Opinion: Brian Powers
The debate over the millionaires tax has reached its peak. Activists are getting ready to protest Steve Sweeney’s evil plot stop Phil Murphy from taxing millionaires and saving New Jersey. The problem is this tax won’t really help the working class, and nobody seems to care.
I’m not sure why so many Garden State activists think a corporate Democrat with a caravan of New York liberals is their savior, but they do apparently. That isn’t activism. Quite frankly, I don’t know what the hell it is. NJ politics has got us so mixed up we are rallying at a statehouse to root for oligarchs involved in pissing matches.
The millionaires tax that is proposed it’s going to raise just over $447 million dollars. The 2019 budget was 37.4 billion dollars. That comes in at about 1.28% of total income raised for the state of New Jersey. These are crumbs. So why exactly do you want me to fight like hell for this? Because the entire state thinks we should start the debate at what Phil Murphy says and not what the working class needs needs.
Right now the Trump Administration is talking about cutting 7.1 billion dollars from education funding, healthcare costs continue to skyrocket, our roads and bridges are crumbling, police violence was exposed in a report by nj.com showing this state has a violent and racist police culture that needs to be changed. Labor unions, astroturfers, and all these faux “activist” organizations are desperately trying to whip us up into a frenzy about putting a drop in a bucket that will probably evaporate before even gets to the bottom.
Those of us on the activist left inspired by social justice movements have no business participating in such shenanigans. Advocates for the working class need to start at what the working class needs. A corporate executive who purchased a governorship in our state does not represent us.
This is culture in New Jersey. The labor unions, the nonprofit complex, and even the corporate media has become lazy to the point of where they won’t even ask a simple question of our governor. How does 1.28% of the state budget help a family in Camden put food on the plate? How does taxing millionaire help somebody in foreclosure save their house in Newark? Why do whiny millionaires get a voice in Trenton over the working class in Atlantic City, who had to fight against the Democratic Party Machine to save their water?
If you fancy yourself an activist, please start forming demands based on the material needs of the working class. Stop listening to the bourgeois about what you should put your valuable energy into. They are not going to let you vote their power away.
If you cannot figure out how a tiny millionaires tax helps the oppressed in this state why are you rooting for it?
What we need is a government that pays attention to New Jersey having a guarantee for food, housing, education, and healthcare as human rights. That doesn’t come with this embarrassing Millionaire’s tax and it doesn’t start with what Phil Murphy says we need. We can start by making demands our communities need, then going to Phil Murphy and telling him what to do. He works for us, stop getting it backwards and for the love of God, stop cheering for crumbs from a Goldman Sachs millionaire like it’s cake.
Brian Powers is a Senior Organizer at New Jersey Revolution Radio