We need leaders who are fighting for New Jersey families, especially in times of crisis. New Jersey has been one of the most impacted states by the coronavirus. Our students are leaving the state for college and not returning to New Jersey. Businesses are leaving New Jersey because the tax burden is too high. Families are leaving because they simply can’t afford to live here any longer or to find better opportunities. And people are losing their homes because they can’t afford to stay in them. While many of the causes are driven by state policies, Garden State taxpayers are sending far more dollars to Washington than we are getting in return with federal investments — and that must end. Rosemary will fight for your family; whether it is to keep you safe, healthy and secure or to ensure that New Jersey has the best economy and opportunities for you and your family.
Putting New Jersey families first means fixing our massive deficits, getting spending under control, and getting the government out of your wallet. The national debt is nearing $22.5 trillion, yet the federal government still spends about $2 trillion more than it brings in each year. In New Jersey, the state’s fiscal problems are among the worst of all 50 states. We need to end government’s addiction to deficit spending and raising taxes. The reckless cycle of raising and spending tax dollars has made New Jersey unaffordable and, on the national level, put our national security at risk — because a nation heavily indebted to the rest of the world will become economically unstable, and an unstable economy will lead to collapse. It is far past time for government to get responsible. And the Coronavirus crisis has taught us that we need a strong economy to withstand crises like this.
The key to paying for college debt is a well-paying job when students graduate. Free college is not the answer. Promising people anything for free is a hollow gesture and the act of desperate politicians. Taxpayers know they will wind up picking up the check. We need to expand the free market to offer more variety and better terms, create more transparency in the loan process and establish guidelines to insure students are not being strapped to insurmountable financial obligations to pursue careers that will never provide them with the means to repay their debts. And finally, we must pressure colleges to hold the line on tuition. Tuition has been rising more than average inflatation rates and put increased pressure on the ability to pay for college.
Once-fatal conditions are now curable or manageable chronic illnesses because of the advances in modern medicine, and that is a result of more competition and less government regulation in the United States. But we need to make certain these medications are available to everyone who needs them, and we can do that through transparency in pricing and optimizing competition. To insure life-saving and sustaining medications are not only affordable for Americans, but also available requires keeping competition alive. And we’ve learned through the Coronavirus crisis that we cannot allow our drugs to be singularly manufactured in China.
Every person in New Jersey should have access to high quality affordable care. We need to preserve coverage for pre-existing conditions, including the elderly and those amongst us with disabilities. The current health care system is too expensive and unsustainable. The liberal socialist proposal of Medicare for All will short change our seniors, double our taxes and bankrupt our nation. We need to eliminate the barriers for more competition in the health care market and provide families access to the care and types of policies that fit their needs, not a one-size-fits all model. We also need to make health care costs transparent and remove the prospect of expensive surprise medical billing.
We must keep our country safe and secure. We must support the men and women who serve and have served our country and their families. And we need to support the military institutions in New Jersey who support our troops and veterans. From the Picatinny Arsenal to Fort Dix to the East Orange VA Center we have an obligation to make sure our troops and veterans are provided facilities that serve them well. We must never forget the national security importance of our local military base, Picatinny Arsenal. Picatinny conducts essential military weapons research for our Armed Forces and should never be subject to base closure. We need a strong military to deter our enemies and support our allies. While I am committed to reducing the deficit, I believe that we should never balance the budget at the expense of our Veterans, making America less safe, or making our fighting men and women less equipped and less prepared to carry out their missions.
Caring for our veterans should not be a partisan issue. Those who have served in the military committed their best years to protecting our country. The least we can do is ensure they have access to the services they were already promised. The VA must broaden its definition of presumptive injuries and diseases so that veterans exposed to toxins, blasts, and other long-term concerns can finally qualify for treatment of their late-onset health issues. Veterans should never have to worry about whether they can find a job. The Vocational Rehabilitation and Education program’s arbitrary 12-year expiration should be eliminated so that veterans have lifetime access to these critical social integration resources.
Our representatives in Trenton have failed us with outrageous state and local property taxes. That failure was exasperated when the federal tax cut legislation included a provision that capped the state and local taxes that New Jersey families claim on their federal tax returns. Fixing this requires direct Congressional action, not the partisan gimmicks of creating charitable deductions and work-arounds of IRS regulations or raising taxes. Federal representatives need to put partisan politics aside and find ways to increase the cap, without increasing the federal debt or raising taxes.