New Jersey celebrates Cost of Government Day today, September 14, the second latest day in the nation. Cost of Government Day is a measure of how long an average citizen must work to pay off the burden of government—and therefore, a measure of the burden
of government itself. New Jersey is in the unenviable position of taking longer than any state except Connecticut to observe Cost of government Day.
Cost of Government Day was celebrated nationally on August 19, meaning that the average American had to toil for a full 231 days in order to pay off their burden of government. Nearly a month later, New Jersey doesn’t finish paying off their burden of government until after 257 days of work, a difference of 26 days.
This mammoth government is financed by taxes, and New Jersey has done its fair share of tax hikes: in the past eight years, residents of New Jersey have faced an additional $22 billion in taxes—a hideous increase of $2472.86 per man, woman, and child in New Jersey.
Recognizing that a heavily unionized public sector is the most serious driver of government growth, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently put forth a “tool kit” of 33 meaningful reforms to curb the spiraling costs associated with government employee compensation. Bills pending in the legislature include one that would cap sick leave and vacation carry-forward for public employees. He would also impose a 2.5 percent cap on the growth in salaries and benefits for teachers and other unionized public employees. These efforts to cut back government are heroic and desperately necessary—for many continuous years to come to see an earlier cost of government day.
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Photo Credit: Arrgh