Two weeks ago, my father had me taken to a motor vehicle department outpost to vouch for my permit, a time when I had become (and I still am) dependent on my feet to get anywhere I wanted and refused to stray from that property. Although I really didn't feel like getting the permit then, even though my parents insisted that I would drive to complete internships at a college near to my school, I now have to say it was a good thing: as of Saturday, it would have been impossible, as all motor vehicle agencies and roadworks were shut down then.
Today, store customers were distraught at the fact that they couldn't buy any lottery tickets, some having come from outside the states and willing to indulge in state gambling. The very moment motor licences ceased to be handed out, ticket sales were stopped. And the day following, horse racing was stopped, depriving holidaymakers of more gambling. And on Wednesday morning the source of the bulk of New Jersey's revenue, the casions in Atlantic City, are scheduled to stop gambling operations since all casino inspectors, required to remain on site at all times, would be furloughed.
Here's how the Garden State turned, over the course of three days, into the Sorry State: The state's Constitution requires that a balanced budget be submitted by 1 July. However, governor Jon Corzine's move would be to reject increases of other taxes and elevate the sales tax by 1 percent, a move met with fervent opposition from his Legislature. Because the Legislature wanted to slash federal funding for most projects and increase subordinate taxes rather than hike the sales tax, the deadline came and no report was even close to complete. Frantic, Corzine declared that all nonessential employees and services would be suspended — this meant the DMV would become inactive and road construction would stop, and the lottery would be suspended at 7.55pm Saturday.
However, the key problem behind this measure was the fact that there was a city in the south whose revenue weighed mainly upon the operation of twelve casinos. In New Jersey, a casino needs an on-site team of inspectors in order to run. According to the shutdown measure, these inspectors would be found to be unessential, which would mean that the casinos would not be able to operate. The debate over this alone floundered for some time until this morning, when it was declared that the inspectors would be removed at 8.00am Wednesday — granting a reprieve for the 4 July weekend that otherwise would have resulted in massive income losses for the city — and the casinos would close then.
Gambing notwithstanding, the budget impassé would mean no welfare and medical assistance checks could be mailed out. July's checks have been mailed, thank you, but there will be no August check until the budget is balanced. In turn, stores, which receive money from the government in response to purchases made with food stamps, would lose money due to overstock. And for a cashier like me....I just hope I'm significant enough as my employers say.
Benefits for the poor and the loss of income that could potentially overturn the deficit is not the solution, and everyone that I've rung up today says the same. I just hope that somehow we'll either see the positive effect of Corzine's mind of a Wall Street broker or a mutual consent of tax modifications and see the balanced budget we need to keep going. Yet, as a customer said, 'those casinos won't be closed for long!'