Lost in the hoopla over last night's big Republican electoral success is the fact that the biggest winner in New Jersey was not a candidate but a constitutional amendment. For background, here's our post on the subject from Election Day.
The amendment passed 80% – 20%. That, my friends, is a landslide.
As I was driving back from lunch yesterday a well-known New Jersey talk radio station was urging a "no" vote on the amendment, their theory being that passage would mean higher spending and thus more taxes, at least in the short run.
Now, I don't know whether it's true that the new amendment will mean higher spending. But that, it seems to me, misses the point that the voters — nearly all of the voters — were sending. The voters' point seems to be that politicians must stop playing games with public money. No more demanding taxes to pay for one thing and diverting them to another. No more passing spending bills without the means to pay for them.
The voters are telling the politicians in plain terms that they had better be able to justify every spending bill on its own terms, without robbing Peter to pay Paul. If you want a good example of bipartisanship, here it is, because this amendment obviously passed with strong support from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike.
A modest suggestion: perhaps in the future the politicians should follow the example of the voters.