You Do Not Get Something For Nothing

Wednesday, June 16, AD 2010

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey continues committing political heresy:  telling the voters the plain unvarnished truth.  Government since the New Deal in this country has run on the premise of convincing a majority of voters that they can get something for nothing.  Those days are coming crashing to an end against a wall of debt.  Few things are more powerful in politics than a man or woman who understands that a page has turned and that new times are upon us.  Governor Christie understands this and is acting upon it.

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7 Responses to You Do Not Get Something For Nothing

Christie to Teachers Union: You Punch Them, I Punch You

Saturday, June 5, AD 2010

There was a time when unions were needed.

Today not so much.

The New Jersey Educational Association (NJEA)  represents what is wrong with this country and this is entitlement.

Governor Chris Christie needs your help to eliminate the cancer that is the NJEA.

Please pray for him and the people of New Jersey as they engage the culture of entitlement.

_._

(Biretta Tip:  Notes on the Culture Wars)

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7 Responses to Christie to Teachers Union: You Punch Them, I Punch You

  • Unions are still needed. It’s more than an entitlement, it’s a fundamental human right. That said, public-sector unionism doesn’t work very well. Unlike in the private sector, those who control the purse strings of government employees don’t gain anything by tightening them. In fact, they gain power by meeting union demands. I don’t know what the solution is.

  • One of the few encouraging aspects of living in rough times is, if you are lucky, sometimes leaders emerge who are up to the challenge. Chris Christie might just be such a man. He certainly is refreshingly unwilling to simply go with the politics as usual that has helped land us in this sea of unending debt.

  • I am not totally sure unions are still necessary in all areas. In many areas they have become a hoarder of dollars and fat cats at the executive positions.
    You can start with the Teamsters, AFL_CIO,Public Employees, etc..a few people in places of authority evoke their will on the members. How many polls do they take and ask their members for advise. Do they really represent their members in ther wheeling and dealing and are their polcies and use of members dues being used efficently. What do they add to K-12 yrs for teachers who have to put in their own dollars to buy supplies for their students. When have their unions used the dues to add computers or books to school districts or scholarship grants to students instead of spending millions on politics.

  • It is not a ‘human right’, much less a fundamental one, to work only on multi-year contracts, to saddle your employer with a dense web of negotiated work rules, to shut down a worksite, and to cede power in industrial relations to boss-ridden faux democratic collectives.

    Why not strip Wagner Act unions of their status as bargaining agents and let them expire? We could replace them with a mix of producer co-operatives and company unions.

    Public sector unions are predatory and should be dissolved. There is no just reason that legislative bodies should delegate authority over public expenditure to them.

  • While CST notes that workers have the right to organize, it also notes that big unions can work against the common good. One analysis of part of the current problems in Europe:

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/03/news/international/PIIGS_euro_economy.fortune/

  • As a very conservative, traditional Catholic,gun-toting Korean vet, market-oriented, ex-stock broker, parent, teacher and ex-local teacher’s union president, I caution blanket attacks upon teachers. When they were receiving less pay than a store clerk, and had no power, no one cared a hoot about them or living wages, and so they paid them with benefits in lieu of money – no Social security elegibility etc. Now, and only since, that self-serving mentality by society has backfired (those expensive pensions) they are scapegoated by far too many who ought to realize that there are many conservatives in their ranks who (like myself) loathe and won’t join the national leftist unions and vote – gasp – GOP.

    The power their unions now have is because of previous societal neglect – otherwise few would have ever joined such organization.

    As Pogo says….

    By the way: Christie for president!

    As an aside, there is more validity to protect (tenure)workers(teachers) from the government who gives and takes away their jobs, than in the private sectors. I have worked in both extensively and I can assure you that the tenure that was instituted to protect teacher from parents and politicians is absolutely essential. Try giving the Board of Ed’s daughter a mere “c” grade – or disagreeing with immoral curriculum at a staff meeting, or getting older and expensive to the school system and being harassed to leave that they mightr hire two (cute?)young teachers if they succeed.

    Grievance is justice -the system is fair.
    One last comment about teacher unions and their advocacy of abortion. Has anyone in history ever been so ignorant as to kill off their future clientele?

  • When they were receiving less pay than a store clerk, and had no power, no one cared a hoot about them or living wages, and so they paid them with benefits in lieu of money –

    Just out of curiosity, do you have data which would tell us where and when the ratio to the national mean of compensation per worker of mean salaries for school teachers was below that for retail clerks?

    no Social security elegibility etc.

    I think Social Security in its initial conception covered everyone outside of agriculture, domestic service, and the self-employed.

    I have no interest in bashing teachers, Don L, but hear in New York, they (as do many public employees) commonly retire at 55 with agreeable pensions. Entry into the teaching profession is also restricted by the requirement that aspirants acquire academically dubious MEd. degrees if they are to be retained beyond a probationary term of years, which further inflates compensation. Neither circumstance is the norm for the general run of salaried employees in this state.

Chris Christie: We Need to Stop the Explosive Growth of Government

Thursday, May 27, AD 2010

If we are going to get ourselves out of the morass of government debt in which we find ourselves, it will only be due to the efforts of men and women like Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Yesterday he announced how he intends to lead New Jersey out of the fiscal wilderness:

As you all know, we have a fiscal crisis in New Jersey: a $10.9 billion deficit on a $29.3 billion budget.

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47 Responses to Chris Christie: We Need to Stop the Explosive Growth of Government

  • If only our President and Congress would recognize the spending problem. With our National debt reaching over 14 Trillion Dollars and the interest on debt soon to be I Trillon, when are we going to realise we can not continue down this path before we implode financially.

  • Texas has a 10% cap (tax assessed property value cannot be >10% from last year). Guess what? Regardless of economic conditions, tax assessed property values magically increased by 10% every year since the cap was in place (over 10 years ago). Perhaps indexing it to inflation would be better.

    at least at 2.5%, it will take a lot longer for taxes to double.

  • Governor Christie, When you’re done fixing things in New Jersey, would you consider moving to Texas to take a shot at our property taxes, please. Best of luck with the unions.

  • I’m liking Governor Christie more each day.

    He should be considered as a possible GOP primary candidate for POTUS.

  • NJ’s taxes are why New Yorkers move there. NJ has lower taxes on everything except for property. Parents would rather pay high property taxes and get the best public schools in the nation than pay high other taxes and get NYC schools. High property taxes also keep NJ a relatively wealthy state which is part of the appeal. The dirty secret in NJ is that they want high property taxes to keep poor people out.

  • RR,

    Which partly explains why Texas is a much more attractive state for families and corporations… no income tax!

  • Yeah, but Texas also has relatively high real property taxes (not as high as NJ, but still fairly high), so I’m not sure that’s it.

