Friday, June 20, 2014

Christie, President, Fuggetaboutit New Jersey

The news continues to paint a deep dark picture in New Jersey,  especially for Christie's presidential run. In a word, Fuggetaboutit.

Last month Christie was forced to cut $2.5 Billion dollars from the State planned pension contribution and now today comes word that the Revel Casino in Atlantic City is likely to close down. In a letter to employees the company projected Mid August to shut the doors if they cant find a buyer. New Jersey tax payers are likely to loss all of the $260 million dollars they invested into the project in 2011 under Christie's lead.

Bridgegate aside, I think it is the collapse of the income expectations in his budget combined with the ineffective pension fix he totted that have sent his presidential bid into the toilet for the final flush.

The monstrosity playing out in Atlantic city today was predicted years back. Long before this project ran into trouble, long before the government bailed it out. Pennsylvania dealt a decisive blow back when they announced the boarder casino wall project, that was back in the 2005 era.

The financial and structural issues  NJ faces are massive and this casino failure will be more than just a nail in Jersey's coffin.

The depth of the problem is still not clear due to the complexities of pension actuarial regulations associated with government pension plans The obfuscation caused by the decades long GASB / FASB reporting disparities is in my opinion outright intentional deception by GASB. Over two decades of an unsupportable position on the NON reporting requirements of unfunded liabilities. That is a crime, if not by statute than surely by logic.

In fairness to GASB, it's now admitted their actions were "problematic" and the fix is at hand, but so much damage has been done. The problems are ahead of us, not behind us, and they are massive. Terminal? Maybe.

The full scope of the unfunded liabilities is an important factor but I think the key issue is more one of social injustice issue than just a massive financial problem. It is the government "ruling" the people no longer "of the people".  Few talk details about it but that is why so much anger is developing.


1) Why are government employees compensated (total package) so much higher than their private sector counterparts?

2) Why are there special tax benefits and legal standards afforded to government employees?

As I see it that is the fundamental issue at hand. The ramifications are staggering. The productive sector of our economy is being drained not only of it's money but of its opportunity, it's promise, it's freedom its potential, this is having an impact on the very souls of the American citizens.  The desperation, a sense of hopelessness is descending on America as a once unquestioned brightness now faces the darkness.  An unknown future and a lack of confidence in the most turbulent of times.

New Jersey's problems are deep but it is the social injustice being forced on the population by a corrupted government that hid the truth for decades and created a sense of entitlement for the government employees.

U-Haul Rate Study-  Cost comparison Wayne New Jersey to Austin Texas and vice-a-versa  

My most recent review of the U-Haul rates Between Wayne, New Jersey and Austin, Texas indicates that it is 250% more expensive  to rent a 26 foot truck to go to Austin  than to do the reverse. Drilling deeper I found the cost difference for a 17 foot truck is less, 200%. This may indicate that it is the larger, more established households moving out. This supply and demand analysis is not a scientific assessment by any means however it is at the least a curious argument. The 250% difference on the larger truck appears to come from cost discount to return the asset back to NJ.

 That's the way I see it.

FASB - The governing body of private sector accounting standards
GASB - The governing body of government sector accounting standards

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