Many have wondered what Phil Murphy means when he continues to say that his decisions during the coronavirus outbreak are guided entirely by “science.” Statistically, the elderly is more susceptible to the virus, and as of this writing 49% of all New Jersey Covid-19 deaths are senior citizens. There is strong evidence that this number is significantly undercounted. Senior citizens represent just 13% of the Garden State’s total population. Devastated families have been left scratching their heads as the Governor seemed to be targeting their loved ones by sending infected patients into their long-term health care facilities. Many, however, have been slow to accuse Murphy of such an act formally, but the new budget proposed by Murphy will leave little, to no doubt.
What did Murphy do? $358 million that had been set aside for the Homestead property-tax relief and Senior Freeze property tax relief will be canceled.
Nearly $70 million in spending on anti-opioid addiction programs will also be scrapped, as will $5 million in housing assistance for veterans. There is more suffering for NJ citizens in this 110-page temporary budget extension.
The book of Proverbs is known as the Book of Wisdom. One particular verse seems very applicable.
He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
It is a scary thing to consider this Bible verse could be appropriated to our current Governor. It’s stating that a person who is bitter and disapproves of God’s authority in their life will abuse the weakest around them. Conversely, those that honor God will have mercy on the same. These behaviors oppose each other, so a person can only be one or the other.
Governor Murphy ‘s abuse of New Jersey’s elderly, blind and disability is not only manifest physically but now financially as well. The new budget seems to attack their well-being in much-needed areas. The budget cuts the Senior Freeze and Homestead Benefit property tax relief programs. A question remains if these programs will end going forward, or if he will retroactively rescind those that are currently enrolled in these programs and should be ‘grandfathered’ in. (pun intended).
So now, we understand the ‘why’ Phil Murphy oppresses the poor. It is the fact that he “reproacheth his Maker.” (Proverbs 14:31). But what could possibly be the political gain for the Governor? Could the simple answer be, that unlike his hyper-liberal, progressive base, older people in NJ actually show up to vote? Is he merely working his publicly announced plan to chase the opposition voters out of their home state?
“If you’re a one-issue voter and tax rate is your issue, either a family or a business, if that’s the only basis upon which you’re going to make a decision, we’re probably not your state,”
-Phil Murphy, on October 1, 2019, at Rowan University. A really rich statement coming from a man who is really from Massachusetts.
Furthermore, many seniors in New Jersey are living on a fixed income. What Governor Murphy refuses to realize is that many of these seniors who have had their property taxes frozen is due to another expense they are confronting. That expense is their Medicare. Medicare Part B comes directly out of an individual’s Social Security check, reducing the purchasing power of that check. Also, seniors have secondary insurance consisting of either a Medicare Supplemental Insurance policy or a Medicare Advantage Plan (includes Part D). For those with a Medicare Supplement, they also have a Part D Prescription Drug Plan. A couple moving onto Medicare in 2020 could potentially be paying close to $9,000 annually for their Medicare expenses. In addition, Medicare is Means-Tested based on income for certain Medicare Beneficiaries, as can be seen in the below chart.
If a senior as a result of their Property Tax Relief and their Medicare Healthcare costs were already living hand to mouth, what happens when they no longer have the ability to Freeze their property taxes? Do we now see tax liens on their homes for non-payment? Do their children step in to help them with these additional costs? Can they? Or do they put their house up for sale and relocate to salvage what is left of their retirement, further reducing the tax base in New Jersey? It is estimated that 680,000 people in the state of New Jersey are relying on this Property Tax Relief. Now instead of relief they will encounter hardship.
When we look at this from a Biblical Worldview, we can see the heartlessness in this reactionary decision. As we continue to watch the decisions of Phil Murphy, the question remains who can escape this man’s criminal carnage?
Unfortunately, we were not able to answer the question as to which ‘science’ Governor Murphy is following. But I think we can conclude he is not guided by a pure conSCIENCE.
Pastor Philip Rizzo www.citybaptist.com www.ariseNJ.com
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