  • Yes, Texas does have a high property tax that Governor Perry has yet to make a significant dent in.

    Though having no income tax could still play a minor if not major role in this.

  • The dirty secret in NJ is that they want high property taxes to keep poor people out.

    You mean the poor are being kept out of Newark, East Orange, Paterson, Jersey City, and Union City?

  • You don’t need high property taxes to keep the poor out – all you need are high property values.

  • Median property tax in NJ: 2.4%
    Median property tax in Newark: 1.4%
    Median property tax in Hoboken: 3.3%

    Guess which city has more poor people?

    NJ had the highest median income in the country until 2007 when Maryland overtook NJ by a hair. I’d say NJ is doing a pretty good job at keeping poor people out.

    Jay Anderson, not all taxes are equal. Corporations and middle-class and wealthy families would rather pay property taxes than income taxes.

  • There is considerable variation in per capita income from one state to another, not because there are barriers to the entry of ‘poor people’, but because the aggregate skill sets of populations do vary.

  • RR,

    Good stuff.

    I see what your conveying.

    Though the stereotype of New Jersey is a hard one to let go.

  • It’s laughable to think either political party will achieve a balanced budget. Bill Clinton is the only major public official to accomplish it as a government executive in two generations.

    Federally, we would have to give up wars and bank bailouts. So much for Cheney and Paulson.

    The Iraq War would have been a much harder sell if citizens and corporations would have had to pay for it.

  • “Bill Clinton is the only major public official to accomplish it as a government executive in two generations.”

    He didn’t accomplish it Todd, absent games with social security. That he came within shouting distance was due to two factors completely outside his control: the tech bubble that artificially inflated tax revenues for the years 1995-2000, and the Republicans taking over Congress in 1994 that rescued him from his worst fiscal instincts.

  • The Iraq War would have been a much harder sell if citizens and corporations would have had to pay for it.

    Todd, I think about 75% of federal expenditure over the period running from 2001 through 2008 was financed through tax revenues and about 25% through public sector borrowing. Treasury bills, notes, and bonds are sold and traded worldwide, but I believe they remain predominantly the property of residents of the United States. With some qualification, we did pay for it, just not for every last cent.

  • I cannot help but note that military expenditure has over the last decade increased from about 3.5% to 5.0% of domestic product. Federal expenditure has until quite recently oscillated around 20% of domestic product; the increment attributable to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would thus amount to 7.5% of federal expenditure. Money is fungible, Todd. We did not pay for the other 92.5% but not pay for this 7.5%.

  • Federally, we would have to give up wars and bank bailouts. So much for Cheney and Paulson.

    Todd, the federal government followed in 1930, 1931, and 1932 a policy of allowing bank failures to be resolved through leisurely bankruptcy court proceedings; the government also elected to ignore a rapid increase in the demand for real balances. Sound money, and all (one of Dr. Paul’s fetishes). Worked just swimmingly.

  • Jay,

    Yeah, but Texas also has relatively high real property taxes (not as high as NJ, but still fairly high), so I’m not sure that’s it.

    Not defending TX property taxes, but dude, they’re a walk in the park compared to Michigan’s. MI has a 6% sales tax and an income tax to boot. I haven’t figured out TX sales tax yet, it appears that for some reason it ranges from 6 to 8% and there is no income tax. Though if you want to travel fast and with little traffic, you’ll likely be paying a toll. 😉

  • Paying taxes is part of good citizenship. The problem with the tax system, federally, states, and locally is that they trend to unfairness.

    I think Steve Forbes’ idea of a flat tax might have some merit, were it applied equally to big corporations. Have a decently high tax rate, and apply it vigorously once a business or individual achieves a certain level of worth. Small businesses can compete more effectively when corporations like WalMart have to pass on their higher tax rates to consumers–assuming people would even want to pay real prices for crap when they could get better cheaper from places other than China.

  • Flocks of flying pigs around Kansas City and Utica. Todd and I agree on something.

  • I think Steve Forbes’ idea of a flat tax might have some merit, were it applied equally to big corporations. Have a decently high tax rate, and apply it vigorously once a business or individual achieves a certain level of worth. Small businesses can compete more effectively when corporations like WalMart have to pass on their higher tax rates to consumers–assuming people would even want to pay real prices for crap when they could get better cheaper from places other than China.

    This would only remotely make sense if you abolished the capital gains tax on securities — it hardly makes sense to tax a company’s profit heavily, then turn around and tax the investors who own the company again because the company had enough money left to pay them a dividend.

    I rather doubt it would have the effect that Todd is envisioning in re Wal Mart, however, in that small companies buy things from large companies, so the small companies would see their costs go up almost as much as Wal Mart. (Though it would make it more attractive to a be a small business owner, would doubtless be a good thing.)

    Also, frankly, the kind of efficiencies that a Wal Mart (or to use less tainted names, a Kohls or a Kroger or a Safeway or a Home Depot) manage to achieve would be very difficult to outweigh with any imaginable tax rate. Fast communication and the ability to build complex data systems to manage efficient supply chains are the things that would need to be banned in order to cripple the ability of large retailers to operate, and I would imagine that most people would not go for that.

  • Yes it does make sense.

    Incorporated enterprises garner the advantages of limited liability; if they go public, they also have access to capital markets. If they seek the advantages of asking to be treating as a ‘person’ as a matter of law, they can pay taxes like one. When I last had to study the question, state corporate taxes were usually quite modest (< 3% of net profits), so a flat assessment of 1/3 of net profits by the federal government would be in order.

    Capital gains need to be calculated appropriately (i.e. an index derived from the GNP deflator applied to the purchase price), but that is a different question.

  • US corporate income taxes are already about 35% on corporate taxable profits, though corporations with taxable income less than $100,000 end up paying much less due to the graduated tax table.

    After paying these taxes, corporations can distribute the remaining profits to their shareholders in the form of dividends, which are then taxed again as personal income (though at a rate somewhat lower than standard earned income or capital gains.)

    Are you and Todd arguing that there need to be significantly heavier taxes at both these stages? Or just that similar rates of overall taxation should be maintained but through a simpler, flat tax system. (The latter I have little argument with, the former is likely to have effects on the economy that most people would not enjoy much.)

  • I don’t think “fairness” should necessarily play a part in debates over corporate taxation. The best reason I’ve heard for taxing corporations at the same rate as people is that it makes it harder for business owners to cheat taxes by taking advantage of lower corporate tax rates.

    Dividends should only be taxed once and capital gains should only be taxed if the principal was never taxed.

    All this can be accomplished by replacing all taxes with a VAT. A digital VAT card, like a debit card, would allow the VAT to be levied progressively. Don’t know if that’s feasible on a large scale though.

