Phil Murphy, New Jersey’s traveling snake-oil salesman, now is trying to hoodwink the state’s tens of thousands of public employees.
The very same Phil Murphy who once tried to slash their health and retirement benefits now claims to be on their side. But it’s nothing more than another con job by a desperate politician.
In case you missed it, Phony Phil is sucking up to the state teachers union and thousands of other public employees by supporting the immediate full funding of the pension system.
But his latest grandstand ploy is blatantly hypocritical. It was Murphy, after all, who pushed hardest a decade ago for massive reductions in health and retirement benefits for the very same public workers he now pretends to support.
Here’s what Phil Murphy, otherwise known as Mr. Goldman Sachs, won’t tell you:
As chairman of the New Jersey Benefits Task Force in 2006, he tried to raid public employees’ pocketbooks with a number of recommendations that gutted contracts the unions had so strenuously bargained for. In fact, Murphy wanted all of those hard-fought contracts torn up, saying that state budget costs would continue to soar “if the state cannot renegotiate its (labor) contracts.” He also called for massive cuts in the public employee workforce, declaring,”The cost of home rule is killing us.”
The recommendations by Murphy’s task force included:
— Increasing the minimum retirement age for public employees from 55 to 62.
— Calculating benefits based on an employee’s five highest salary years rather than three.
–And freezing COLA benefits for vested employees who don’t permanently retire as a state employee.
Murphy also argued for substantial increases in employee costs for their health-care premiums, and to raise co-pays for drugs and hospital visits.
And he urged a moratorium on covering future health benefits enhancements, which would deny employees coverage for critical services such as cancer treatments and certain prescription drugs.
In effect, Murphy and his task force laid the groundwork for the severe pension and health benefits reductions that were ultimately enacted.
So don’t let Phony Phil fool you. The record shows that when Murphy was actually in a position to help the employees, he went after their wallets. Budgetary sacrifices had to be made, and he saw to it that they would be the ones making the sacrifice.
New Jersey doesn’t need a phony. Tell Phil Murphy we want a candidate who has the guts to tell it like it is — not one who panders now but will stab you in the back after he gets your vote.