It was another busy week in New Jersey and around the country as we discussed the border crisis, Obamacare registration numbers being down this year, corruption in Atlantic City, New Jersey subsidizing the horse racing industry, Christ Christie being considered as President Trump’s Chief of Staff, the high capacity magazine ban in New Jersey and Obamacare being rule unconstitutional by a Federal Judge.
Despite a push by Murphy, Booker and Menendez fewer New Jerseyans are signed up for healthcare through the exchange as the December 15, 2018 deadline aproached. Enrollment is down 16% from last year. While the Trump Administration removed mandates Murphy signed laws last Spring to create a state income tax penalty for those who do not have healthcare coverage. Still signups are down.
Ironically as Murphy, Booker and Menendez fight against President Trump the low unemployment numbers in the Trump economy could be contributing to the low enrollment numbers as more people are getting health insurance through their employers. Some experts say cost is still a factor. While premiums have decreased in New Jersey deductibles and co-pays are still very high and out of pocket maximums have increased dramatically.
Tuesday 12/11/18. Border Security is one of the most important issues facing our nation.
President Trump met with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on Tuesday in what was a heated discourse. The meeting took place after the President sent out a Tweet Tuesday morning stating that he’d have the military build the remaining sections of the border wall if Congress didn’t approve funding. With cameras broadcasting live from the Oval Office Trump insisted he’s willing to shut down the government if Congress doesn’t approve funding for the border wall. “If we don’t have border security we’ll shut down the government” Trump said. The meeting left questions as to if the two sides will come to an agreement and Congress will pass a spending bill to keep the government running before the December 21st deadline. The President is asking for $5 billion for border security.
Apparently Pelosi and Schumer do not support transparency in government. As the discussion began and started to get heated Pelosi said, “I don’t think you should have a debate in front of the press”. Schumer said “Let’s debate in private”. I believe that if Pelosi and Schumer were acting in the best interest of the American people rather than the best interest of the Democrat Party they would have been happy to have the American people witness the discussion.
After the meeting the White House put out a statement saying “Major disagreement remains on the issue of border security and transparency,” despite their “constructive dialogue.”
Schumer and Pelosi put out a statement saying “We gave the president two options that would keep the government open. It’s his choice to accept one of those options or shut the government down”.
Wednesday 12/12/18. Atlantic City has not forgotten it’s corrupt roots.
Atlantic City was the first jurisdiction outside of Nevada to allow casino gaming when its first casino opened in 1978. We talked about the long line of government officials and city employees who have faced corruption charges in Atlantic City gong back to 1909. Had it not been for years of corrupt politicians willing to sell their influence and line their pockets Atlantic City had the opportunity to be the premier gaming destination on the east coast. When you look at the history of Atlantic City and it’s inability to reach it’s full potential a large part of the blame has to fall in the laps of these corrupt officials. Given the amount of gaming competition that now exists across the county I’m left wondering if Atlantic City will ever get it right. If Atlantic City has any chance at future success it must forget its corrupt past and elect officials who are more focused on positive growth than lining their pockets.
Also on Wednesday we discussed about 100 members of the migrant caravan that has been trying to invade the U.S. Mexico border traveling the streets of Tijuana to the U.S. Consulate on Tuesday morning demanding immediate entry into the U.S. or $50,000 each. They gave President Trump 72 hours to respond. A second group of about 50 migrants delivered a letter to the U.S. Consulate complaining about the slow asylum process and asking that 300 migrants be processed through the San Ysidro port of entry each day rather than the 40 to 100 currently processed daily. My question is what gives these people the right to invade our border and make demands and why do Liberals support them?
Tuesday was the one month anniversary of the 6,000 person migrant caravan arriving in Tijuana. Their numbers have decreased since they arrived at the U.S. Mexico border. It is estimated that about 2,500 have applied for visas in Mexico, 300 have been deported, 700 have returned to their home country voluntarily and 3,500 their locations are unknown. Those unaccounted for it’s assumed have moved to other Mexican border cities or crossed the U.S. border illegally.
Every American should be outraged. These migrants attempting to invade our border are a threat to American security and health and are having an economic impact. Instead Liberals are protesting around the country demanding an end to “border militarization” and calling for “humane immigration policies that respect the rights and dignity of all people”. While U.S. and international laws allow refugees to seek asylum in the U.S. 6,000 migrants invading our southern border are a serious threat that demands a strong response. These people are not American citizens. The only right they have is to an asylum hearing before a Judge in the U.S. With 6,000 of them storming our border that takes time. Proper vetting must take place. We must ensure we are not allowing terrorists and criminals into our country. And what happens when they are admitted into the U.S.? We know that many of them have health issues. Will taxpayers be paying for their healthcare? Will taxpayers be footing the bill for their housing? I assume that most will not come into the country with first and last month’s rent and a security deposit. How many speak English or have job skills? Are they employable or will they be a drain on taxpayers through the welfare system?
Thursday 12/13/18. Why is the State of New Jersey getting back into the horse racing business?
A bill before the New Jersey State Senate would allocate $20 million per year for 5-years out of the state’s general fund to subsidize purses at NJ’s horse racing tracks. That’s a total of $100 million in tax payer dollars. In 2011 Governor Christie ended subsidies for horse racetracks saying they defied “reason and logic”. While the Murphy administration is putting more burden on businesses in New Jersey why is the state bailing out the horse racing industry?
Until 2011 racetracks in New Jersey received a $17 million per year subsidy from Atlantic City casinos. The subsidies were a deal to prevent slot machines at New Jersey’s racetracks. Many tracks around the country subsidize their revenue with slot machines.
