A Progressive-Democrat Governor and a Surtax

New Jersey’s Progressive-Democrat Governor Phil Murphy once promised to let the State’s 2.5% surtax on businesses with incomes greater than $1 million expire and then, by implication, to leave it alone. He did the first part, and it did expire. But it turns out he dissembled on the second part.

Mr Murphy and his [Progressive-]Democratic Legislature are scrambling for money even though tax revenue has increased 35% over the past five years—faster than inflation.

Mr Murphy now wants to re-impose it on income above $10 million, retroactively to the start of this year.

Progressive-Democrats are so addicted to taxing Americans and our businesses that their promises to lower taxes or to leave alone existing taxes are worthless. Which calls into question the value of any other of their promises. Indeed, their addiction is so powerful that they’re not capable even of saying the words “cut spending,” much less actually doing so.

Maybe Murphy’s renewed surtax will hit only the wealthiest businesses, many based in other states, hard enough to persuade those in New Jersey to relocate to more business—and average American—friendly locations and persuade those based in other States to reduce or forgo doing business in New Jersey.

A Cautionary Tale

A man lived with a girlfriend way back in the 1980s:

…in 1987, [the man] listed [his cohabitor] on a handwritten form as the sole beneficiary of his workplace retirement account. He never changed the beneficiary designation and died in 2015.

Two years later, the man and his cohabitor went their separate ways, but he left the beneficiary designation in place, unchanged and apparently unreviewed for all these decades. His family heirs, two brothers, won’t get the now million dollar inheritance; his cohabitor of those decades ago will, at least so far (the brothers have lost their court cases but have appeals in progress).

As it happens, when the man’s then-employer went to online employee account tracking and beneficiary designating, it never brought those paper forms into its computer systems. That’s no serious knock on this employer; lots of employers have left their paper documents outside their new computerized tracking systems.

The man’s employer, though, did send him repeated warnings about his beneficiary designation.

[The employer] said that it provided warnings when the company changed service providers, and online, and on his monthly statements, such as this one: “You don’t have any beneficiary designations online. Any prior beneficiary designations on file with the Plan will be retained by…, but are not viewable on this site.”

It’s anybody’s guess why the man didn’t review his beneficiary designation, but his reasons are irrelevant to this tale.

The caution: don’t be lazy or let life events be distractors. Every time there’s a life event—breaking up with a significant someone, marrying or deciding to live with a significant someone, birth of a child or grandchild or great-grandchild, death of an important someone, even something as mundane as an account trustee changing—it’s necessary, not just useful, to review all beneficiaries designated for all accounts a person might hold.

And make the changes that are appropriate for the new time.

The tale extends to financials generally. Financials are a family’s future; there’s no excuse for being “too tired” to review them and keep them current. Nor is “don’t have the time” any sort of excuse. There’s always time to deal with the family’s future.


Only Progressive-Democrats could come up with such an idiotic idea, and then demand to spend taxpayer—average American—money on it.

California Assembly Bill 2586 has been passed by the State’s Progressive-Democrat-run Assembly, and it would

mandate[] that illegal immigrants with no US work authorization should be given access to apply for and take jobs provided through taxpayer-funded universities run by the state government.

It now sits in the State’s Progressive-Democrat-run Senate.

This is yet another example of Progressive-Democratic Party politicians’ utter contempt for us average Americans.

Minimum Wage Law Consequence

Recall that California has enacted one of the highest minimum wage laws in the nation, a $20/hr minimum wage inflicted on fast food restaurants operating in the State.

Now come the consequences, which any schoolboy limited to an allowance could have predicted.

Rubio’s Coastal Grill, a California Mexican restaurant chain, announced the closure of 48 restaurants in the Golden State amid rising business costs.

That’s one-third of the chain’s total operational restaurants in the Southwest, including a few left in California.

Earlier, in anticipation of the labor cost explosion, Red Lobster auctioned off—moved out of—5 California locations, albeit these were among a total of 50 nationwide of which the chain was divesting itself.

In other moves to cut labor costs, Pizza Hut franchises, especially Southern California Pizza Co, has discontinued most delivery services from its California-based restaurants, laying off nearly a thousand drivers.

Can Progressive-Democrats anywhere understand that a high minimum wage requirement—or a requirement at any level—prices unskilled job holders and unskilled job seekers out of those jobs? Can they understand that a wage at any level is vastly superior to no wage at all?

Or is it that Progressive-Democrats are cynical enough to seek to transfer unskilled workers out of jobs where they can gain experience, skills, second incomes, and upward economic mobility and into dependency on Government welfare—where they would represent votes to keep the handouts coming?

There’s a Hint There

The farm bill just passed out of the House Agriculture Committee contains a provision barring the Secretary of Agriculture from increasing, on his own alleged authority, SNAP spending above the amounts provided for in the legislation:

[c]orrects egregious Executive branch overreach and disallows future unelected bureaucrats from arbitrarily increasing or decimating SNAP benefits.

Austin Scott (R, GA):

The Farm Bill includes protective language that prevents extreme changes to SNAP benefits without Congressional input and continues the cost-neutral status that the TFP [Thrifty Food Plan] has maintained for over 40 years.

The Progressive-Democrat Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack claimed, though, that

the proposal would amount to a roughly $27 billion cut to SNAP[.]

This is the AgSec’s confession that he fully intended to spend—on his own and without any Congressional spending authority to do so—at least those $27 billion above his authorized level. He’s not alone in this. Congresswoman Yadira Caraveo (D, CO):

…it is necessary that we go back to the negotiating table and remove this provision[.]

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D, MI):

It…does not have the votes to pass on the House floor. And certainly not in the Senate[.]

This is the budgeting and spending paradigm of the Progressive-Democratic Party: Congressional appropriations and allocations are mere suggestions, and they are to be disregarded whenever inconvenient to Party. After all, it’s only your and my money they’re spending.

There’s an election coming up. Maybe us average Americans should vote our tax dollars.