket?

It stands to reason that those younger than 65 with jobs are more likely going to have the flexibility while those over 65 may be stuck. That reality is one driver for the Stay NJ program. The problem? Billions of dollars of adjusted gross income are pouring out of our state as younger workers leave.

That means the overall cost and burden will shift and even if the 65+ crowd enjoys a short-term benefit at the expense of others, it will be short-lived. Remember, the tax plan adds more than TWO BILLION dollars to the state's already out-of-control budget.

We have to change school funding to force a change in the NJEA pensions so we can lower the state obligation and reinvest in local schools and teachers. School choice that allows parents to use some of theirtax dollars to get their kids the education they want is paramount to controlling costs and empowering parents.

The choices start in the form of implementing Education Savings Accounts.

This is a problem that can only be solved with a mindset change. The mindset needs to shift and embrace the things that got us to want to be in New Jersey in the first place. Then we have to decide that it's worth fighting to make the critical changes.

I've proposed common-sense solutions to reign in government spending and borrowing. That's the most important issue if we truly want to lower the tax burden. Gimmicks make people feel good short term but ultimately we are paying debt with more debt.

At some point the music will stop and NJ retirees and working taxpayers will be left strapped with billions of dollars in obligations that the tax revenue can't cover. We have a glimpse when looking at the current state budget that spends more than $6 billion  not covered by current revenue.

Common sense solutions for NJ

Below are just a few ideas on what we need to do when we elect a new governor in November 2025. The implementation of common sense policies will begin in January 2026 with a strong, courageous, capable governor using the power of the executive order and line-item veto to get the job done.

Monetizing NJ Transit (an older post from 2015!)

It's doable. It's critical. And it's close.

Join me. Let's dig in and fight!

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