Wednesday, December 05, 2007

State Budget Doubletake

D. J. McGuire, writing at the Right-Wing Liberal, pulls out the statistics to show that New Jersey's government has been able to slow the growth of its budget (both taxes and spending) at the same time that Virginia's budget has been skyrocketing.

It's noteworthy that New Jersey has a larger population than Virginia (at 8,724,560 as of 2006, it is ranked 11th among the 50 states, while Virginia has a population of 7,078,515, ranking 12th). So for New Jersey -- with a reputation for profligacy as much as for corruption -- to put the brakes on spending is a real accomplishment.

Notes the Rights-Wing Liberal:

New Jersey enacts its budget every year, while Virginia enacts it every two years (although there are amendments in the "off"-year). In Fiscal Year 2007, New Jersey spent $30.8 billion; in FY08, $33.5 billion. The total expenditure over the biennium is currently as $64.3 billion.

During this same two-year period, Virginia's spending stands over $74.2 billion - a difference of nearly $5 billion a year.

Mind you, New Jersey has had Democratic governors and Democratic-controlled legislatures during the last half-dozen years, yet with a larger population, they still managed to keep spending more than 13% below Virginia, despite our Republican-controlled legislature. Even the split General Assembly that will convene in January will give the GOP more power than it ever had in the New Jersey legislature since January 2002.
Am I the only person embarrassed by this comparison?

1 comment:

Steve Foerster said...

Not only has New Jersey had more Democrats, but unions are infamously influential there, whereas Virginia literally is the headquarters of the National Right To Work movement.

Sorry to be cynical, but I suppose that means Republicans in Richmond deserve almost as much scorn as those in Washington, D.C. You all certainly have your work cut out for you!