Still in the throes of Bridgegate, New Jersey Governor
Chris Christie has another crisis
on his hands. With only two months remaining in the Garden State's current fiscal year, Christie faces a whopping $800 million shortfall. In response, Chris Christie is doing what Chris Christie always does. After being warned by the legislature's nonpartisan budget office about a significant revenue gap, the 2016 White House hopeful is blaming the federal government for his own budget mess in Trenton.
With only 60 days left in the fiscal year in which 83 percent of its spending has already occurred, New Jersey will have to make steep cuts, reductions that may include reducing payments to the pension fund for public workers. But as the Newark Star Ledger reported Tuesday, Governor Christie is insisting it's all Barack Obama's fault:
"What we're being told initially is that this is the effect of the change in the law at the end of 2012 by the Obama administration and the Congress to increase tax rates on upper-level individuals," Christie said.
That, of course, is complete nonsense. While some wealthier taxpayers shifted income into 2013 to avoid paying higher taxes (especially for capital gains), there is no evidence that this is having any impact on the coffers on any of the 50 states. But what clearly had an impact on New Jersey's budget were Christie's wildly optimistic revenue forecasts. As the Star Ledger
described his election-year budget in 2012
A Star-Ledger review of the budgets of all 50 states shows that when Christie projected earlier this year that New Jersey's revenue would swell by 7.4 percent over the next fiscal year, his forecast was the highest jump of any of the 50 states -- and more than double the national average of 2.8 percent.
The newspaper's review shows the governor was far more optimistic than his counterparts in New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware, which have lower unemployment rates than New Jersey but are forecasting revenue growth under 4.7 percent for next year. When $530.8 million from tax cuts are factored in, Christie is actually expecting a more robust 9.2 percent increase in revenue.
Worse still, Christie was warned--year after year--by David Rosen of the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services that revenue would fall short of the levels needed to meet New Jersey's requirement of a balanced budget.
Continue reading Christie trying to shoot the messenger over NJ revenue forecasts.
Comments are closed on this story.