NJPP Statement on State of the State Address

Below is a statement from New Jersey Policy Perspective president Gordon MacInnes on today’s State of the State address:

New Jersey’s economy is in better shape than it was during the depths of the recession, but the pace of recovery has been far too sluggish and has pushed many middle-class New Jersey families to the brink. We’ve recovered just 59 percent of the jobs we lost in the recession while some of our neighbors have recovered more than 150 percent. We’ve got the ninth highest unemployment rate of the states and the highest share of long-term unemployed in our labor force. Our middle class is shrinking, the ranks of the poor are growing and income inequality is on the rise.

The answer to our faltering economy and dim job prospects is not to cut tax rates and hope for the best. Despite what our political leaders say, tax cuts don’t boost state economies – the reality is they usually do the opposite and slow down economic growth. The true path to prosperity lies in investing in assets that give New Jersey comparative advantages – not starving them. Those advantages include a well-educated workforce; convenient access to New York and Philadelphia in the middle of the world’s largest market; and great public schools, colleges and universities. Investment creates opportunities for striving working families and offers our best hope to reverse the shrinking of New Jersey’s middle class.

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