  • Indded, fairness and corporate taxation don’t go together very easily. Among tax scholars, there are four cardinal objectives of a tax system:
    1. horizontal equity: the idea that people with similar abilities to pay ought to bear similar tax burdens.
    2. vertical equity: the idea that people with greater abilities to pay ought to bear greater tax burdens.
    3. administrability: the system should be administrable as a practical matter.
    4. efficiency: the tax system ought not to affect economic decision-making (i.e., interfer with normal market decisions).

    While mose people agree with these principles, they are tricky to apply with confidence, especially #2. And broad-based corporate income taxes are especially difficult to evaluate under #1 and #2 because the true economic burden (as opposed to the nominal legal burden) is passed on in ways that cannot be reliably understood or identified. Economists agree that the actual individuals who bear corporate tax burdens are the corporations customers, employees, and investors, but no one knows in what proportions, though there is common agreement that the answers depend by industry and are very temporally fluid. In other words, the corporate tax burden is distributed quite randomly and mysteriously, despite its paradoxical popularity. The best policy explanation for the tax is that corporations do burden their communities and must pay for those burdens. There is widespread disagreement among economists as to what extent this is the case. The best practical explanation for the tax is simply that most voters like the idea of sticking it to the corporations and have not figured out that corporations can no more bear a tax burden than a tree or bridge — some living breathing humans pay the tax.

  • Are you and Todd arguing that there need to be significantly heavier taxes at both these stages? Or just that similar rates of overall taxation should be maintained but through a simpler, flat tax system. (The latter I have little argument with, the former is likely to have effects on the economy that most people would not enjoy much.)

    Todd will have to speak for himself. I have run my electronic pen at length in the past on the appropriate manner of calculating tax liability and it seems to bore people silly. Given public expenditure in the range of 35-40% of domestic product, I think an assessment of roughly a third on corporate income (with no deductions or exemptions as they constitute a subsidy to favored business sectors) is about right.

  • Indded, fairness and corporate taxation don’t go together very easily.

    You have three businesses. For one, an impersonal and amorphous set of owners is not liable for the corporation’s actions and holds liquid shares. For the other, a discrete set of owners is liable and holds illiquid shares. For a third, a discrete set of owners is not liable but holds illiquid shares. Do you tax all three businesses at the same rate?

  • Dividends should only be taxed once and capital gains should only be taxed if the principal was never taxed.

    ‘Dividends’ are only dividends once they have been remitted to the shareholder. They are only taxed once as we speak.

    Capital gains are appropriately taxed, and taxed at the same marginal rate as the remainder of your income, if by ‘gain’ you mean an increase in the real value of the property in question, not an increase in the nominal value derived from currency erosion.

  • I don’t see why they shouldn’t be taxed identically. Incorporation costs are covered by incorporation fees. Share liquidity is paid for by exchange fees.

  • AD, I think you know what people mean when they talk about the double taxation of dividends. Tax capital to be used for dividends as corporate profit or as individual income, not both. I’d prefer the latter.

    Capital gains are appropriately taxed like the rest of your income only if the principal was tax-deferred. If investing with post-tax capital, a capital gains tax would be inappropriate.

  • If investing with post-tax capital

    I do not care if you paid for your Xerox shares with savings from your paycheck or if you paid for them by selling Kodak shares.

  • AD, it makes a big difference. Taxing the gains from taxed capital favors consumption over savings. Not taxing gains on taxed capital or taxing capital+gains at realization treats consumption and savings neutrally.

  • Real soon the idiots in congress, bumbledom (you call it bureaucracy), 500,000 “community organizers”, and the public employees’ unions are going to run out of other people’s , i.e., the private sector’s money.

    It’s already happened in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Iceland, Ireland, . . .

    There is weak economic growth because the private sector is being strangled by regulations and taxes.

    Anyhow, dividends are what’s left of corporate net income after taxes paid that is proportionately paid (not retained in the corporation) to the corporation’s owners/shareholders. Then, the distributed net income after taxes in the form of dividends is taxed a second time.

    Forget clueless university economics profs. The real world knows that zero corporate income taxes would result in economic growth and create far more wealth and tax revenues than the present demogogic set up of “tax the evil rich” laws and the politics of class envy/hatred.

  • Ideally, personal income tax liability would be a flat rate on one’s total income less a dollar value credit for yourself and each dependent. People whose computed liability was negative could be compensated by an addition to savings accounts dedicated to expenditures on medical treatment and long-term care. If the funds in these accounts exceeded a certain referent value, the excess remittance could then be forwarded to the tax ‘payer’, but it would (for the able bodied and working age) have to be capped at a particular percentage of earned income lest we remanufacture AFDC and general relief. Everybody faces the same marginal rate, but average rates vary considerably according to income. This is about what Milton Friedman proposed in 1962, and has the added benefit of allowing one to eliminate the miscellany of means-tested subsidies to mundane expenditure that the government offers and much of Medicaid as well.

    If you are concerned about savings rates, you can reduce income tax rates and add consumption taxes to finance the state and achieve policy goals. The United States has been running a balance of payments deficits on current account for 28 years, so concerns of that nature are appropriate. Since consumption taxes are regressive, they should be used sparingly.

    AEI has a discussion of the pros and cons of various proposals for consumption tax.

    http://www.aei.org/outlook/29082

  • AD, the poor need subsidies other than for medical care. I wouldn’t place any restrictions on their use of the subsidies.

    The only problem I have with Friedman’s negative income tax is that it necessarily undercompensates. I’ve come to believe that the poor should be subsidizes out of poverty, not some lesser amount that guarantees to keep them in poverty. Yet, itt would disincentivize work completely if people were compensated 100% of the amount they fell short. The only way can I see to bring everyone out of poverty without completely disincentivizing work is a work requirement, even if it’s government make-work.

    Our current income tax system can easily be turned into a consumption tax system by eliminating the tax on capital gains and dividends. Behavioral economics would still recommend a VAT since it looks more like a consumption tax and therefore would encourage more savings even though its functionally identical to an income tax without capital gains or dividend taxes.

    There are various methods of making a consumption tax progressive. The best method I’ve come across is to have a very high VAT then issue everyone a digital discount card that gives users steep but diminishing discounts with use.

    You link to Bradford’s X-tax. I supported it when it was proposed years ago. Bradford’s the one would thought that corporate taxes should match personal income taxes to reduce the opportunity for business owners to cheat.

