Jim Johnson: WATCH: Phil Murphy Takes Down His Own Argument for a Public Bank

WATCH: Phil Murphy Takes Down His Own Argument for a Public Bank

Last week, at a town hall in Fort Lee, former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy provided evidence that his public bank idea would be bad for New Jersey. Murphy praised Massachusetts as an economic model — the very state that rejected the idea of a state-run bank years ago.

Last week, Jim Johnson criticized Murphy’s idea of a public bank as emphasizing that without ethics reform in New Jersey, a public bank would not only be another Wall Street gimmick, but also fiscally harmful to New Jersey families.

“Working and middle-class families in New Jersey can’t afford any of Murphy’s Wall Street gimmicks,” said Johnson. “We saw what happened the last time Wall Street got their hands on our money, and what Goldman Sachs executives are trying to do in Trump’s administration. We don’t need that in New Jersey.”

An independent commission in Massachusetts found five reasons to reject a state-run bank in Massachusetts, including that it would expose taxpayers to “unacceptably high risk” and would be used to “provide risky gap financing”:

  • Report Of The Commission To Study The Feasibility Of Establishing A Bank Owned By The Commonwealth, 8/8/11: “(3) the public funds of the Commonwealth would be exposed to unacceptably high risk if deposited in a state-owned bank, the public funds would be used to provide risky gap financing, and the rate of return would need to match that currently earned under the management of the Treasurer.”

North Dakota is the only state where a public bank exists, but the independent commission in Massachusetts rejected a state-run bank because of the vast differences between the Massachusetts and North Dakota economies. Well, New Jersey isn’t North Dakota either.

  • Report Of The Commission To Study The Feasibility Of Establishing A Bank Owned By The Commonwealth, 8/8/11: “The Commission recommends that the Legislature not pursue establishing a bank owned by the Commonwealth or by a public authority constituted by the Commonwealth. The primary reasons for the Commission’s recommendation are that (1) a state-owned bank would require significant initial capital investment and it remains unclear that there is a proven need to justify the investment; (2) the only existing model of a state-owned bank is that of North Dakota which is inadequate given the vast differences in the banking industries and economies of North Dakota and Massachusetts.”

“How can New Jerseyans trust Murphy when his core campaign idea is to give Trenton more control of residents’ tax dollars without serious ethics reform? Over the course of my campaign, I have been talking to voters about the issues that matter to them — our underfunded schools, our broken pension system, our crumbling infrastructure. I’m running for Governor to put forward serious plans to bring real change to Trenton,” continued Johnson.

In order to revitalize New Jersey’s economy, Johnson has proposed a community-oriented approach, including raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, investing in infrastructure to create good-paying jobs, increasing financial assistance to vocational schools, job training, and apprenticeship programs, and tuition-free community college for those who need it most.

Additionally, to help break down economic barriers for New Jerseyans, especially women and people of color, Johnson has made investing in STEM education and growing industries, such as clean energy and high-tech manufacturing, the center of his economic platform. Johnson will also help entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities by starting programs to help them gain access to capital and mentorship.

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