When we read about the fall of the Roman Empire, we perhaps find it comforting to consider barbarians from the hinterlands overrunning civilization as the primary reason for the collapse of our systemic forbearers. At our weakest, we refuse to even consider political corruption from within as a significant contributing cause for the mighty Romans’ demise.
It cuts too close.
It feels too much like a case of repetitive history, another cave-in to our reptilian appetites, as our contemporary institutions practically crumble to the touch.
Which brings us to the 2024 Budget of the State of New Jersey (or Nova Caesarea for those careful readers insistent on making the Roman connection).
A few weeks have passed since Governor Phil Murphy signed the $54.3 Billion Appropriation into law on the heels of a legislative session that contained all the drama of Cicero not only silent but gagged.
The woman in a bar tells a fellow, “You must be a Shakespearean actor.”
“Yes,” says the man. “I’ve played Hamlet my whole life, but never onstage.”
So too did the great festooned partridge of New Jersey politics, arraigned in the State Capitol for a great production if not exactly on the order of a tragedy of ideas, well, then pageantry of some extraordinary entertainment value. Instead, as the state anticipated Independence Day and a celebration underscoring all the gravity and grandeur of free speech, the Great Gold Dome emitted a muffled whimper of submission.
Download Insider NJ’s Special Edition Publication: The FY2024 Budget or view it below:Insider Budget Special