It’s the taxes, stupid

It’s the taxes, stupid

: Add this together:

John Podhoretz said in yesterday’s Post that New Jersey is now a swing state. It’s no longer safely in the Democratic camp and could lose the election for Kerry.

Why is this significant? First off, it suggests the Bush pounding in the New York media market hasn’t killed him

  • joy

    Why am I not surprised about this? Go look at the cars on the road.
    I grew up in NJ and I travel in the state quite frequently now. I’m not surprised about the swing around since, judging by the cars on the road, there are still many, many New Jerseyans sporting American flags and USA stickers and the like. Even two years later, you still see these things. Driving up in North Jersey, especially, and those folks still are living with 9-11.
    These polling numbers will be interesting to watch in the coming months.

  • No Answers. No Taxes.

  • just about all my relatives moved from NY to NJ because of “quality of life” issues. Those issues to out to be McMansions in Wonderbread “communities” that are now rising up in outrage at McGreevey’s tax fandangos.
    New Jersey is very much in play. Especially down around McGuire AFB and those environs.

  • BJ
  • nonya

    I’ll be shocked if Bush comes close to winning this state. It seems like it’s just not cool to like George Bush to the people I talk to. And these are people who couldn’t even tell you who the Secretary of State is, so the only thing they know is Bush = bad.

  • J. W. Patterson

    Perhaps you should talk to some people who pay attention to the news. If they cannot even tell you who the Secretary of State is, they cannot be considered informed voters.

  • What do you mean, exactly, by “Abu-Ghraibed”? Would it mean “criminally abused whether guilty of a crime or not”? Or would it mean “smilingly tormented and then bragged about with pictures”? Or would it mean “stood by and videotaped someone raping a teenager”?
    No matter how I look at it, the term doesn’t seem applicable to tax complaints in the Garden State. I think we should draw at least this line in the sand and not make a joke or a banal phrase of it.

  • loser

    You should be “Nick Berged” for using “Abu-Ghraib” as a verb

  • Lord Worfin

    Mr. Newman:
    We can thank the media for the degeneration of the term “Abu Graib-xx” into a verb whose meaning is far less objectionable than that of a recent blog-that-shall-not-be-named (k0$) comments on the dead contrators hung from that bridge in Fallujah. I think the USMC should cut out the parts used and build a monument, preferably over the grave of the perpetrators.
    Suggest using the acronym AGed.

  • Lord Worfin

    Nick Berg was “Danny Pearled”

  • Michael Zimmer

    J.W. Patterson: you don’t have to know all the details of government in order to make an informed and reasoned decision regarding issues that are more relevant to your life (like taxes). Go read The Reasoning Voter: Communication and Persuasion in Presidential Campaigns

  • Thomas:
    As in humiliated and punished.
    And let’s lighten up an ounce, eh?

  • Living on the Island and listening to talk radio, the only advertising I’ve heard about Mcgreevy raising taxes is these feel good “The rich are paying only a *little* more for the vast benefit” But nothing opposing Mcgreevy. the question is *WHen* will the republicans get off their asses and start saying something about it?

  • Pete

    “Florio Free In ’93”
    We pay a lot for everything in Jersey and so people who advocate we are undertaxed, whether income or gas taxes, has a got a problem.

  • SamAm

    NJ will not lose the election for John Kerry.
    Any situation that has GWB taking NJ has him winning by a landslide.
    I hope, though, that BC04 pours resources into the Philly and NYC media markets. Though at the campaign’s burn rate, who’s to say they’re not?

  • Trump

    NJ a battleground state?? But…..but…..Howard Stern has a solid NJ base. Don’t you warn us about the power of Howard Stern in this election every 5 minutes? Where’s his legions of anti-Bush voters making NJ a safe win for Kerry?

  • John

    McGreevey may as well go ahead raise taxes again. No one in their right mind would move there to begin with. And it’s not like a Republican governor would improve the situation, look what Pataki’s done to NY.
    I’m currently in the process of escaping from the People’s Republic of New York, and having checked out the Jersey tax situation, I won’t even consider moving there. New Jersey has all of the tax attractiveness of New York with the highest auto insurance rates in the nation. This is what happens when you allow bureaucrats and the unions to take over a state.
    I’ll drive an extra 20 minutes across the border to Pennsylvania (which, btw, is undergoing a small boom as people flee NY and NJ).

  • John;: See Stroudsberg, PA. Two hour coomuter bus to midtown.

  • Jim

    I suggest that a more appropriate alliteration would be: “tax raisers in this state always get Nick Bergged…
    Unless of course you are among a notable minority that consider politicians already headless…

  • Jeff,
    You seem to be basing a lot on assumptions in this post. You never really explain why the close polling is explained by a state tax issue. Maybe it makes sense to you, but Kerry had nothing to do with that tax increase. Kerry’s tax plan is completely reasonable anyway. We’re fighting a war and we have a deficit. You don’t cut taxes in that situation. Kerry understands that, Bush doesn’t. As for New Jersey, that’s its own story. But nice try.

