The Jaffe Briefing - November 28, 2017
OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
IN THE DONOR CIRCLE - Today is the philanthropic version of Valentine's Day, when every charity hits your inbox and asks for well-deserved support. The clickbait website WalletHub.com reports that New Jerseyans earning between $25,000 and $50,000 on average give 6.8 percent of their income, but the wealthy seem to be cheaper. Those making between $200,000 and $500,000 give only 2.6 percent. To make matters worse, WalletHub ranks New Jersey a paltry 36th among the most charitable states. So, don't expect much enthusiasm for the much-debated Millionaire's Tax among our state's martini-swilling set. But we hope they blow at least some dust off their wallets today to mark #GivingTuesday.
SEASIDE HEIGHTS - There were plenty of rumors, but we closed our eyes tightly and silently prayed. But those prayers were not answered as MTV is announcing a return of "Jersey Shore." It is a pretty grim situation, with the whole team reuniting to shatter the reputation of the Jersey Shore for another season of sun and stupidity. The new series is called "Jersey Shore Family Vacation." Here's an Instagram promo from cast member Vinny Guadagnino: "Hide yo wife, hide yo kids..Did someone say there's a new #JerseyShore series coming out in 2018 on @mtv ?! The people have spoken and We finna #MakeRealityTvGreatAgain . Can't wait to be back on your tv screen wit my roomates!!!!!" Sad.
NEWTON - As people run from the Jersey Shore, there's at least a surprising new entertainment option in Newton. The little Sussex County town is making national news for its Harry Potter-themed celebration, featuring plenty of wizards and muggles. On Saturday, Newton turned Spring Street into Diagon Alley, the magical market. Restaurants served Butterbeer, kids got magic wands and, of course, many dressed up. Town officials told the New Jersey Herald the event is "lightening in a bottle," and plan to make it an even bigger and better event next year - until, of course, the Warner Brothers lawyers show up to discuss royalties.
ON THE ROAD - Expect a caravan of Maseratis to hit the New Jersey Turnpike heading south, if the controversial federal tax plan is adopted. InvestmentNews reports the GOP proposal would jack taxes on the highest earners, with those reaping $1 million a year paying an extra $21,000 to Uncle Sam. With New Jersey already having the sixth highest individual income tax rate - and Florida dangling no personal income tax - we're just begging more of our wealthiest taxpayers to flock south. Goldman Sachs says NYC would lose 4 percent of its wealthiest if the tax bill becomes law. We gotta ask: Is anyone on Capitol Hill paying attention?
ATLANTIC CITY - Should billionaire Carl Icahn get $5.6 million in public money to demolish Trump Plaza? Senate President Steve Sweeney says "Hell, no," calling on casino redevelopment authorities to reject the request, the Observer reports. Sweeney says the funds are earmarked for economic development in Atlantic City, not to reap more profits for a casino mogul. Sweeney is still fuming that Icahn closed the Trump Taj Mahal last year amid a labor strike and then filed a tax appeal for millions of dollars. Icahn, who wants to turn Trump Plaza into a glorious parking lot, currently, was once quoted saying, "The worst thing about New Jersey is they have Sweeney as head of the Senate. The best thing about New Jersey is they didn't make him governor." Lots of love here.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
PHILADELPHIA - It was a tough Monday morning for one city man, who apparently was sleeping in a trash bin when he was accidentally thrown into a city garbage truck. Residents heard plenty of screaming from the truck, prompting some frantic calls to 911. It took firefighters about two hours to free the man, stuck in the trash compactor and buried under bags of trash. Luckily, only leg, hip and abdominal injuries, and a well-earned lesson about where you should choose to sleep.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1960 that CBS extended its hourly newscast from five to 10 minutes. Today, meanwhile, ad-hungry cable executives are trying to extend the hourly news coverage to 70 minutes.
WORD OF THE DAY
Harbinger - [HAR-bin-jer] - noun
Definition: One that initiates a major change; a person or thing that originates or helps open up a new activity, method, or technology
Example: Will Phil Murphy be New Jersey's next harbinger?
WEATHER IN A WORD
Posted in Morning Briefing