It is easy enough to point out Christie’s budget/economic failures. He has consistently built his budgets on unrealistically high revenue growth estimates. He has opposed sensible sources of new revenue such as higher taxes for the wealthiest and a gas tax to revive our bankrupt transportation and infrastructure system. He has supported expensive “Big Business” ventures like Revel and American Dream Meadowlands and offered benefits to firms that moved to a new building just a few blocks away or promised new jobs that did not materialize.
His mantra has been to cut budgets and reduce government services at a time when the need is to increase the budget to pay for critical services. It’s no wonder that credit agencies continue to lower our rating. His approach has pushed him into a borrowing binge that only results in ever increasing interest rates with monies needed for other purposes being diverted to cover interest costs.
Now our State Treasurer tells us we are facing a huge $800 million revenue shortfall with only two months left to fill the gaping hole. Another failure: over the years Christie has not listened to the Legislative Services Budget Director who has provided numerous early warnings. Instead we are presented with a crisis that has to be resolved immediately in order to balance the budget by June 30.
Solving the immediate crisis will be painful, but it’s not too late to put in place new revenue-enhancing measures and redirect job-creation efforts away from “Big Business” and toward the individuals who actually seek jobs but need training and assistance in the short term. Our governor has failed us, but even he must realize the magnitude of the problem and join collaboratively with the legislature to seek solutions.