Governor Chris Christie came charging into Trenton pledging to turn it upside down in 2010. He made a left turn onto the Boulevard of Compromise in 2011, cruised the boulevard through 2012 and rode the waves of Sandy through 2013. Now he’s hit a dead end on the bridgegate to nowhere.
The message of the FY 2015 Budget Address is ‘No Change.” Christie warned of the looming crisis we sent him to Trenton to fix and offered no solutions. No reductions in government. An increase in spending. Christie lamented that he couldn’t spend more because of commitments made to people who are no longer working and to repay money that has already been spent.
Christie meekly suggested that more pension and benefit reforms are necessary in order to grow the state government. State Senate President Steve Sweeney said, “We’re not doing it.”
In an unwitting acknowledgement that New Jersey has more government than it can sustain, Sweeney said, “What’s missing here is we haven’t grown our economy, and that’s the issue.”
But Sweeney has thwarted every attempt to stimulate the New Jersey economy that Christie has proposed over the last four year.
Once again Christie touted “no new taxes.” Like McGreevey and Corzine before him, the “revenue enhancements” are closing loop holes, not tax increases.
As he has for the last three years, Christie employs a “Corzine-lite” strategy to “balance” the budget. Instead of our highways tolls being used to maintain and improve transportation infrastructure, $324 million in tolls are being used to fill gaps in the state budget. An other $626 million in what shot gimmicks, debt refinancing and law suit settlements, will also fund state government jobs.
While we’re not growing the economy, Christie’s budget assumes revenue grow 5.8%. Christie is betting that income tax revenue will grow 8.1%, sales taxes will increase 6.1% , corporate taxes will be up 6.7% and other various taxes will grown 1.5%. Good luck with that governor.
Christie’s projections from the last budget are off by about $800 million.
New Jersey has more government than it can afford and certainly more government than it needs. The jobs, benefits and pensions of the government class are a higher priority than the health, prosperity and freedom of New Jersey’s citizens. The government class will protect itself to the determent of New Jersey’s citizens. Chris Christie is not going to change that.