  • rr,

    If I had more time I’d add more, but I’ll just say this:

    The conversion of our income tax system into a consumption tax would involve something a bit different than exempting capital gains and dividends; it would basically involve (i) permitting a deduction (or exemption) from the tax base for all savings and investments and (ii) requiring inclusion in the tax base all withdrawals from such savings and investments. You are correct to suggest that it could be accomplished by amending our current Code to do this. Think of an IRA system with no limits and no distribution requirements; the taxpayer pays tax as he spends based on his own needs and desires as he discerns them. Progressivity can be preserved via graduated rates. The most controversial aspect of such a system among tax scholars is the treatment of bequests at death (not charitable gifts — those present independent policy considerations). My own view is that such transfers should be considered consumption so that 100% of one’s lifetime income is taxed as it is expended. There are a number of advantages to such a system, but one important one is that it would treat the consumption and saving choice as a neutral one — an objective that is applauded by most economists.

    The expenditure (i.e. broad-based consumption) tax was first developed by British economist Nicholas Kaldor many decades ago, and was promoted by renown Harvard tax professor William Andrews in the 1970s and 1980s. The Reagan Administration seriously considered the idea, but concluded that its economic and policy advantages were not sufficient to overcome political disadvantages. Senator Sam Nunn proposed such a system a few years ago, but it garnered little interest except among academics.

    A negative consumption tax could be developed akin to Friedman’s negative income tax, of course, but would carry with it the same policy and incentive challenges.

    Our current tax system is a hybrid of multiple sorts. For example, the IRA/401(k) aspect makes it partly a consumption tax, just as the earned income tax credit has attrubutes of a negative income tax.

    If you are genuinely interested in tax policy I suggest you pick up the latest addition of “Public Finance” by Richard and Peggy Musgrave. While they lean a bit left in terms of their policy preferences, their text really is the single best source for folks with serious interest.

  • Mike, either would work. Either tax all income then don’t tax capital gains or exempt savings then tax the principal+gains at withdrawal. The methods result in identical tax burdens. As I stated before, besides differences in administerability, the only other difference is perception. People will save more if savings are tax-deferred even if taxing them first and not taxing them later produces exactly the same tax burden.

    Thanks for the reading recommendation.

  • rr, you improve the real incomes of the impecunious by extinguishing their direct and indirect tax liabilities. They are perfectly capable of allocating their income between their various immediate objects. The sticky point is that providing for a selection of contingencies requires one have a longer time horizon than is common in certain circumstances and the consequences of failure to prepare can be ruinous. Public insurance, vouchers, and direct provision are appropriate for medical care, schooling, and legal counsel, not for your weekly grocery bill or your monthly rent.

    Because the marginal rates are equal across all strata, one can invariably improve one’s material welfare by taking on additional working hours, with the cost measured in one’s demand for leisure. It is this last point which renders it generally inadvisable to pass unrestricted cash to people with no earned income, unless they be old or crippled. It was tried from 1935 to 1996. Results not too cool.

    Conjoined to this, it would be helpful if the federal and state legislatures ceased pricing low end labor out of the market with minimum wage laws, mandatory fringe benefits, and means tested social programs. That the Democratic congressional caucus elected this time in history to raise the minimum wage is indicative of deep stupidity or deep indifference.

  • rr,
    While either would perhaps work, there is a slight economic difference between taxing all income but deducting net savings versus taxing all income except the return from savings, though both would be steps in the right direction. As for the other distinction, if I understand you correctly (and I may not) the difference between taxing income as it is earned versus as it is spent is far more than perception. It alters the the current savings versus consumption preference calculus. People respond differently to consume or secure 6% after tax return versus consume and secure 4% after tax return. I think we both agree that the current system is not good for saving. I would only clarify that a tax that is imposed on lifetime income as it is expended is economically neutral whereas as the current income tax actually favors consumption. People are encouraged to consume a greater proprtion of their income than than they would in a tax free environment. This is not good tax policy in my view.

  • This is why I support the FairTax. Tax policy makes me crazy.

  • AD, I agree that people need some spending restrictions but it looked like you wanted to limit all subsidies to only health care. Also, not all methods of subsidy allocation work equally well. Vouchers create sticky prices at the voucher amount. I’d rather cut the poor a check then require that they obtain adequate health care coverage, legal counsel insurance, renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, and education for their children on their own. Cutting general subsidies to pay for them should only be done for those who fail to obtain the required services.

    I’d also agree that we can’t hand out subsidies to the able-bodied without a work requirement. I only wanted to point out that those who do work should be lifted out of poverty, by subsidies if necessary. I do not accept that those who work to the full extent their bodies allow should still live in poverty.

    I think government subsidies are better alternatives to min wages but I’m not convinced the low federal min wage we have does much harm. It’s too low to do much of anything. Illegal immigrants demand more than min wage.

  • Mike, we both want a pure consumption tax. I’m saying the point of taxation doesn’t make a mathematical difference. A sales tax, a VAT, an income tax exempting savings until withdrawn, and an income tax exempting capital gains, dividends, and interest, all produce mathematically identical results.

    Eric Brown, evasion would be too pervasive with a 30% sales tax on top of state and local sales taxes. I wish it weren’t so but the FairTax is simply unworkable.

  • AD, I agree that people need some spending restrictions but it looked like you wanted to limit all subsidies to only health care.

    No, I was suggesting that if you had a negative tax liability, free-to-spend funds remitted to you should be capped at a % of your earned income bar if you were past the statutory retirement age or adjudicated as disabled. Some standardized contributions to savings accounts for medical and nursing care would be the exception to the cap. The indigent under indictment also have a right to counsel.

    Vouchers create sticky prices at the voucher amount. I’d rather cut the poor a check then require that they obtain adequate health care coverage, legal counsel insurance, renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, and education for their children on their own.

    I will have to look up some economic analyses of voucher programs. The only thing I had in mind was vouchers for primary and secondary schooling conjoined to re-incorporation of public schools as philanthropies, a prohibition on charging tuition, and mandatory participation in regents’ examinations. This would act to set a global baseline budget for primary and secondary schooling. Homeschooling families like Darwin’s could cash-out their vouchers for a portion of the family’s state and local tax liability. It would be a liberalization of current practice.

    Again, the only public insurance programs I had in mind were for medical and long-term care. There has been extensive discussion in this forum in the past on better design for these programs.

    I would be pleased if Donald or Blackadder would post their ideas on legal services for the indigent. It has been my impression from reading the newspapers that direct provision by public agency (e.g. the state welfare department) is the least bad way to do this.

    Again, legal services, long-term care, and medical care are subject to somewhat unpredictable spikes in demand over the course of one’s life cycle. Not so groceries, housing, and gas and electric usage, which the government insists on subsidizing as we speak.

    I’m not convinced the low federal min wage we have does much harm. It’s too low to do much of anything.

    They just raised it, and what do you know, we have had a year’s worth of economic growth with no discernable impact on the unemployment rate. Read Casey Mulligan on the administration’s treatment of the labor market. We have had chronically elevated unemployment rates for decades (when compared to what we know of previous decades). Minimum wage laws, benefit mandates, payroll taxes, means tested public benefits, Wagner Act unionism, maladroit health and safety regulations, and employment discrimination law all contribute fragments to this.

