I was recently asked to speak at a community gathering about some of the challenges facing families today. This engaging conversation was punctuated by many in the audience who commented about the growing cost of child care and how it was placing a significant burden on their families. While this particular dialogue played out at this one gathering, I am sure it could be replicated in communities all across New Jersey. Access to affordable and high quality child care is proving to be a stumbling block as working families try to climb the ladder of success.Read more
When Pfizer announced it was buying Dublin, Ireland-based Allergan in a move that would create the largest pharmaceutical firm in the world, we felt the ill-effects throughout New Jersey. It didn’t take long for sharp-eyed citizens and the media to suggest that this was a bad deal for American taxpayers.
Pfizer, which maintains a major campus in Peapack, N.J., also known as Peapack-Gladstone, a borough in Somerset County, made it clear that this acquisition of Allergan would make Dublin its new tax home. Reducing this move to its simplest terms, often referred to as a tax inversion, would allow Pfizer to renounce its U.S. citizenship (as a company) and become an Irish business citizen. This would greatly reduce its tax liability.Read more
Thanksgiving Day is approaching and I’m sitting in my writer’s chair thinking about this year’s message to you. Allow me to allude to two comments I have brought up before.
First, what makes this holiday so special is that no person can find offense in participating, and we exclude no one. We give thanks for the blessings in our lives and we do this regardless of one’s color, faith or place of origin. The simple goal of Thanksgiving and its non-exclusionary openness make it the perfect holiday.
The other aspect of Thanksgiving that I’ve mentioned before is the importance of sharing it. I’ve noted in the past that inviting someone into your home on Thanksgiving Day, especially when you sense or know that they have nowhere to go, is the right thing to do. The simple act of asking goes a long way, and it allows the invitee to make the decision.Read more
This issue may be one of the most pressing concerns that our world faces. Its impact reverberates across economic, environmental and social lines. While some may disagree on the solutions, science has proven that the problem is real, and we need to find a collaborative way to address it.Read more
Some people probably view imprudent government spending the way they do about donating money to charity. Many people give, and some give a lot. And I suspect their single greatest desire is that their donation in some reasonable (and hopefully measurable) method actually finds its way to the intended recipients. What they hate is when money is squandered (spent on administrative costs) not disbursed or even used illegally. That’s how many of us feel about our tax dollars.Read more
I suffer from diabetes. It is a condition that has affected me and some of the members of my family for generations. 2015 marks the 75th anniversary of the fight against this deadly disease, and during November in particular, the American Diabetes Association and other concerned health organizations and medical personnel are raising their voices in an active campaign to alert Americans about the dangers of diabetes.Read more
I don’t generally write about specific federal topics in this blog. However, I was compelled this week to comment on the recent hearing conducted by the US House of Representatives Select Committee on Benghazi featuring its only witness that day, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.Read more
True confession. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Eagles trash the New York Giants in their game this past Monday night. As a lifelong sports fan, and more importantly a HUGE football fan, there is always a little extra bounce in my step when the home team wins.Read more
“Why are you running for election?” This is a fundamental question that every person running for elective office will be asked on the campaign trail at some point. It is also a question that you better have a darn good answer for, not just for the questioner but for yourself as well. A strong democracy is built upon an engaged citizenry as well as committed and competent, individuals willing to present themselves for service in public office. By stepping up to run for office, the basic tenets of our democracy as designed by our nation’s founders and eloquently presented by President Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg are fulfilled: “…government of the people, by the people, for the people.” However, running for office and serving as an elected official will also test your own personal constitution in ways you may not have imagined. So, you want to run for office, huh?Read more
We all know someone like this. In fact, that someone might be ourselves.
It’s the condition where we are trying to move forward a bit economically yet never seem to quite cross that modest threshold we’ve set for ourselves. Worse is the situation where we are working as hard as we ever have, are being cautious with our spending, yet we’re still falling short. It’s like the proverbial hamster wheel. You keep running and you even pick up speed when necessary, but in the end, you never go anywhere.Read more