Say it ain't so, Alex

I have known Alex DeCroce for many years and have always gotten along with him.

But I have to scratch my head when I read that he said today that maximum unemployment benefits of $550 a week should be reduced. Here’s the quote:
“I’m one of the few people here … who feel that benefits are too good for these people. Why go to work? If you can go for 26 weeks collecting $550 a week, and you get an extension for another 26, that’s close to $27,000 a year or $30,000 a year, and a lot of people figure, ‘Why go to work?’

So, $30,000 a year is a good salary?  Are people making 30 grand in an expensive state like New Jersey spending their time traveling, dining out and attending Broadway shows?  Alex seems to think so.

It is both amusing and irritating for people to suggest that it is the unemployed, and not say the wealthy, who should sacrifice, Seems to me that the unemployed have sacrificed enough — like their job.


About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

11 Responses to Say it ain't so, Alex

  1. Lisa Piernot says:

    Right on the money Fred. Right on it! All we need is to cut UE for people already struggling in NJ to keep their homes and 1 out of 4 people being unemployed are referred to as almost “lazy” in NJ. He is not altogether there. Alex seems to want people living in NJ to be forced out. Then when he can’t sell homes to people (that is what Alex does) he can scream “I need Unemployment”

  2. Hogwash11 says:

    The good Assemblyman cannot see past his big house or should I say houses and his wife has that big job down in Trenton, To hear his disdain for the poorer of our state brings back a voice in history let them eat cake. Most people do not have friends that have big real estate companies and make lot of money utting deals with crooks.

  3. P says:

    Not so sure you’re right Fred . . here’s something from the NYT’s that is what a lot of Economists have found over the years, “Struggling to keep its budget under control after the financial crisis, the (Danish) government in June cut into its benefits system, the world’s most generous, by limiting unemployment payments to two years instead of four. Having found that recipients either get work right away or take any job as their checks run out, officials are also redoubling longstanding efforts to move Danes more quickly out of the safety net.

    “The cold fact is that the longer you are out of a job, the more difficult it is to get a job,” Claus Hjort Frederiksen, the Danish finance minister, said during an interview. “Four years of unemployment is a luxury we can no longer allow ourselves.”

    I guess Mr. DeCroce was channeling his inner Dane – To be (unemployed) or not to be (unemployed), that IS the question.

  4. Hogwash11 says:

    When you have everything it is hard to see those that have very little.DeCroce has leverged his political job into lots of money. He got his wife a big job in Christies government. Well I guess the pooer of us will have to use what we do have a vote to end DeCroce’s political job. Vote anybody but DeCroce.

  5. Deborah Howlett says:

    Unemployment benefits are paid out of an insurance fund, to which employers and employees contribute. Because the benefits are not financed by taxpayers, cutting those benefits will not save the state of NJ a dime.

  6. Ed France says:

    If he really said that he is out of touch with recent events. He must have missed the large bank failures that took place over the past two years. He may also have been unaware of the recent massive layoffs all over this country.
    He is human, maybe he has been doing a Rip Van Winkle? Maybe he just does not know? I hope he cares.
    To me,if he really had any wisdom or style he would not be making statements in these times. Anyone I know who is out of work ,or is in danger of losing a home, is not avoiding full time work. Just not true. The money people get from these funds is limited and short lived. Many are living in fear of the future.
    Maybe he needs to read a Charles Dickens novel?
    Look……….the economy is still tough right now. Maybe the Assemblyman needs to go out and visit with the people more. He might find that he has been getting faulty facts and information.
    He is in power and we need his help.Hopefully he will listen,look around, and see how he can better help the residents that he represents.
    He could do better then ask “why go to work?”
    He does get elected everytime he runs. So that could mean that he is popular. Right?
    Now his awareness of the econmy and what New Jersey residents are dealing with could be another story.
    Maybe he will read your blog and reach out to those who need help?

  7. Steve Reichenstein says:

    Hi Fred.

    I agree with your message, and would add the fact that our State government benefits financially from Unemployment Insurance directly in 3 ways:

    First, UI is an insurance fund into which premiums are paid from payroll, not State budget; however Unemployment Insurance benefits paid … that $550 per week taken out of the UI Fund … is taxable income, so the State gets income tax revenue from all UI benefits paid out.

    Second, while the UI Funds hold the premium money, it does not get into circulation to local businesses … which directly injects money into our local economy … and, given the velocity of money at that level of income, the financial injection is multiplied about 4 times annually. (Local business use the money the unemployed spent at their store to go out and spend themselves or hire more employees who then spend it and so on.) This direct injection stimulus of taking money out of UI Fund accounts and into the pockets of unemployed beneficiaries creates, again, more income, excise, and sales tax revenue for the State.

    Third, in addition to UI Funds which the State program holds and pays out in benefits at this extended benefit period, the Federal government contributes — and contributes a substantial share of it — so the state benefits from the local economy stimulation from the Federal dollars injected and the consequent velocity and State tax revenues.

    The bottom line is the bottom line of State revenues grows from the payment … and extension … of Unemployment Insurance payments.

    So, in addition to being the right thing to do for people who cannot get jobs yet due to the economy, paying and extending full Unemployment Insurance Benefits is the fiscally smart thing to do for the State.

    Best regards,
    Steve Reichenstein

  8. Hogwash11 says:

    unemployeement 17% and DeCroce thinks that these people are avoilding going back to work.

  9. Bob Grant says:

    Alex has always been like this, I have no idea why anyone is surprised. Remember this is the same guy who told my brother who paid out $10,000 for his wive’s breast cancer chemotheraphy in a year that “you should have picked a better HMO” Dan was commenting on the fact that insurance companies often don’t cover treatment expenses. Alex, by the way, is covered by the gold benefits state policy.

  10. Hogwash11 says:


    Cancer treatment has to be approved before an insurance company will ppay and some of the best treatents are not fully approved. Some will neever be approved now that we have Obamacare.

  11. Bob Grant says:

    I don’t respond to people who post under phony names.

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