  • With minimum requirements (e.g., regents exams) to ensure adequacy, I’m not sure a separate government allocation is necessary. Milton Friedman proposed vouchers as the first step to completely eliminating public funding of education because he thought people will obtain adequate education on their own. I wouldn’t go as far as he does, but for many families (probably most families), vouchers are as unnecessary for education as they are for food or clothing. Admittedly, some families will not spend enough on education. We can measure this by academic achievement instead of by dollars spent. The state can increase the tax liability (or cut free-to-spend subsidies) in exchange for vouchers for those underspending families without doing so for all families.

    Ditto for health care. Mandate adequate coverage with the government stepping in to properly allocate only if the taxpayer refuses to do so.

    It’s possible that across-the-board government allocation for required services like education and health care is cheaper than the “allocator of last resort” approach I outlined above. I’m open to changing my position, if that can be shown.

28 Responses to Video of New Jersey Governor Christie Puting the Media in Their Place

  • Good, its about time someone didn’t give the impression that their spinal column had been replaced with gelatin.

  • That was pretty awesome!

  • He’s a Republican who’s actually serious about cutting spending, not just paying lip service.

    “By far the biggest category of spending we will need to cut, however, is that for programs which actually have merit, and in most cases make sense, but which we simply cannot afford at this time.”

    And with that he made huge cuts to education.

    You may like his personality but Christie’s positions are typical Northeast Republican. Fiscally conservative, socially liberal, tough on crime and foreign policy, weak on illegal immigration. You sure that’s what you want?

  • No, its not what I want politically – just rhetorically.

  • It is interesting that the question was asked ” you sure this is want you want? ” Evidently the majority of New Jersey voters did and elected him. Having worked in that State and watched the type of politicians he described was very factual. They used the old “2 step” on each and very issue. Years ago several insurance copnaies left that State for the same reason. If you want an earful go sit in on one of thier legislatiive sessions and listen to their rhetoric. It would be nice to have every social program under the sun, however, if the money is not available ( ie Greece )or you can move to the many US cities and now possibly some States where Chapter 9 Bankrupties are about to take place or they still have not been able to enact a State budget or have to pay people with IOU script.

  • Actually restrained radical, Chris Christie has taken the ax to Planned Parenthood funding in New Jersey and his views on abortion strike me as heading in the right direction:

    http://www.ontheissues.org/Governor/Chris_Christie_Abortion.htm

  • Mr. McClarey,

    Let’s not get duped by this. He says he wants to reduce abortions–even Obama says as much. He’s also said he’s not going to “shove that down our throats.” He also chose a pro-abort Lieutenant Governor.

    He’s another Republican that claims to be pro-life, just enough to not get Rudy’d. Seriously, to call for a ban on partial-birth abortion (which is already banned and only restricts one particular procedure while allowing for late-term abortions of any other method) and 24 hour waiting periods is pretty nominal.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love what this guy does fiscally, but to support him doesn’t seem that different from supporting “personally opposed” politicians on the Dem side.

  • No Steve, he does far more than that he merely says he wants to reduce abortion. His support of a partial birth abortion ban and parental notification places him in a category far different than Obama. Most importantly to me is his effort to defund Planned Parenthood, something that should be a model for other pro-life politicians.

    I might also add that if Congressman Chris Smith vouches for him, that is good enough for me.

    http://www.lifenews.com/state4084.html

  • If we insist on waiting for a perfectly pro-life candidate to come along before voting for anyone, we’ll be waiting an awfully long time, and in the meantime pro-abort RINOs and Dems will keep on getting elected. Is THAT what we want?

    Also, before fellow Illinoisans and others start getting our hopes up about electing someone like this, or about running Christie for president, bear in mind that the office of governor in NJ is extremely powerful constitutionally — more so than the POTUS or any other state governor. What Christie is doing can’t necessarily be repeated in other states or at a national level.

  • A good article today in The Hill on Christie:

    http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/ab-stoddard/97603-nj-gov-sets-tone-for-us

    Christie is leading a true grass roots revolt in New Jersey and those of us who live outside of the Garden State are beginning to pay attention.

  • Did I wake up in a dream? Did a man get elected in modern day America and proceed to actually do everything he promised he do with little to no regard for his poll numbers?

  • The commie-caths are nothing if not consistent. They find fault with all GOP’ers and give praise to Obama.

    I bet above Christie detractors (look up detraction) voted for Obama.

    You know: a President Christie would not nominate to SCOTUS anyone like a Dean Kagan, but the commie-cath-elected Dems would filibuster all his judicial nominees, anyhow.

    But, keep voting with satan, socialist saints! Because 47,000,000 exterminated unborn babies is a small price to pay for the destruction of the unjust, racist capitalist system.

  • T.Shaw I can guarantee you that neither restrainedradical nor Steve are commie-caths. In regard to Steve, I suspect that I would be closer to being a commie-cath than he would be. 🙂

  • Did I wake up in a dream? Did a man get elected in modern day America and proceed to actually do everything he promised he do with little to no regard for his poll numbers?

    It’s even stranger. He is doing a much better job than his bland and substance-less campaign would have suggested. He’s the anti-Crist.

  • That’s one heck of a piece of extemporaneous speaking. And he pulled it off with good humor and no bitterness. Impressive.

  • I was thinking the same thing, Dale. Either that question and answer was planned out ahead of time (and I don’t think it was), or Chris Christie is one fine public speaker.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    Because I have a great deal of respect for you I will stand down. Christie’s action on PP is certainly commendable.

    My reluctance to support him is rooted in a history of being burned by so-called pro-lifers like Bush who ushered in federally funded stem cell research (the fact that it was just a little bit does not justify it) and little else make me even more suspicious of Republicans who make the “I’m not going to shove it down people’s throats” type of remarks. If it’s murder–and it is–it should absolutely be shoved down people’s throats.

    Elaine, I couldn’t disagree more. Had McCain been elected, the country’s descent into socialism wouldn’t have been reversed; it would have merely been slowed. While sitting out the last couple elections may have unfortunately given the Dems power now, it also was a necessary condition for the revival we’re about to see in November. And I’m not just talking about the hit the Dems will take but also the lousy sort of Republicans you seem inclined to support (Bennett, Crist, etc.)

    T. Shaw, you couldn’t be more mistaken. I’ve got a toddler who starts booing when he sees Obama on TV. I think that your remark lacked basic Christian charity.

  • I back Donald as well.

    I don’t know Steve well enough, but Restrained Radical is the real deal when it comes to his faith (I could be wrong, but I haven’t read anything to say otherwise).

