For an analysis of Gov. Christie’s Budget 2014 Address, NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider chatted with Republican Strategist Roger Bodman and David Rousseau, a Budget and Tax Analyst for NJ Public Policy Perspective and former State Treasurer.
Bodman: This is the fourth budget in a row that he has proposed that’s both balanced and with no new taxes. He’s had a tremendous record on private sector job growth, over 103,000 new jobs created since he became governor in the private sector, 20,000 less in the public sector, which is also what he promised. Pension reform — one of the driving forces behind increases in budgets both at the state and municipal and county level — he’s done a tremendous job there and this budget puts in $1.7 billion into that fund, the biggest pension payment ever made in the history of the state.
Rousseau – I think he’s kept some of his promises, but do his promises benefit everybody in the state? He touts that he hasn’t increased taxes. I dare you to ask the 500,000 people who have lost their earned income tax … if they hadn’t had a tax increase. They had a tax increase. I dare you to ask the almost one million households, who have had the homestead rebates slashed, if people thought of those as a tax increase. The fact that four years into an administration, you’re still hammering on the ills of the past is something that disappointed me in the speech. I though the post-Sandy Chris Christie might be a little more warm and fuzzy, but I guess he’s not.”