James Florio speaks to students about political life
Kim O'Brien
Issue date: 2/28/08

The discussion ranged from advocacy to energy conservation last week as the College students and faculty listened to former Governor of New Jersey and U.S. Representative James "Jim" Florio share his experiences as a politician. Listeners filled Moyer on Feb. 20, 3-4 p.m., as Florio led a discussion on "Government Leadership in the 21st Century."

Jim Florio is a perfect case study of self-defeating government economic policy.

Before his term as governor, NJ was a prosperous, low-tax state, successfully winning businesses and entrepreneurs from its high-tax neighbors, NY and PA.

Then Florio, in violation of his specific election promises, raised marginal tax rates so much as to transform NJ into one of the highest tax states in the nation — in some ways the highest, if one takes into account all the tricks such as taxing long-term capital gains at the highest rate and not allowing capital loss carry-forwards.

From that time forward the NJ economy has been one of the worst performers, a downward spiral of declining business growth, insufficient tax revenues and continued self-defeating efforts to raise revenues through increased sales taxes and the highest property taxes in the country. NJ has become the state losing population at the highest rate in the country.

And even though right next to the strongest-in-the country NYC real estate market, NJ real estate has been one of the worst.

Jim Birk notes:

PA is not and has never been a high tax state. The only businesses that moved from PA to NJ were offered outrageous government incentives by NJ that PA was wise to not compete with. It is interesting that about half of the NJ state employees working in Trenton live in PA. PA has better housing prices, lower property taxes and a lower income tax than NJ.


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