  • I like Christie and would vote for his reelection if I lived in NJ. I don’t know if I would vote for him for president though. It has nothing to do with spending. His fiscal conservatism I love. But there’s a real possibility he’s not that far from Rudy.

  • RR,

    I am an ardently pro-life NJ resident who would not hesitate to vote for him for president. Christie is nothing like Rudy (except in his fiscal policies). I have little doubt that he would absolutely come down on the pro-life side of ANY legislation that came before him. The “not pushing it down people’s throats” comment was, I think, more about what his focus was going to be – the economy. He’s not focusing on abortion, but he’s certainly not promoting it or even tolerating it. Even in his budget battles, he’s already taken the pro-life step of cutting funding to Planned Parenthood. That’s a pretty bold move if you’re secretly looking to avoid the abortion fight or if your “personally opposed, but…” and I don’t think it should be overlooked as evidence of who he really is. Keep your eye on him and I think all your fears will be put to rest.

  • Sorry to all.

    I have a visceral, uncharitable “problem” with (was it 52% or 62% of) majority of Catholics that wittingly/unwittingly voted for Obama, abortion, Kennedys, economic deconstruction, Kerry, subversion of morality, Pelosi, etc.

    I fear nitpicking/sniping at basically “good guys” like Christie will help keep abortionists in power.

  • T. Shaw,

    I understand where you’re coming from.

    A difficult lesson I learned is that don’t use name calling, but do describe what they are doing.

  • Pro-life is such a minor issue these days to the majority of Americans. You guys need to make it a sub-issue and focus on the issues that really matter in evey day America – primarily the economy, which this Governor is actually willing to do something about. He’s actually going to be fiscally conservative. Thank God! Who cares about whether he supports or is against abortion. Move on people!

  • “Who cares about whether he supports or is against abortion. Move on people!”

    I couldn’t think of a worse venue to preach that particular message than The American Catholic. We care deeply about the pro-life cause here and we will never “move on” from that struggle until the innocent unborn enjoy the same right to life that you and I enjoy.

  • The lousy economy is a symptom of the culture of death, rather than a separate issue. Addressing fiscal issues without turning our hearts back to God is just a band aid.

  • Move on people!

    JG, there’s already a website for that. But as Don said, you don’t seem to know much about who this blog community consists of.

  • “Pro-life is such a minor issue these days to the majority of Americans. You guys need to make it a sub-issue”

    It depends on how you interpret that. Pro-life is NOT a “sub issue” in the sense that it is dispensable or of lower priority than how a candidate stands on the economy. If you don’t have the right to live, all other rights are meaningless. Anyone who is aggressively pro-abortion or who fails to make even the slightest effort to protect the unborn is NOT going to get my vote even if they have the most brilliant economic ideas on earth.

    However, that does not mean that every pro-lifer must constantly flog the abortion issue or make it the primary focus of their campaign or of their administration if elected. Nor are they obligated to make unrealistic promises of action that likely will not pass their legislatures or that will be struck down by the courts (e.g. promising to enact a complete abortion ban). They must, however, make clear where they stand and promise to take advantage of any opportunity they have to protect unborn life. I think Christie’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood is a good example of that. It can be justified on fiscal grounds (the state can’t afford it, and has no business asking taxpayers to pay for it) as well as on moral grounds.

    Here we need to keep in mind Christ’s saying about how those who prove themselves faithful in small things will be faithful in greater things. I believe pro-lifers who show themselves to be honest, trustworthy, and wise on “lesser” issues like the economy, taxes, etc. will have more credibility with both the “unconverted” as well as the “choir” when they address life issues. Likewise someone who constantly beats the drum for pro-life but proves to be a complete incompetent or idiot when it comes to other aspects of governing doesn’t do the movement or the unborn any favors.

  • Steve’s right about this: The lousy economy is a symptom of the culture of death. If the one-in-every-three kids who have been killed in this country for the last 35 yrs were young adults today, we wouldn’t be worried about Mcare, SS funding etc…just for starters. Of course that doesn’t even count the people who aren’t here thanks to contraception.
    Thanks, boomers.

A Daley Sees Disaster Looming For the Democrats

Thursday, December 24, AD 2009

As an Illinois Republican I have little love for the Daley clan of Chicago.  However, I have always respected their political acumen.  William Daley, Commerce Secretary under Bill Clinton and Al Gore’s campaign chairman in 2000, where he was much too effective for my comfort in what should have been a big Republican year, and brother of Richie the Lesser, current Mayor for Life of the Windy City, has an interesting column today in the Washington Post:

But now they face a grim political fate. On the one hand, centrist Democrats are being vilified by left-wing bloggers, pundits and partisan news outlets for not being sufficiently liberal, “true” Democrats. On the other, Republicans are pounding them for their association with a party that seems to be advancing an agenda far to the left of most voters.

The political dangers of this situation could not be clearer.

Witness the losses in New Jersey and Virginia in this year’s off-year elections. In those gubernatorial contests, the margin of victory was provided to Republicans by independents — many of whom had voted for Obama. Just one year later, they had crossed back to the Republicans by 2-to-1 margins.

Witness the drumbeat of ominous poll results. Obama’s approval rating has fallen below 49 percent overall and is even lower — 41 percent — among independents. On the question of which party is best suited to manage the economy, there has been a 30-point swing toward Republicans since November 2008, according to Ipsos. Gallup’s generic congressional ballot shows Republicans leading Democrats. There is not a hint of silver lining in these numbers. They are the quantitative expression of the swing bloc of American politics slipping away.

And, of course, witness the loss of Rep. Griffith and his fellow moderate Democrats who will retire. They are perhaps the truest canaries in the coal mine.

Despite this raft of bad news, Democrats are not doomed to return to the wilderness. The question is whether the party is prepared to listen carefully to what the American public is saying. Voters are not re-embracing conservative ideology, nor are they falling back in love with the Republican brand. If anything, the Democrats’ salvation may lie in the fact that Republicans seem even more hell-bent on allowing their radical wing to drag the party away from the center.

All that is required for the Democratic Party to recover its political footing is to acknowledge that the agenda of the party’s most liberal supporters has not won the support of a majority of Americans — and, based on that recognition, to steer a more moderate course on the key issues of the day, from health care to the economy to the environment to Afghanistan. (end of column)

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9 Responses to A Daley Sees Disaster Looming For the Democrats

  • No matter what, I will still always and everywhere and at anytime vote AGAINST the Democrats. Ever since the Democrat Congress cut funding off for the South Vietnamese government, thereby causing us to lose the Vietnam War, they have proven themselves to be the party of treason and death. Now today because of their actions, not only is the Catholic Church persecuted in communist Vietnam, but we have wholesale infanticide of the unborn here in the US.

    The best Democrat is the defeated, muzzled and emasculated Democrat. Period.