In 2018 New Jersey legalized sports betting at the states casinos and racetracks in hopes of increasing revenues in both industries. The first legal sports bet was placed at Monmouth Park Racetrack. At the time Dennis Drazin of Monmouth Park said that sports betting was “going to save racing”. In less that 6-months bettors have placed $928 million in sports bets in New Jersey. Meadowlands racetrack has taken in $15.2 million and Monmouth Park has taken in $7.5 million. Freehold Raceway does not take sports bets. Despite their new found windfall New Jersey’s racetracks continue to struggle to compete with tracks in other states.
I find the state’s desire to bail out New Jersey’s horse racing industry ironic. We here at the Informed Conservative have been saying for many months that Governor Murphy’s vision for New Jersey – things like increased taxes and increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour – will chase the revenue and job creators out of this state. Between November 30th and December 8th we reported on 2,611 upcoming layoffs in New Jersey and anticipate many more. How can the state chase jobs from New Jersey with its unfriendly business climate while using tax payer money to save private businesses?
The state of New Jersey should be focused on retaining businesses in this state and attracting new ones through legislation that encourages economic growth. Instead Murphy continues to put more burden on New Jersey’s business community. Now the legislature wants to bail out the horse racing industry. Governor Murphy’s vision and the Democratic State Legislature’s vision for New Jersey is wrong. To quote Governor Christie subsidies to New Jersey’s horse racing industry defies “reason and logic”
Early on Friday morning we reported that President Trump was considering Chris Christie for the Chief of Staff job at the White House. Later in the day media outlets began reporting that Christie had asked the President to remove his name from consideration. It was said that Christie had been the President’s top pick. The information was accurate when we reported it but changed at the day progressed.
In the morning post we mentioned that Christie may not want the job. Last month at the New Jersey League of Municipalities conference in Atlantic City Christie told reporters “I love my life that I have right now. I’m more relaxed than I have been in 16 years. Mary Pat and I are enjoying our time”. There have been reports of a feud between Christie and Jared Kushner, a senior Trump adviser and the President’s son-in-law due to Christie prosecuting Kushner’s father in 2004 when Christie was U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.
Saturday 12/15/18. What gun owners need to know about NJ’s high capacity magazine ban.
New Jersey’s has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country and they just got tougher. On Wednesday a Federal Appeals Court in Philadelphia ruled that a June 2018 gun law in New Jersey (AB2761) limiting the size of a magazine to 10 rounds does not violate the constitutional rights of gun owners and does not present an undue burden on gun owners who currently own magazines that would become illegal under the new law.
Gun owners were given until December 10, 2018 to comply with the new law. Gun owners in New Jersey must either modify their magazines to accept 10 rounds or less, render firearms with with magazines that accept more than 10 rounds inoperable or surrender a firearm with a magazine that accepts more than 10 rounds to law enforcement. Violators can be found guilty of a crime of the 4th degree and face 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine.
The law does not make an exception for off duty law enforcement officers. According to a memorandum from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office to ranking law enforcement officers in Bergen County. According to the memorandum law enforcement officers in New Jersey must comply with the new large capacity magazine ban unless on duty. The memorandum states that law enforcement officers are not permitted to possess large capacity ammunition magazines unless while on duty or traveling to or from an authorized place of duty.
When are Democrats going to realize that these gun control laws only apply to law abiding citizens who legally purchased firearms. Criminals by definition do not obey the law. We’ve had gun control laws on the books for years and they have not stopped criminals from obtaining firearms. All this high capacity magazine ban has done is restrict the ability of law abiding gun owners to protect their families.
Also on Saturday we discussed Obamacare being ruled unconstitutional by a Federal Judge in Texas. On Friday a Federal Judge in Texas rule that Obamacare is unconstitutional now that Congress has eliminated a penalty for those who forgo health insurance. A group of 20 states including Texas claimed they had been harmed by an increase in the number of people on state-supported insurance rolls. They claimed that when Congress repealed the tax penalty for the individual mandate in 2017 it eliminated the U.S. Supreme Court’s rationale for finding the ACA constitutional in 2012.
U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor wrote “The remainder of the ACA is non-severable from the individual mandate, meaning that the Act must be invalidated in whole”.
President Donald Trump wrote in a Tweet “As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster,” President Trump tweeted following the ruling. “Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions. Mitch and Nancy, get it done!”.
White House Press Secretary Sara Sanders said “Obamacare has been struck down by a highly respected judge. The judge’s decision vindicates President Trump’s position that Obamacare is unconstitutional. Once again, the President calls on Congress to replace Obamacare and act to protect people with preexisting conditions and provide Americans with quality affordable healthcare. We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court. Pending the appeal process, the law remains in place”.
Since Obamacare remains in effect and a replacement has yet to be passed by Congress it is unlikely to have an effect on signups for 2019 which are lower than previous years.
Obamacare has been failed legislation from the start. Healthcare costs for most Americans increased dramatically (about four times in my case). Insurers having to take on so many previously uninsured at one time, many of which did not have verifiable medical records, caused insurance companies to spike rates. Not only did costs rise dramatically for individuals but small and mid-sized businesses across America took on significant burden as rates for the employees they insure dramatically increased. In many cases employers cut hours or reduced staff to avoid ACA requirements.
I applaud Judge O’Connor for his ruling. One of the important issues for me in 2016 was repealing and replacing Obamacare. I hope that Judge O’Connor’s ruling is held up on appeal and will finally motivate Congress to pass a more effective law that is fair to all Americans.
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