Good news for Republicans in New Jersey!
Gov. Phil Murphy just made it clear that he intends to do almost nothing to contain taxes and spending this year, breathing new life into Republican ambitions to take back the governorship in 2021, and ensuring that his epic battle with more conservative Democrats will continue.
In a state of the state speech of nearly 6,000 words, Murphy offered no hint of compromise. He offered no plan to significantly cut spending, or to lower the burden of property taxes.
This was a liberal battle cry. He’s decided to stay the course, to govern by relying on his “progressive” base alone, starting with public worker unions.
Yes, he has scored some important wins governing this way. He’s raised the minimum wage, mandated paid sick time, restored funding to Planned Parenthood, restored voting rights to former prisoners and allowed undocumented immigrants to get drivers’ licenses.
But that’s thin gruel for middle-class families who are struggling to pay their bills. And that’s why Republicans have a shot to come back from oblivion.