The NJ papers never cease to amaze me. In all the coverage of the budget shutdown, the one aspect the papers have unceasingly failed to cover is the casino shutdown. It’s truly wonderful to know that the most visible and fundamental aspect of the whole budget nonsense is that people aren’t able to piss their money away at casinos and on the lottery.
In the meantime, every article I’ve read failed to give a proper accounting to why NJ ended up in the fiscal mess in the first place. Sure, they repeated so many times that the shutdown was a direct result of the failure to compromise on a sales tax increase between the Governor and the head of the Assembly. But the discussion beyond that failed to provide a proper context to the sales tax increase. I saw little to no answers to questions such as how many budget cuts were being proposed, and where; what spending increases were being proposed; what contractual obligations the state had to honor in its budget, etc. Perhaps this was all done prior to the shutdown, yet, even if it was, I somehow doubt many people have been paying that much attention before it became a reality.
I understand how writing about casinos may be more fun, and likely a lot easier, but it does a disservice to the community these papers supposedly support to not educate readers properly on the topic of the day.