I've been covering New Jersey's dominantly "blue" Democrat Party since 1959.
I was 21 years old at the time.
Somehow I convinced the Editor ((Al Smith) of the North Jersey Herald-News, based on Passaic-Clifton borderline, that I could become a great reporter because I had just finished writing my first novel, titled HOLDING ONTO NOTHING. A thousand copies were sold over the first 2 years.
But I got my toe in the door of New Jersey's second largest daily newspaper. The Number One daily was the Newark Evening News, headquartered in the Garden State's communications Capital.
So I spent my first eight years at The Herald-News, learning how to become both a reporter and columnist. Even though my first important job paid me only $75, it was worth more than a million bucks to a writer breaking into a major daily newspaper without a college degree or any experience in the news paper business. (I did get a college degree at Rutgers University, compliments of The Herald-News. I worked during the day and went to Rutgers from 6 to 11 p.m.)
It was a heavy load to carry, but when you're 21 you honestly believed you could be Superman.
My girlfriend, a teacher's college student, told me she would not marry me unless I had a college degree. That was all the inspiration I needed. Jeanne Reed Bishop was Teaneck High School's popular student: 'Miss Teaneck High School, Class of '57. (Yes, I married a beauty queen and teacher.)
Now here's how the once great Garden State became a liberal tax-and-spend State:
In the 1960s, the liberal Governor Richard J. Hughes decided to impose a 3 percent sales tax on just about everything that could be taxed. It's now up to 7 percent.
In the early 1970s, the liberal Governor Brendan Byrne decided to impose an Income Tax on the tax paying working class.
That was IT for New Jersey!
It's been downhill ever since.
The more wealthiest working taxpayers headed south to Florida and other southern states so they wouldn't have to pay for heavy sales tax, income tax and property tax to boot!
So here I am, stuck in the middle between a rock and a hard place.
You really have to be affluent if you want to live with the middle and upper classes in this strange State that calls itself the Garden State.
The reason I pay all of these high taxes is because of my 2 daughters, Jennifer, 47, and Elizabeth, 44. Jennifer has 2 darling daughters (11 AND 14) and Liz has one daughter, our academic Madeline, also 11.
My daughter Jennifer wants to move to the Carolinas, where she could save at least several thousand dollars in taxes to live in an attractive coastal State.
If she goes, and her sister "Liz" follows, then I'll be able to get out of this unaffordable State and live the rest of my shortening life with my sweetheart wife, Jeanne.
The only good thing New Jersey has is a brilliant and brassy Governor, Chris Christie.
Christie is clamping tax increases at 2 percent.
That would make New Jersey competitive with southern coastal states -- and bring life, liberty and happiness to a once corrupt liberal State.
As always, God Bless America!
(Gordon Bishop is a 'Who's Who in the World' national award-winning author, historian, journalist, syndicated columnist and New Jersey's "First Journalist-of-the-Year"--1986/New Jersey Press Association, founded in 1857.)