  • RebeccaH

    I admire your blog and mostly share your philosophy. However, I was also confused by the attempt to use “Abu-Ghraibed” as a verb. I didn’t understand in what context you meant it. I don’t think that word means what you think it means.
    At any rate, having seen the horrors associated with these words (see Nick Berg) via the Internet, I don’t want to see any of them used as a verb. “Humiliated and punished” are quite adequate.
    For the record, screw John Flippy.

  • Eric Blair

    Yes, the term wouldn’t be Abu Graibed. The proper term would be “Florioed”. As in the Governor that got voted out in 1993 because he raised taxes.
    Actually, I don’t think McGreevey’s proposals are going to pass anyway.

  • Jim B.

    As long as we are verbing people, let me be try to be the first with a few more. You can use your imagination as to the meaning.
    “Boy, you really bushed that one up!”
    “I was called up for the draft, but cheneyed my way out of it.”
    “Al, you really got nadered that time!”
    “He wanted to maintain his viability as a candidate someday, so he kerried and clintoned.”
    Eric Blair, eh? Love your work! (I thought you were dead!)

  • Amphipolis

    Don’t underestimate the 9-11 effect. New Jersey was affected more than any state except New York. Election 2000 is like ancient history.

  • Brian

    I remember Al Gore defending the “millionaire’s tax” part of the 1993 Clinton tax increase (effective for income over 250K) on Larry King Live, and his answer was:
    “Well, Larry, if someone earns 250K each year for 4 years, he’s a millionaire”
    To which King replied, “Sounds good to me”

  • ed

    As a longtime resident of New Jersey, The State of Taxation, I do have some opinions.
    McGreedy is an ass.
    This is a guy who hired, as the state security czar, some jerk from Israel who’s primary claim to expertise was his stint in the Israeli Navy. Reserves.
    The only reason he hasn’t been tossed to the sharks is that the GOP hasn’t done squat to portray him as the idiot that he is. There might be people who’ll vote for him, but there’s nobody who actually thinks this guy is anything but an idiot.
    Really now.
    His great plan is to build a f-ing *sports stadium* in downtown *Newark*?? WTH! No parking. Lots of opportunities to get car-jacked, mugged or shot? Gee. That’s good.
    Here’s the deal. Living here is expensive. And it doesn’t take a whole lot before you’re hitting the wrong income levels. Car insurance is an average of $2,500. For a single car. If you’ve got points, it’s a lot higher. I know people who pay $5k-$10k per year, per car. Property taxes are enormous because the percentages charged are high and the property values are incredible. There’s a lot of people who are paper millionaires who’ll only see the money if they move out of state.
    This is definitely a swing state at the least. It’s quite possibly a huge win for Bush. Everyone I know is going to vote against McGreedy and for Bush.

  • ed

    I also forgot to point out that much of the state’s population could see the smoke clouds of 9/11. We’re also in and out of NYC all the time. 9/11 isn’t something that happened on TV. It’s something that happened to friends, neighbors and just across the bay.

  • SamAm

    Nice to see the good folks at Campaign Desk got my memo (TIC).
    Anyways, Survey USA had Bush and Kerry tied at 45 in Arkansas. So I ask you, does that mean Bush is in trouble?
    In addition to that, Bush and Gore were tied in New Jersey at this time in 2000, and I cannot believe that NJ, even with 9-11, has grown more Bush friendly in the time between. New Jersey is a state with a Dem governor, 2 Dem Senators, and, if I can recall correctly, a legislature in which one house is tied and the other is Dem. It elected, in 2001, after 9-11, a Democrat as governor. It elected, in 2002, a year of GOP dominance, a 4000 year old Senator pulled off the bench because the previous Democrat was about as unsavory as New Jersey’s most famous TV character.
    Just because Bush is, when you average all the polls, only slightly or moderatly behind doesn’t mean NJ is a swing state. It’s a Blue leaning sate only a landslide could flip, at this margin. Even if it gets closer, Bush would still have to fight for it, which is something he either won’t have to do (landslide) or will chose not to do because of New Jersey’s Democratic fundamentals and the expense.
    Oh yeah, this might be in addition to SUSA, or maybe it wasn’t SUSA I remembered, but Rasmussen has B-K tied at 45 in Arkansas.
    Is it time for GOP Panic Watch?
    Well, I’d rather bet on Kerry in Arkansas than Bush in New Jersey. That is, however, not saying too too much.

