Asbury Park Press featured my essay “What’s ‘Repudiate NJ’s Unconstitutional Debt’?” on 27 February. I argue for repudiation as the best option to solve NJ’s financial crisis. At the very least, the repudiation option should be considered as a viable and valid option. However, no elected official takes repudiating NJ’s unconstitutional (read – non-voter approval) debt seriously. My frustration with this was the main inspiration for the article.
Three billion of the state’s $30 billion debt is general obligation debt [read – voter approved]. The other $27 billion dollars of state debt is contract debt, not approved by voters.
Since the citizenry did not approve the bonded debt, we should not be forced to to pay it.
There is a financial crisis in NJ government. Some brave legislator should propose and push through an amendment to the budget that would deny funding (read – appropriations) in the 2008 budget for all debt not approved by voters.
The question of whether non-voter approved debt should be paid is best asked by the people who will pay it. Governor Corzine, the Assembly, and the Senate are not going to bail us out and pay for non-voter approved debt out of their own pockets. Pass a question, which will appear on November’s ballot, that state:
Should New Jersey pay for (insert $ amount) of bonded debt that was not approved by voters?
A “yes” answer means that voters retroactively approve the debt contracted by various government agencies. A “no” answer means that the non-voter approved bonded debt is permanently denied appropriations (read – repudiated).
Repudiating unconstitutional debt is a great idea and eliminates billions of dollars of state debt.
I encourage you to read my article. Here is the concluding paragraph:
Repudiation eliminates the need to raise the tolls and/or contract any more debt. Repudiation brings New Jersey government back in sync with our Constitution.