What a circus. At high noon, listeners from NJ 101.5 crowded in front of the State House to hold a mock funeral. The victims? New Jersey’s middle class.
Using an actual hearse to deliver two coffins filled with empty wallets, the ralliers chanted anti-Corzine slogans and sang along to Twisted Sister’s 1984 hit, “We’re not gonna take it.” The idea is that the middle class has been taxed to death and driven from the state. People dressed up in elaborate costumes and used words like “liar.”
Gotta give 101.5 some credit here. for weeks they have been collecting empty wallets to deliver to the Governor’s office. A key component of their public protest was Corzine’s proposal to no longer allow people to write off their property taxes on their income tax bill ( I’m summarizing here, the actual proposal was a bit more complex with strict parameters determining who is eligible ). Anyway, Corzine backed off of that a couple of weeks ago. And if I heard it correctly today, at least one speaker credited 101.5 with making that backpedal happen.
Never underestimate populism. Although it pre-dates me a bit, 101.5 put itself on the map with anti-florio crusades in 1993. Democrat Jim Florio was voted out and Republican Christie Whitman was voted in. Florio will forever be remembered for proposing a tax on toilet paper. Corzine has proposed new liquor and cigarette taxes…but it’s hard to know if those are equal in their ability to incite outrage.
Well, this rally was impressive as a show…although it did not appear to be much more than 300 people.
But once again, 101.5 gets some credit. It was a publicity stunt worthy of the late great PT Barnum.