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Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation

Posted by WillD on Wed May 30 03:13:32 2012

Now that he's blown through the ARC funding like the (undoubtedly) innumerable cakes that have undoubtedly passed through his gaping maw, Chrisco has to look to other sources to finance the state's transportation. Despite saying he would "rely less on bonds" and favor a "pay as you go system" (which, inevitably would mean raising the gas tax), he has instead chosen to put the state in further debt to keep from having to make a responsible decision about sustainable transportation funding in NJ.

Oh, and if I may, I do believe I called this one last year, when the idiot canceled ARC and used the funds for highway construction. Take note of the borrowed amount, it just so happens to be almost exactly the same as the money he managed to get out of ARC last year. So now we have no hope for improving North Jersey's share of NY's growing economy AND we get to borrow to finance our DoT. It's the absolute worst of both worlds.

From NJ.com's Politifact

Christie backtracks on financing transportation projects

New Jersey’s governor often portrays himself as a man of his word.

Before taking office he vowed he wouldn’t raise taxes on millionaires and so far, he hasn’t. He’s also taken on the New Jersey Education Association by pledging to reform tenure and funding, infuriating numerous educators, administrators and legislators from Hackensack to Cape May.

So it might seem surprising that the governor known for slashing budgets, requiring public employees to contribute more to healthcare and pension costs, and putting a chokehold on various types of aid is changing his tune a bit on one of his major funding concerns: transportation. The change is inconsistent with past statements made by Christie so we’re putting that change to the Flip-O-Meter.

The Flip-O-Meter rates politicians' consistency on particular topics from No Flip to Full Flop. The meter is not intended to pass judgment on their decisions to change their minds. It gauges whether they did.

Christie’s stance changed with Wednesday’s announcement that the administration will borrow an extra $260 million for transportation projects. That’s contrary to a Christie announcement more than a year ago that through his transportation capital plan, the state would begin relying less on borrowing for that type of work.

From a state Department of Transportation news release on Jan. 6, 2011: "Today, we are continuing to put New Jersey on the path towards fiscal health and proposing a sensible and responsible plan that prioritizes vital transportation projects, while limiting the already-heavy debt burden carried by the taxpayers of our state."

So what happened? Call it a miscalculation of sorts.

Both the Christie administration and David Rosen, chief budget officer for the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services, are estimating revenue shortfalls in the budget that will ultimately mean Christie has less available cash to give to transportation. Christie’s revenue shortfall is $676 million through the end of the next fiscal year, while Rosen’s is $1.3 billion. That’s a difference of about $600 million between shortfall predictions.

Christie’s original transportation capital plan for FY 2012-2013 called for borrowing $986 million and using $260 million cash in 2013. Now, New Jersey will borrow the $260 million instead, increasing the total amount borrowed to $1.2 billion.

The $260 million in cash in addition to other cost-saving measures would help plug the revenue shortfall and allow the administration to kick off an across-the-board 10 percent income tax cut.

But Martin E. Robins, director emeritus of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University, told The Star-Ledger on Wednesday, "We’re really falling right back into the capital financing that the governor critized Jon Corzine for."

Despite the move to increase transportation borrowing, State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff emphasized that the governor’s original goal to lessen reliance on bonding for transportation remains.

"This is a one-year initiative, and we do not make this recommendation casually," Sidamon-Eristoff said at an Assembly Budget Committee hearing Wednesday.

Our ruling

Christie has stated previously that he wants the state to rely less on borrowing for transportation projects and in January 2011 announced a transportation capital plan that calls for more pay-as-you-go financing. But now he’s saying the state will borrow an additional $260 million for transportation work next year in part because of projected revenue shortfalls in the state budget. The governor’s about-face is inconsistent with his previous statements, which rates the change a Half Flip on the Flip-O-Meter.


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Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation

Posted by 3-9 on Wed May 30 07:15:28 2012, in response to Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation, posted by WillD on Wed May 30 03:13:32 2012.

This is the same governor, who, when told that NJ is facing major budget deficits, defends himself by insulting the messenger. Way to go, NJ!


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Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation

Posted by J trainloco on Wed May 30 17:58:12 2012, in response to Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation, posted by WillD on Wed May 30 03:13:32 2012.

"Oh,and if I may,I do believe I called this one last year,when the idiot canceled ARC and used the funds for highway construction<."/I>

Come on now Will. Anyone who wasn't caught up in the Christie hype could've called this. When you take money earmarked for a one-time capital expenditure and appropriate it to take care of recurring maintenance expenses... yeah, you're going to eventually run out of sratch. Christie has to come up with a plan that has long-term viability, meaning that he mut find a soure of income that replenishes the TTF every year, cuz PANYNJ is not going to keep dumping money into the TTF.