  • Paul,
    I raise a toast to you.

  • I raise a toast as well.

    We need to remember the Democratic Party started the War of Northern Aggression, Jim Crow Laws, and actively supported the KKK.

    They are a party of racists and still they have a KKK Grand Dragon as Senator from West Virginia.

    They are aptly called the Party of Death by Archbishop Burke.

  • Let’s not get carried away. A lot of good men and women have been Democrats over the years. I hope for a day when the Democrat party will once again be led by statesmen like Harry Truman, who, while a fierce partisan, was also a patriot first and a Democrat second, and that on abortion the Democrat party will eventually celebrate the memory of Bob Casey, Senior, a liberal who was also an ardent defender of the unborn.

  • Donald,

    Couldn’t help myself. What I wrote is true, but you are correct that there are many, many, good people within the Democratic Party.

    I hope for the same as you do, that they return more to the principles that are more in alignment with God’s plan.

  • Donald,

    Frankly I’ll believe it when I see it. In the meantime, Catholic Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, Patrick Leahy, Dennis Kucinich, John Kerry, et al., are the ones in charge of the party, not the good ones to whom you refer, and until the Bishops publicly deny them reception of Holy Communion, there is NO hope for the Democrat Party. This in large measure is the fault of the Bishops for getting the public so confused between the false gospel of social justice and peace at any price and the True Gospel of Life.

  • Harry Truman dropped not one, but two atomic bombs on the Japanese people, thus giving these United States the distinction of being the only nation to ever use nuclear weapons against their fellow human beings. Whatever virtuous policies he may have had before and after are rendered fairly irrelevant to my mind thanks to that decision.

    If actions like that make a man a “statesman” worthy of praise and admiration, then I admit to not knowing the definition.

    The GOP may indeed have some sort of comeback in 2010. However, it will be a hollow one that only results in helping Obama secure a second term in 2012 ala Clinton in 1996.

  • Anthony,

    Armchair quarterbacking…

    My grandfather fought in Europe and was bound for the Pacific when the bombs fell. Given the absolute fanatical resistance that the Japanese had already shown, the government’s predictions on the cost of defeating Japan through conventional means seem quite credible.

    My grandmother once remarked that those who chastised America for dropping the bombs fail to understand the dangers of fascism.

    I think that, had my grandfather come home from Korea, he would have agreed and I think you should do some research before you make such a bold statement. It could be that Truman did, as he believed he did, saved millions of military and civilian lives by that decision.

  • Gentlemen, my views on the bombings are that, although the human carnage was horrific, they were justified under the circumstances. However, we are not going to have an a-bomb debate on Christmas eve, and therefore I am closing the comments on this thread.

Predictions

Monday, November 2, AD 2009

fishing for votes

For political junkies like me, tomorrow begins the political season for 2010 with gubernatorial elections in Virginia, New Jersey and the special congressional election in New York 23.    There is also a special congressional election in California 10, but that is in the San Francisco metro area and everyone, except for the Republican running, David Harmer,  believes that is going to be won by the Democrat, Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi, and I join in that consensus, although I suspect it might be surprisingly close.

In regard to the three competitive races, here are my predictions:

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16 Responses to Predictions

  • I think McDonnell will certainly win in VA, and I’ll bet Hoffman does too, but NJ I am not so sure about. They sure seem to love incompetent state government there. I wouldn’t be shocked if Corzine manages to win by a hair. But even that would be good news for conservatives. NJ is a deep blue state. The very fact that Corzine had to struggle and The One had to go there and campaign for him is a bad omen for the Dems.

  • I’m with Donna V., but probably more confident that Christie will pull it off. Our Dear Leader may have overstated his (manufactured) gravitas and used up whatever charismatic potion he had for a Corzine push.

    As Mister Rogers would say…

    It’s a wonderful in the neighborhood, it’s…

  • I live in New York, work in New Jersey and I sure hope you are on the money.

  • For what it’s worth, Intrade gives Hoffman about a 65% chance of winning, and McDonnell a 98% chance. New Jersey is split roughly 50/50, but with a slight edge to Corzine.

  • McDonnell is a lock, and that 57-43 split sounds about right. I think Hoffman also pulls it out, probably in a bit of a squeaker. I am not sure about NJ, but I have a sinking feeling Corzine pulls it out.

  • Ditto Paul Zummo’s prediction…

  • I’ll join the chorus, pretty solid except for NJ, that one is too close to call as far as I can tell.

  • Concur with the consensus. McDonnell will win easily. Hoffman will win fairly easily. Christie will win on election day, but it will be close enough that the Dem’s will Franken the results. To Franken the results means to keep counting (magically finding Dem votes) until you get the results you want.

  • To Franken the results means to keep counting (magically finding Dem votes) until you get the results you want.

    How does Franken (v.) differ from Gore (v.)?

  • Edward G. Robinson explains Democrat recount strategy!

  • Rich:

    When you Franken the vote, you win. When you Gore the vote, you lose and then spend the rest of your life saying “I wuz robbed!”

  • McDonnell 55%, Deeds 43%

    Corzine 43%, Christie 42%, Daggett 11% (won’t be decided until at least sometime Wednesday)

    Owens 48%, Hoffman 46%, Scozzafava 4% (NY-23 isn’t THAT conservative and I would think voters there would realize that)

    These off-year elections are very tough to predict because turnout is usually low. It’s often less about how well you win over the independents and undecideds than how good a job you do of making sure your base gets to the polls. McDonnell will win VA in a landslide, but the other two are tossups.

  • Owens 48%, Hoffman 46%, Scozzafava 4% (NY-23 isn’t THAT conservative and I would think voters there would realize that)

    ??? I think the voters there know how conservative they are or are not. They haven’t elected a democrat since 1870, it seems the latest poll indicates they aren’t starting this year either.

  • Republicans will win. Not much will change.

  • Apparently they are not that conservative and they have elected a Democrat.

  • Two out of three, not bad Donald =)

Funeral and Repast for Father Hinds Today

Saturday, October 31, AD 2009

Father Edward Hinds

The funeral for Father Edward “Ed” Hinds will be celebrated today, Saturday, October 31,  A.D. 2009 at  10:00am.  The Mass will be the Rite of Christian Burial and simulcast live int he Saint Patrick Parish Center Gym, East/West Rooms, and Cafeteria.  Additional audio will be provided outside.

This will be followed by a private burial.

The Repast will be at 11:30am at the Corpus Christi Parish Center, 234 Southern Boulevard, Chatham, New Jersey.

