Call Lou Greenwald feisty or gutsy, but the moniker that best describes the Assembly Majority Leader from Camden is “Willie Sutton.” Which is apropos inasmuch as Camden has one of the highest crime rates in the nation.
Willie Sutton is best known for his famous response when he was asked why he robs banks. Sutton did not miss a beat: “That’s where the money is.” Lou Greenwald has taken a page out of the Willie Sutton playbook; he wants the State of New Jersey to step up its fleecing of upper income people who have earned their money in order to give it senior and middle income families in the form of property tax relief. This is blatant highway robbery.
Greenwald makes Willie Sutton like a man of integrity, because Willie did not claim he was robbing banks for the people’s benefit. Taxing (legalized theft) one group of people who have high incomes in order to give the money to other people is nothing less than grand larceny.
An honest way to reduce property taxes is for towns to reduce their spending so less money would have to be collected in taxes. In addition, the state income tax could be reduced or abolished so families would keep more of their income.
A tax is a tax is a tax. How people are taxed is not as important as the rate people pay. The income tax was supposed to provide tax relief for New Jersey’s families when it was introduced 35 years ago. Since then income tax rates have increased and property taxes have skyrocketed. Clearly, the income tax experiment has failed miserably. People are demanding tax relief. Greenwald’s proposal perpetuates the notion that government should redistribute income.
Greenwald’s income tax proposal also reveals the disingenuous philosophy of tax and spend. The American people have been told since the birth of the Republic that taxes are necessary to pay for needed “government services.” And that the price we Americans pay for a civilized society is dutifully paying taxes (tribute) to all levels of government.
H. L. Mencken must have had Lou Greenwald and the other statists in Trenton in mind decades ago when he wrote: “All government, in its essence, is organized exploitation, and in virtually all of its existing forms it is the implacable enemy of every industrious and well-disposed man.”