In an attempt to get a jump on the latest attacks aimed at Governor Christie, The New York Times is running an article in tomorrow’s edition that quotes four Democrats and bashes Christie for not fixing the New Jersey budget and tax situation… in one year. It’s a pretty poorly written attack piece, one that runs on partisan attacks and rehashes old political attacks.
None of this is surprising, but let’s just point out all the silly parts right now.
“Yet his agenda of balancing the budget, rescuing a pension fund that could go broke within a decade and curtailing rising property taxes — the holy grail of politics in his heavily suburban state — is far from achieved. And he still could face the wrath of voters who discover that the costs of government have merely been shifted onto their local tax bills.”
““People have heard the tough talk, but they haven’t felt the full effect of what he’s done,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “That may happen in the next year. And voters tell us that if their property taxes don’t go down, they will hold him responsible.”
“Much of the effort to reduce benefits, shore up retiree funds and require workers to contribute more for their benefits began under Gov. Jon S. Corzine, the Democrat whom Mr. Christie ousted in 2009.”
“When the teachers’ union resisted his demands for a wage freeze, he persuaded voters to defeat hundreds of school budgets. And he got nearly everything he wanted in last year’s budget negotiations, making the deepest cuts in generations.”
“But the governor and the Legislature imposed a cap on property tax increases, which will pressure local officials to squeeze unions further, and they capped the salary increases public employees can win in arbitration.”
“Mr. Christie’s record has not been unblemished. He botched an application for $400 million in federal education money at a time when he was cutting twice that amount.”
“And in December, Mr. Christie was at Disney World during a blizzard that paralyzed the state. He refused to apologize, saying he had kept in touch with the acting governor, Mr. Sweeney — but Mr. Sweeney said they never spoke.”
“Where his poll numbers head now may depend on whether Mr. Christie can begin to show success in solving seemingly intractable problems like high property taxes before voters start to hold him responsible.”
“When you cut billions of dollars from local government, you can’t turn around and say ‘It’s the mayor’s fault’ — you’re the one who did it,” Mr. Sweeney said. “In Chris Christie’s New Jersey, class sizes are going up, and crime is going through the roof in our inner cities. Eventually, people are going to realize, ‘I’m paying a lot more now, and I have a lot less.’ The people have not realized it yet. But he’s the governor, and the music’s going to stop.”