Chris Christie sells out New Jersey taxpayers

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is going back to the payday lender, selling out future taxpayers to fix a cash crunch of his own design.
Here’s the background. For over a decade, New Jersey had been embroiled in a battle with Exxon Mobil over the contamination and loss of use of more than 1,500 acres of public land in the northern part of the state. The company was found liable several years ago, but the amount of damages and cleanup costs it owed had not yet been determined. 
Expert witnesses for the state ballparked the total figure at $8.9 billion, and a judge was expected to rule on the final number soon. But then, this month, the state’s lawyers swooped in and decided to settle for a mere $225 million, not including undisclosed cleanup costs.
That’s cents on the dollar.
The news was met with outrage from environmentalists and former state officialsA similar case was also settled for pennies on the dollar a few months ago. These are, as New Jersey Sierra Club chapter director Jeff Tittel put it in a phone interview, “dirty deeds, done dirt cheap.”
Most of the coverage of the peculiarly low settlement has emphasized Exxon Mobil’s generous donations to the Republican Governors Association. The company gave hundreds of thousands of dollars last year, while Christie was its chair and the case was in trial; suspicions about a tacit tit-for-tat don’t seem unwarranted.
But the real smoking gun, and the one that’s most revealing about how Christie might handle federal fiscal challenges should he become president, relates to how much budget gimmickry drove his decision to force a bad deal upon his constituents.
Christie’s crowning achievement as governor of the Garden State hassupposedly been balancing the budget without raising taxes. He’s even managed to reduce corporate taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars annually. But he’s primarily accomplished these goals through accounting tricks, raiding rainy-day funds and other shortsighted gimmicks. He has, in other words, sold off the state’s future to preserve the fiction of his fiscal responsibility.
These environmental settlements are no exception.
Historically, under state law, money received from environmental settlements has to be used on environmental efforts. But last year the Christie administration snuck some language into the state budget that effectively overrode this. For this fiscal year — and potentially this fiscal year only — the first $50 million of any environmental settlement will go toward environmental programs; anything above that can be diverted toplug holes in the state’s general fund.
This meant there was great pressure for the state to settle the case now for whatever it could get, rather than wait — possibly for years — for the much larger amount likely to have been awarded by the judge.
It’s one thing to be pro-business, the environment be damned. But it’s quite another to trade billions of dollars tomorrow for a tiny fraction of that today and still call yourself a fiscal conservative. This is the very definition of penny-wise, pound-foolish. But remember that Christie gets credit for those pennies today, whereas pounds forfeited tomorrow will be the next governor’s problem.
We’ve seen similar calculations from Christie before. He has axed state funding for family planning, for example, even though such spendingprevents much larger costs later on, when the state must help foot the bill for poor women’s unplanned pregnancies. He illegally cut the state’s pension contributions, raising the burden for future taxpayers. And in a transit fiasco that should be far more upsetting than Bridgegate, Christie halted construction of a federally subsidized train tunnel to New York — which would have raised property values and eased commutes for his constituents — so that he could instead divert the state’s portion of the funding to pay for bridge and road repairs without raising gas taxes. If Christie indeed wanted to cause “traffic problems in Fort Lee,” as a top aide wrote in a notorious e-mail, the tunnel cancellation was a much more enduring way to achieve this.


  1. James LeonardMarch 06, 2015

    The world's most successful education system that produces the best results in the world has NO homework and NO exams until students are 16 years old. That is the system in place on Finland.

    P.S. 133 on East 33rd Street's first job is to educate parents.

  2. Billy ShermanMarch 06, 2015

    I would be applauding this school not threatening to pull my children from it. Why children cannot be taught what they need in the time allotted to teachers is beyond me. Why do they insist on taking their home time away from them too?

  3. NOT onw mention of his name or Race/origin.

    It definitely must have been an islamic immigrant.

    This is what the power-that-be (but will soon NOT be) do, in their multiculturalism.
    It's part of the culture of the islamics to kidnap a non-islamic whenever the male wants. It's the culture, the upbringing, the religion. And their society encourages it.

    Hell! They don't even are if they're in another country!

  4. You are a truly stupid racist bigot.

    Look up the number of Priests and Nuns who have been charged with sex offences against children in Ireland, and then try and find any reference to a "multicultural" offender.

    Ryan commission
    "The Commission's remit was to investigate all forms of child abuse in Irish institutions for children; the majority of allegations it investigated related to the system of sixty residential "Reformatory and Industrial Schools" operated by Catholic Church orders, funded and supervised by the IrishDepartment of Education.

    The Commission's report said testimony had demonstrated beyond a doubt that the entire system treated children more like prison inmates and slaves than people with legal rights and human potential, that some religious officials encouraged ritual beatings and consistently shielded their orders amid a "culture of self-serving secrecy", and that government inspectors failed to stop the abuses.

    Among the more extreme allegations of abuse were beatings and rapes, subjection to naked beatings in public, being forced into oral sex and even subjection to beatings after failed rape attempts by brothers. The abuse has been described by some as Ireland's Holocaust. The abuse was said to be "endemic" in the institutions that dealt with boys"

  5. He is Irish from Waterford city.

  6. Too bad the boy didn't have a .357

  7. I also think doing homework after spending a day at school is unnecessary and agree with the reasons cited by this article. It might be a different story if the child was having trouble with a subject and needed extra study or practice.

  8. There will be no homework in my house until high school, period. Why waste time on homework when you can teach your children? Relying on school to educate your kids is like relying on mcdonalds to teach them how to eat healthy.


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