Friday, June 24, 2011

New Jersey bill that would cost some middle class families over $6,000 a year expected to be signed into law Monday by Gov. Christie


The middle class is under attack again from newly elected officials…No, not Wisconsin.  Florida?  Nope.  New Hampshire?  Still no.  Well it’s gotta be Michigan then.  Not this time. 

Ok, ok; I can go on and on with this game, but I digress.

This time it is in NJ where a new bill that just passed the state assembly will be signed into law, probably Monday, by newly elected governor Chris Christie.

The bill, named the New Jersey Pension and Benefits Bill (sounds kind of nice, no?), would require public workers to pay even more into their pensions and health benefits and would eliminate collective bargaining for those benefits.

He must need more tax money to pay for his helicopter and 100 yard limo rides to his son’s baseball games.

This is the same governor that wants to cut education and introduce school vouchers.  This is probably one of the main reasons why he is endorsing this union-weakening legislation. 

We all know how the neo-neo-conservative agenda works:  cut education to keep them uninformed, weaken unions to limit purchasing power and liberal campaign contributions, and make it harder to vote…something they are succeeding in.

Don’t get me started on social issues. 

Elections have consequences, people.

Of course, as in Wisconsin, Ohio, et al, the thousands of protestors were ignored as legislators stripped away their rights.  Even a significant portion of Democrats voted for the bill, with at least one sponsoring it.

What a slap in the face for their constituents. 

Why did they do this, you ask? 

This is just another step in the seemingly downward spiral of conservative legislation for unions, which hinders their abilities to contribute to campaigns, therefore leaving Democrats to forage for campaign help elsewhere…you guessed it, corporations.

The new legislations will cost workers thousands of dollars a year…some speculate at least $6,000. 

Can you or any of your middle class or poor friends afford an extra $6,000 a year? 

Bill Breakdown:

-Eliminates collective bargaining on health care for 550,000 public workers

-Requires workers to pay up to 35% of their health care costs

-Additional pension contributions

-Eliminates the automatic cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for retired police, firefighters, teachers, and state and local government employees

We cannot keep killing middle class citizens’ pocket books if we hope to have a strong recovery.  We need their disposable income to inject demand into the market place.  How are we not understanding this?  We cannot afford to continually weaken unions and discourage union membership.

I know I use this graph a lot, but it really says a lot:

Hetty Rosenstein of Communications Workers of America told Ed Shultz that the bill would require workers’ pay 2% more into their pension, ultimately forcing them to pay 75% into the total cost of their pension.  She also informed that the COLA would be ended for 30 years. 

“We have many retirees who have retired on pensions of ten, twelve, fifteen-thousand dollars.  You are 65 years old; you are going to get that same ten, twelve, fifteen-thousand dollars until you are 95,” Rosenstein said. 

“This is a terrible bill; it has a horrible impact on middle class families, and there is no reason for it,” Rosenstein continued.  “The fact of the matter is, five unions came forward with a plan to save hundreds of millions of dollars through collective bargaining and through cost containment, and they had no interest in that plan.” 

“They really just wanted to union bust; they just wanted to eliminate our collective bargaining rights; and they wanted to hurt us.”


  1. Unions suck! They should all be disbanded and the dues returned to the workers that the unions exist to exploit.

  2. You are complaining about the dues when they actually put more dollars in the workers pocket by increasing wages and fighting for benefits,thus giving the worker way more disposable income in relation to their payment? You are out of touch.