Steinhardt: Murphy Administration “celebrating its failure” as massive bond sale moves forward

TRENTON, N.J. – The Murphy Administration moved this week on a $4 billion bond sale to plug a purported budget hole after the scheme survived a GOP legal challenge.

NJGOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt, who is also expected to enter the 2021 gubernatorial race, criticized the move as not just a fiscally ruinous decision but also a failure of leadership.

“The Murphy administration celebrating its failure to spend responsibly proves just how out of touch with reality the Governor is. Instead of celebrating something meaningful, like a COVID plan that protects seniors, an economic plan that doesn’t kill the economy, or a spending plan that doesn’t break the bank, Murphy is celebrating securing a “low” interest rate, because he lacks the courage or financial discipline to make the kind of hard choices needed to protect taxpayers from billions more in debt. Murphy might be making his Wall Street cronies stronger and richer, but his bad decisions make New Jersey, and New Jerseyans, weaker and poorer.”

No efforts were made by Trenton to trim the budget before relying upon new borrowing. Murphy’s $32.7 billion budget for the final three quarters of FY2021 brought spending for the year to $40 billion.

“This will be the most expensive year ever, and it didn’t have to be that way,” said Senate Republican Budget Officer Steven Oroho (R-24) this week. “The budget includes $4.5 billion in borrowing that will burden New Jersey taxpayers for decades into the future. That massive debt increase avoided constitutional scrutiny by state voters, and will be used not for basic services but to create a fake ‘surplus’ for the administration to spend at will.

Senate Republicans also issued a brief this week following the Murphy Administration’s announcement detailing many of the mistruths and lies surrounding the bond sale. For example, “despite the Governor promising to pay down the debt quickly, the Offering Statement provided to investors indicates that the first payment on the debt will not be made until 2023.” This new debt is also being offered at “market rates with inflexible terms” which stymies the alleged original goal of an early payoff.