Some folks liked what Republican Gov. Chris Christie said in his speech to legislators in
But I didn’t hear what the governor was saying because I was too busy looking at what he was doing.
During the past two years, Christie borrowed and spent like a Democrat – and raised tolls and local taxes to pay for it. He froze principled conservatives like Steve Lonegan and Mike Doherty out of his administration. He used tribal affiliation (sex, race, ethnicity and sexual preference) rather than merit to fill key positions.
He rewarded the worst pay-to-play Democrats in the state with contracts, appointments and other special deals that increased their power and allowed them to clobber Republicans in the 2011 legislative elections – then bragged about his bipartisanship. He failed to enforce immigration laws and did almost nothing to uncover and prosecute political corruption.
Is Republican Gov. Chris Christie doing a great job? Or is he a pathetic fool (or brazen swindler) like Democrat Jon Corzine? Let’s compare on a few key issues.
State government debt
The Panic of 1837 was an economic collapse caused by pay-to-play politics, aka public-private partnership, and out-of-control borrowing by state government. That’s why
Democrat Jon Corzine recognized that this was a big problem. But his “solution” was to pay down this old debt by selling the
The Republican governor doesn’t think this is a problem, and has no solution. His “pension reform” was a joke, because it only applies to new hires and does nothing about baby boomers who are about to bankrupt the pension funds.
Corzine shut the casinos to get the sales tax up to 7 percent. He then set up various “public-private partnerships” so that selected businesses with good political connections got taxpayer-funded, low-cost loans and tax breaks.
Christie kept Corzine’s 7 percent sales tax hike in place and increased parkway and turnpike tolls by 50 percent. Lincoln and Holland Tunnel tolls jumped to $12. Like Corzine, Christie also gave taxpayer loans and tax breaks to selected businesses like the Revel Casino.
Christie now wants a 10 percent income tax cut. This is another sick joke.
All income tax money goes to the state’s Property Tax Relief Fund. Two-thirds of that fund pays for schools in 32 of the 586 towns in the state. In two years, Christie failed to change that deal. So any cut in the income tax just means even less state money – and higher property taxes – for Republican towns and suburbs.
In the past 30 years, bad and very political rulings by the New Jersey Supreme Court allowed $160 billion of state debt without voter approval, forced billions of state money to bail out Democratic politicians in 32 mismanaged towns, and forced low-income housing into every town. Christie could have turned this around by picking three strong, principled conservatives for the Supreme Court. But he used tribal affiliation, not merit and principle, to make his picks: a woman, an immigrant, and one justice who is both black and gay.
Under Democrats McGreevey, Codey and
In his speeches, Christie brags that he is doing a great job, just like Corzine did.
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