So there's a State budget in the legislature which has a $570 million hole in it. And no one in Trenton seems to care. Everyone intends to move this budget forward on the assumption that the money that isn't coming will eventually arrive. Call it the bi-partisan Tooth Fairy approach to budgeting.
Governor Christie does not want to raise the issue because:
1. After campaigning against balancing the budget on one-year fixes and other gimmicks, the Governor will have to admit that he used a one-time increase in Medicaid money to balance his budget;
2. While more than 30 states are in a similar situation, i.e., facing budget holes because of the failure of Congress to approve additional FMAP money, this Governor will be forced to admit that while he has been speaking in favor of forcing government to live within its means he has been willing to let the Federal government give New Jersey money borrowed from taxpayers in order to close New Jersey's budget deficit; and
3. The Governor is facing a mini-revolt within his own party because of the tax increases in this budget, and were he to admit to a $570 hole while pushing a budget that includes now-unfunded programs demanded by Democrats he may lose even more votes from within his own party.
New Jersey Democrats do not want to raise the issue because:
1. They do not want to jeopardize the funding for their pet programs they just got reinstated in the budget compromise with the Governor; and
2. When it turns out that this Governor's budget, voted for by every Republican in the Senate and Assembly, has a hole roughly equal to the amount of money the Millionaires Tax would have brought in, Democrats expect to make political hay.
And so it becomes apparent that there are two holes in Trenton. One is a $570 million hole in the budget. The other is the gaping distance between our government and the taxpayers.
The taxpayers want the budget done right. They don't care who is in and who is out, they don't care who is seeking national office, they just want their government to put the taxpayers first. And knowingly passing a budget that the State cannot afford is just bad government.
To the Republicans and Democrats in Trenton, a pox on both your houses. We taxpayers are ready to take our medicine and live within our means. Please put your personal ambitions and petty grievances aside and for once give us an honest budget we can afford.