  • KMK

    I own in NY and NJ. I’m not unique to this shore town either. I agree with NJ being a 9/11 State. I also agree with the tax angle. Kerry wants to repeal the tax cuts and I don’t think that will play well in NJ. I think people in NJ who work in NY have to pay a nonresident state tax on their income. (not sure if it’s still in effect) NJ relies on NY not only for some resident income but for tourism also, especially at the shore. Wall St. is still skittish and repealing taxes could affect jobs. With the economy improving the way it is Kerry may have a problem in NJ.

  • Reid

    We’re fighting a war and we have a deficit. You don’t cut taxes in that situation”
    Never took a graduate level economics course, eh Kris?

  • Rational Bush Hatred

    Nice try, Jarvis. MaxSpeak rips your argument apart:

  • Scott

    Uh, George Bush is going to carry New Jersey? I read it again, and it doesn’t seem to be satire.
    Uh, care to make it interesting?

  • Zach

    Maybe I’m just bad at math, but I noticed something. The OpinionJournal article says the rate will be going from 6.37% to 8.97%, a difference of 2.6%. 2.6 is 41% of 6.37, so shouldn’t this be called an increase of 41% from the existing rate, not just 29% (which is 2.6/8.97)?

  • Vesicle Trafficker

    You and Podhoretz both left out one important bit of information that argues against your theories.
    In the most recent state election, Democrats gained a significant number of seats and now control both houses, this despite McGreevey’s unpopularity.
    NJ is trending more blue, regardless of taxes current or planned. And not everyone who is against taxes votes Republican, you know. Kerry has been getting huge support from very wealthy folks.

  • Vesicle Trafficker

    Here’s the link. See halfway down under “party influence”

  • megapotamus

    I’m from NJ and had my reunion there last fall. I was pretty surprised at the bitterness at the status quo which is of course heavily Democratic. Resentment against McGreevy and the spectre of large tax increases were uniformly denounced (in south, resort areas, almost uniformly blue collar). There is no great George Bush base that I could see but Dem support, once assumed and endemic, was very very soft. I asked some folks why they didn’t vote Republican, and there was some sort of special election going on with heavy radio ad buys on both sides, the response was, “They’re all the same.” Seems to me that is a fine target for aggressive Bush paid ads, linking Kerry to tax hikes generally shouldn’t be too tough. NJ is far less liberal than it’s suckling cow, New York, and organized labor is a shadow of it’s former self, thankfully. If NJ goes red, I will be oh so proud. Let’s not bank it, though.

  • Silicon Valley Jim

    Even here in left-wing California, people hate taxes. There’s a sizable local hardware chain that has a couple of weekends per year during which they don’t collect sales tax (probably the state gets sales tax on the amount of the sale minus the sales tax on the net amount); those are always their biggest week-ends, surpassing other week-ends when better deals are available.

  • Angelos

    I didn’t vote for Gore in 2000 because I couldn’t possibly support anyone who would demonize me for trying to succeed in America.
    I am a small business owner, and I can only make more money if my sales go up. There is no CEO above me giving me a raise from $100000 to $150000, for example.
    If my profits (hence my income) total $100000, the only way I make $150000 is to increase my sales by about $200000. That would require extra staff, extra equipment, and more.
    So in the effort to increase my income, the government would benefit in many ways:
    -I pay higher taxes
    -My 2 new employees pay taxes, either more than at their previous jobs, or more period because they were unemployed
    -A computer maker sells two machines and a big-ass hard drive for extra archiving capacity.
    -The freelancers I use pay taxes in their 1099 income.
    You’d think that would be good enough.
    And yet, 4 years ago, Al Gore looked me and millions of other in the eye and said that those “lucky” people in the top 2% should be punished for their success. I wasn’t in that range then, but I am always looking for a way to grow my little company, which would be good for many people. I am willing to work. I am not willing to be considered lucky.
    Well, there went my vote. If I worked hard, I became the bad guy as far as Democrats go.
    Of course, I couldn’t vote for monkey-boy either, without a sense of crippling embarassment at what the Republican Party had become. So I kept my votes local.
    I guess the point of my short bio is this: as much as the prospect of 4 more years of Prez Moron scare me, it wouldn’t be surprising if voters in any traditionally DEM state revolt against more taxation and regulation. Which is all Kerry seems to be offering us right now. I’m begging for a reason to vote for him, but it’s just not there. And if his Democratic “allies” in high state positions can’t help him, he’s screwed.

  • John

    >>> We’re fighting a war and we have a deficit. You don’t cut taxes in that situation.
    I love this kind of propoganda. So, I guess before the war and with a budget surplus, Clinton was trying to cut taxes like crazy, right? LOL.
    The truth of the matter is that the left is *always* in favor of tax increases, war, peace, surplus, deficit, whatever. Every day is a good day to raise taxes, to them. It’s just the excuse that changes.