The ugly keeps getting uglier, Save Jerseyans, and there’s no let-up in sight.

On Tuesday, one week after New Jersey government reopened from a budget impasse-fueled shutdown, the nationally-respected Mercatus Center down at George Mason University released its state fiscal condition rankings and found the glorious Garden State in… dead last place.

Trenton should’ve stayed closed. We’d all be better off.

The study’s criteria? Here’s an overview:

The study ranks each US state’s financial health based on short- and long-term debt and other key fiscal obligations, such as unfunded pensions and healthcare benefits. With refinements in its methodology, the 2017 edition updates the version that the Mercatus Center published in 2016. It presents information from each state’s audited financial report in an easily accessible format and is the most comprehensive snapshot of state financial health to date.

That “long-term debt” criterion is a killer for New Jersey given how our public worker pension system is considered America’s weakest (per another grim study).

Click here if you want to get deeper into the weeds with Mercatus researchers and analysts.

What’s worse than all of the data, however, is the fact that there’s little hope of salvation in the near term. 2017 gubernatorial front runner Phil Murphy is running on a reckless platform which, if adopted, would drive those long and short term debt figures even higher.

If Phil wins? The last one over the Delaware Memorial Bridge should turn out the lights. 

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Copyright 2017