_._

Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of the Diocese of Paterson where Saint Patrick’s at Chatham is located had these moving words to say concerning the death of Fr. Hinds titled, A Life Cut Short: The Mystery of Evil:

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3 Responses to Funeral and Repast for Father Hinds Today

Father Hinds Planned To Lay Off Suspect

Tuesday, October 27, AD 2009

Father Edward “Ed” Hinds was found dead in the rectory kitchen of 32 stab wounds late last week in the Diocese of

Father Edward Hines

Fr. Ed Hinds

Paterson located in the area of Chatham, New Jersey.  A suspect has been found who is the church janitor, Jose Feliciano.  He is currently in a hospital because of an undisclosed ailment and has bail set on him of $1 million.

Details are emerging concerning the case.  Mr. Feliciano has had financial and health-related worries.  He was recently laid off his second job earlier in the year.  Additionally The Star-Ledger (New Jersey) reports:

In addition, Hinds intended to lay off Feliciano because of money problems at St. Patrick Church, said Ken Mullaney, the attorney for the Diocese of Paterson.

Jose Feliciano

Suspect, Jose Feliciano

Many parishioners are calling this a double tragedy since Mr. Feliciano was also part of the close Chatham community as well as with the parish of Saint Patrick.

_._

For the previous article by the American Catholic click here.

For the most current article by The Star-Ledger as of this posting click here.

For a compilation of the latest news concerning the murder of Fr. Ed Hines click here. (The link may become inactive as time passes.)

_._

Update I: I misspelled Father Edward Hinds name.  It is Fr. Hinds, not Fr. Hines.

Update II: Information about Fr. Hinds funeral and more click here.

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8 Responses to Father Hinds Planned To Lay Off Suspect

  • I hope Jose Feliciano is happier now and his money worries have ceased. What a bum.

  • I could see stress and anxiety as causing Mr. Feliciano to be upset about the possibility of losing his job, but to the extent of extinguishing a life…

    I just can’t figure out why? Why go that far?

    From the article I read, he is known for a cool temperament and not known for losing his temper at all.

  • I can commiserate with Mr Feliciano as it is likely that he was under unrelieved financial pressure. The correct way for a man in his position to handle it though is to declare bankcruptcy and ride around in a bicycle. There is no way for a man his age and position to pay off a mortgage of close to $145,000. One simply has to swallow one’s pride and relax. Millionaires and billionaires do the same. There is no shame once one has tried his best.

  • Hmmm. The alleged murderer could have applied for unemployment, looked for work, entered into a forebearance program on his mortagage with his bank, explored bankruptcy with an attorney, etc. No doubt some nuts will now attempt to use the fact that he was having a hard time as excusing his alleged murder of a priest. I deal with people who are hard pressed financially each and every day and none of them think the solution to their problems is murder.

  • How sad but I figured as much. Well, he has no more money worries. Taking Father’s life wasn’t the answer and whatever he was doing to get Father’s attention wasn’t the answer either.

  • I knew Father Hines as a pastor, a man but moreover as a true friend. He graced me with his presence officiating my marriage and was a true inspiration to many and a leader of the faithful in Boonton and Chester.

    When these things happen, I often am reminded what is at the center of the bible: “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man”. It is the exact center of his word (594 chapters before Psalms 118 and 594 chapters after). If you add 594+594 = 1188 – Psalms 118:8 is the center of his word.

    He was an inspiration and he will be truely missed by all that love him dearly. God will love him as he loves and protects us…

  • Robert J. Abate,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings.

    That is truly a wonderful and heart warming passage. I often go back to God knowing that His plan is best for all of us and this relieves many of my anxieties.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

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Father Edward Hinds Found Slain In Rectory

Saturday, October 24, AD 2009

Father Edward “Ed” Hinds, the pastor of Saint Patrick Church in Chatham, New Jersey, was found slain early Friday Fr. Edward Hinesmorning by parishioners in the rectory when he failed to celebrate the 8:00am Mass.

This morning there was a congregation of roughly 300 parishioners that attended the 8:00 am Mass the day after the slaying.  It was a somber and quiet mood as the parish remembered their dear priest who was the only pastor at the church and he also worked at the parish school.

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11 Responses to Father Edward Hinds Found Slain In Rectory

  • May he now be enjoying the Beatific Vision.

  • When I heard this I was saddenned. Still puzzled as to why.

  • I’m puzzled as well, but I’m sure the details will come out.

    For whatever reason, the grisly death of Fr. Hines, even though I don’t know him, bothers me greatly.

  • Why? I’ll tell you why: because our society is hosed, that’s why! How many generations of children have been raised in Liberal relativism? How many millions of children have grown into adults that have no sense of “right” and “wrong”, let alone enough self-control to *not* throw a hissy fit whenever they don’t get their way??

    Sadly these hissy fits can end with the blade of a knife!

    I’m not one bit surprised that some dude hacked Father to death over an argument. Just look at how people behave at checkout counters and while driving!! We live in a society filled with adult spoiled brats! We can’t even have a grownup liturgy at Mass ~ what makes us think we can have grownup responses to “No” ???

  • Whatever the circumstances, this is very sad; perhaps a commentary on our society.
    In any event, may our God have mercy on Fr. Hinds and grant him the fulness of His salvation, acornding to the promises of Christ.

  • I think of the murderer’s children in these sins. Murder by career criminals is not as depressing as murder by a family man (two young children)who held one job at the parish for 17 years straight where his daughter still attends elementary school. The priest was there 6 years. This could have been a complex rather than simple temptation from the devil involving a slowly growing sinful temper over differences between the two men. And a wife and two children now have a family disgraced for the rest of their lives even though they are innocent. And they have sudden economic trouble combined with the responsibility of visiting the father in jail forever. The children will question their own goodness for years to come; they will suspect their own tempers as murderous even in normal moments. Very awful. Satan is a billiard player who is never just sinking one ball at a time.

  • This is diabolical – meaning to divide.

    When we allow Satan to attack unity everyone is a victim – the murderer, the victim, the family, the parish, all of us.

    We need to reclaim the moral high ground. The only question is are we prepared for the carnage that always results when taking a hill, or are we more comfortable in lazy tyranny?

    The Pope has been warning us of the dictatorship of relativism and many of us are not listening.

    May God have mercy on all who are touched by this, especially Fr. Hines, the janitor who murdered him and the murderer’s family.

    This story just sucks.

  • How sad. I suppose a lot will come out about the janitor in the next few days.

  • Coffee Catholic,

    Your post is deeply disturbing. You know nothing of either of these men or what happened to make the janitor snap and perform the vicious, horrendous act that has ruined so many lives.

    This “dude” is a father, a husband, and -was- a respected and loved member of the church, the school and the community for over 17 years. Tragedy is not reconciled by blame or a biting, uninformed analysis. This murder is something everyone is painfully trying to make sense of. Both of these men were loved.

    All human beings can not be lumped into one compact ball that is then cut down the middle, dividing good and evil into two neat sections. God has nothing to do with this.

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