What's puzzling about this though: the reallocated PANYNJ monies were supposed to last for a few years (to the tune of a couple hundred mil a year). What happened to that? I didn't figure that this issue would come up again for another 5 years; when NJ would likely have a new gov after Christie makes the inevitable leap to the national stage.

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Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation


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Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation

Posted by 3-9 on Wed May 30 18:04:16 2012, in response to Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation, posted by J trainloco on Wed May 30 17:58:12 2012.

What's puzzling about this though: the reallocated PANYNJ monies were supposed to last for a few years (to the tune of a couple hundred mil a year). What happened to that?

Who knows, maybe it went to cover the tax cuts he gave away?

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Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation

Posted by RiverLINE3501 on Wed May 30 19:05:29 2012, in response to Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation, posted by WillD on Wed May 30 03:13:32 2012.

That Fat Fuck will bankrupt NJ back into the depression with his bullshit moves.

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Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation

Posted by merrick1 on Wed May 30 19:21:57 2012, in response to Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation, posted by J trainloco on Wed May 30 17:58:12 2012.

How about raising the gas tax which is the third lowest in the nation and less that 1/3 the rate in New York.

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(1159452)

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Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation

Posted by Olog-hai on Wed May 30 20:16:39 2012, in response to Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation, posted by merrick1 on Wed May 30 19:21:57 2012.

Why, so the social welfare won't go broke?

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Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Christie turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation

Posted by Bill from Maspeth on Wed May 30 20:28:33 2012, in response to Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation, posted by WillD on Wed May 30 03:13:32 2012.

Subject corrected.

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Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation

Posted by WillD on Thu May 31 00:17:44 2012, in response to Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation, posted by Olog-hai on Wed May 30 20:16:39 2012.

Yes, because we have to pay for all those conductors you'd have NJT employ in your quest to turn it into the ultimate welfare state.

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Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation

Posted by WillD on Thu May 31 00:35:47 2012, in response to Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation, posted by J trainloco on Wed May 30 17:58:12 2012.

Anyone who wasn't caught up in the Christie hype could've called this.

Yeah, but somewhere around here I have a post where I said we'd have this, only to have it pooh poohed by those who were caught up in the Chrisco hype. Odd how they're suddenly silent on this matter.

When you take money earmarked for a one-time capital expenditure and appropriate it to take care of recurring maintenance expenses... yeah, you're going to eventually run out of sratch

AMAZING! Can we get you an office in Trenton? There will be a few wide open when the corruption charges finally catches up with this administration.

Christie has to come up with a plan that has long-term viability, meaning that he mut find a soure of income that replenishes the TTF every year, cuz PANYNJ is not going to keep dumping money into the TTF.

Haha, funny joke. Chrisco doesn't have to do shit. He just has to kick the can another four or so years down the road so its his replacement's problem. By then he'll probably have secured himself a position elsewhere in the GOP like a good hack should receive.

What's puzzling about this though: the reallocated PANYNJ monies were supposed to last for a few years (to the tune of a couple hundred mil a year).

Where do you think that tax break for the state's billionaires came from? Fine, the funds didn't come directly from one to the other, but it's certainly awful convenient. That, or else maybe NY asked for their money back.

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Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation

Posted by The Silence on Thu May 31 02:17:08 2012, in response to Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation, posted by RiverLINE3501 on Wed May 30 19:05:29 2012.

How about you put your money where your mouth is and try running a state yourself.

Lets comapire him to the last one, who now facing the SEC over losing several billion dollars in other people's money.

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Re: Christie turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation

Posted by Olog-hai on Thu May 31 02:25:58 2012, in response to Re: Budget Gimmicks tapped out, Chrisco turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation, posted by The Silence on Thu May 31 02:17:08 2012.

$260 million is a drop in the bucket compared to Corzine's borrowing.

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Re: Christie turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation

Posted by WillD on Thu May 31 04:51:49 2012, in response to Re: Christie turns to borrowing to fund NJ Transportation, posted by Olog-hai on Thu May 31 02:25:58 2012.

It's also a drop in the bucket compared to Chrisco's total borrowing, which at $10.7 billion may be about $300 million lower than Corzine's largest deficit ($11 billion with the state matches for stimulus funding in the middle of the fiscal year), but it's only lower if you don't include the inconvenient fact that Chrisco is still stiffing the pension fund after "fixing" it while Corzine's budgets at least included the skeletal funding provided before the "fixes". And while Corzine's 2010 budget may have hit 11 billion with additional midyear funding, the 2009 and prior budgets had deficits which did not top $7 billion. Chrisco has done nothing to reduce the state's spending to those pre-stimulus levels, so why are you defending him when he's done nothing to cut spending?

The simple fact is that Chrisco has simultaneously reduced NJ's tax revenue, greatly increased spending, and gutted the essential capital project budgets of most state agencies. He is leading NJ to financial ruin.

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