Politics

As Rosi mentioned in the roundup, the Star Ledger had an Editorial about the drive behind the Christie agenda in the face of a mounting pile of facts called reality:

Christie, for political reasons, is ignoring the red flags.

That’s nothing new. After revenue fell short in the crucial month of April, Christie’s spokesman said we should resist “the urge to hastily generalize.”

Then in July, estimates of tax collections for the prior fiscal year showed the same thing: a shortfall. The governor’s spokesman said this was “hasty and speculative” – “panicked,” even.

Now the latest numbers from the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services and state Treasury tell the same story. The state is looking at a shortfall of at least $200 million for the previous fiscal year. And in July, the first month of the new fiscal year, revenue was also below Christie’s expectations.

As if those numbers weren’t bad enough, they remind us of the need to look forward

Understand that giant spending increases are baked into the state budget over the next several years. That’s because both parties agreed to continue skipping full pension payments, despite making public workers pay in full right away. They also agreed to finance transit projects by borrowing, rather than increasing the gas tax. This is old-school Jersey behavior, and the bill is coming due.

Christie wants to ignore all that and phase in tax cuts beginning in January. Democrats, skeptical that we can afford it, said they would go along in January only if revenues meet the governor’s expectations. That’s simple prudence.

It is prudence, but that rational position has been and will continue to be attacked by Christie and Republicans regularly through the same media that is calling it out. The editorial summed it up this way:

There is really only one way to explain the governor’s insistence that the tax cuts should be locked in now, even in the face of these disappointing revenue reports: politics.

After all, it will make such a great pitch during his speech next week at the Republican convention.

The emphasis is mine. The full editorial is worth a read, but if you’re looking to boil things down that sums it up nicely.

Comment (1)

  1. iwood

    It’s about time the Ledger figured this stuff out. Blue Jersey has been saying it for years.

    A budget that ends the year $200M in the hole is NOT a balanced budget, so Christie should stop claiming to have delivered them every year in office.

    Reply

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