Every day, every single day, I go out and canvass door-to-door talking to you and asking for your votes. It's been the most incredible and rewarding part of running for office.
You tell me about all of your concerns and it's so valuable to hear it right from you, unfiltered, there on your porch. The three things you want to talk about the most are the state of our politics, healthcare and taxes. In this post I'm going to talk about taxes.
The cost of living here is high. A lot of you are worried (or even angered) at the proposed increase to the gas tax, at the high cost of property taxes, and continual cost government programs that don't provide a clear benefit. You have a right to be angry. Depending on who does the counting New Jersey only gets 65-80 cents back from the government for every dollar we send there. That means that when your cranky neighbor complains about the fact that he doesn't get anything for all the taxes he pays, on some level he's right. At very least $1 for every $5 you send to DC goes down a drain and gets spent somewhere in some other state (most likely in South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, or a few other "taker" states).
I don't have a problem with a sensible level of redistribution. There are times when we're 50 states and times when we're one country and part of the deal there is that sometimes the wealthy must help the less fortunate. Having said that, let's be honest, we're not getting a fair deal. Despite having one of the longest serving congressmen represent us (Chris Smith) we get precious few resources and it took months for even Superstorm Sandy relief money to be approved.
Why is that? Seems to me that the answer is pretty simple. No one is sticking up for us in DC. Think about it. For nearly 38 years Chris Smith has had the chance to bring resources back to the district. He's proven that he won't to do that. In fact, he's proven that on any meaningful issue he's a rubber stamp for the GOP. Meanwhile Democrats have proven unable to even understand this district. Only between 1:4 and 1:5 people register Democrat here. Democrats have run a race against Smith 19 times (19!) and have failed to do better than a 15-point loss in all that time. That's just sad.
What we need here is a Congressman who takes seriously the job of bringing resources back to the district. We need federal support for our roads, our bridges, and our flood zones. We need relief from the ridiculous tax hike to the State and Local Tax deduction (SALT) that were imposed in last year. We need federal support to experiment with new funding models, like the endowment-based pilot for community colleges like Brookdale that I've proposed - which would save this district roughly $80 million/year.
Yes, we need someone who will work on the big social issues, but not at the expense of the basic work of Representing us in the House of Representatives. So just ask yourself a simple question, "Will either our incumbent republican, or a freshman democrat have the will and leverage to bring back those resources?" The answer, of course, is 'No'. Only an independent, someone not funded by the parties or by big interest groups, can cut a fair deal for us and hold a vote back in order to get the 4th district the fair share we've been missing for so long.
I want to be that guy. That's the work I want to do. I hope you choose to support me.