By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist
“All the key people and resources are in place for the first time. … Atlantic City can take the next step toward becoming a distinguished, mature, destination resort. However, we should all be alarmed about the negativity that surrounds us these days.” Harry Hurley, The Current Newspapers, April 19, 2012
Harry’s column last week assumed as facts the big lies that Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic state Senate President (and ironworkers union leader) Steve Sweeney have fed us for the past two years. These lies are repeated almost every day by their cheerleaders at our local daily paper, TV station and Stockton College, and by some local talk-radio hosts.
They tell us that Atlantic City’s casino economy crashed because we South Jersey hicks could not run a casino resort in the new era of out-of-state competition. They tell us that only Big Government “experts” handpicked by Big Corporation (Christie) Republicans and Big Union (Sweeney-Norcross) Democrats can save the town.
These folks took over Atlantic City with their Special Tourism District, their new Casino Reinvestment Development Authority of spending – not reinvesting, their government-subsidized Revel casino, and their Atlantic City Alliance, a private advertising company funded with $150 million of forced contributions from all casinos.
Our “mainstream” local media now reports their “progress” every day the way communist regimes once reported their failed Five Year Plans for economic development as big successes, even when they caused starvation.
People like me with dissenting views were ignored by the mainstream local media and the leaders of both political parties. But Harry’s column is something new. It seems like the bullies who run our New Jersey state government, like Obama in Washington and despotic regimes everywhere, are ready to blame their own failures on the people who oppose them.
Atlantic City is a failure because of what was done and not done by those Big Corporation Republicans and Big Union Democrats who run the Big Government of New Jersey, and their willing accomplices in the local media and Stockton College.
Five major problems are killing Atlantic City:
In Nevada, the casino industry has a strong voice in state politics. In New Jersey, an unconstitutional state law denies the entire casino industry of its constitutional right to support or oppose candidates and speak out on public issues. This taxation without representation is tyranny. And tyranny smothers business and jobs in Atlantic City with high taxes, high electric rates and corrupt government.
National and state laws and policies flooded our country with legal and illegal immigrants to do unskilled work. Meanwhile our public schools, the media, pop culture, and vote-buying government programs by Republicans and Democrats got millions of native-born Americans to grow up without an education or jobs skills – but with an attitude that they are entitled to good housing, food, utilities, health care, recreation and cell phones, all without having to do unskilled work to earn them.
A lot of those folks live in Atlantic City. They know they are “entitled” to the same government benefits even if their crime and litter chase away tourists and kill the local economy.
There are too many zoning, license and environmental laws in New Jersey. Atlantic City won’t even let you rent out your own condo or apartment to tourists – something done in almost every other successful resort. For too many people, crime is the only profitable business an ordinary person can start up in Atlantic City.
Taxes are high in Atlantic City because spending is out of control. Salaries are so high that newjersey.watchdog.org reports that 14 retired Atlantic City employees now get pensions of more than $100,000 per year. Nobody cared when casinos (with no political voice) paid 80 percent of the local taxes. But now casinos once taxed at $400 million are selling for $30 million and paying less in taxes. The new Revel is tax exempt. Everyone else must pay the difference.
You still can’t see the ocean from the boardwalk. Gov. Christie promised to remove the ugly, state-mandated artificial sand dunes more than a year ago. In that same amount of time, Myrtle Beach, S.C., leveled its dunes and built a brand new boardwalk with a great ocean view.
All of these problems are caused by too much government and too little liberty. But the Republicans and Democrats now in control would rather advance their careers than fix the problems they created in Atlantic City and the rest of the country.
(Reprinted from April 25, 2012 Current-Gazette Newspapers of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, http://www.shorenewstoday.com/snt/news/index.php/politics/23878-bullies-who-run-government-blame-their-failures-on-the-people-who-oppose-them.html)
Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman appears on 92.1FM 8-9 a.m. Saturday. For information see www.libertyandprosperity.org, email email@example.com or call (609) 927-7333. Breakfast discussions are held 9:30-10:30 a.m. every Saturday at the Shore Diner on Fire and Tilton roads in Egg Harbor Township.
(Image sources – http://dianedimond.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/bullyboystrionofaces.jpg & http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2009/4/11/1239477336144/A-schoolgirl-being-bullie-002.jpg)