Murphy’s State Of The State Address Was Just A Campaign Speech

Phil Murphy

Phil Murphy

I watched (and listened) to Governor Phil Murphy’s first State of the State address and I didn’t like it. I suspect no Republicans liked it and a lot of Democrats did, so no surprise there.

Murphy opened up talking about tax incentive programs, basically he blamed the previous administration for the problems. Frankly, after a year in office blaming the last guy is getting old.

To me, Murphy’s State of the State address was a campaign speech. It was all stuff we’ve heard before. I heard “stronger and fairer” about as many times as I heard it during his campaign for governor.

I’m not sure where the Governor lives, but New Jersey doesn’t appear to be stronger than it was a year ago. As to being fairer, I suppose that depends on your point of view. Personally, I don’t think higher taxes are fairer to anyone.

Of course, Murphy had to bring up one of his favorite topics – a $15 an hour minimum wage. I still find it odd that Murphy talks about a $15 per hour minimum wage when he once wanted a professional, with a master’s degree, to work for free, as an unpaid intern for his soccer team. Eventually the NWSL got Murphy’s team to pay the guy $15,000 for a season that lasts 6 months, but that is less than the $15,600 a $15 per hour employee would have made. In other words, Murphy is a giant hypocrite when it comes to $15 per hour.

Because I do believe in being fair, I have to admit I did like the fact that Murphy said he wants to “enact true early, in-person voting.” True early, in person voting is much better than mail-in voting. I liked it when I lived in New Mexico. It’s a lot harder to cheat with in-person voting than with mail-in ballots.

Murphy was clear that he wants to legalize pot saying, “So, let’s start 2019 by finishing what we began in 2018 -- putting the minimum wage on a clear and responsible path to $15 an hour, and legalizing adult-use marijuana. We must remember that when we talk about policy we are talking about people, not politics.”

Frankly, smoking some pot would have made the address much easier to listen to.