Streams

Assessing Christie's 2013 State of State

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gave his annual State of the State address yesterday. WNYC's Bob Hennelly discusses how Christie addressed the policy response to Sandy, and kicked off his 2013 re-election campaign.

Comments [10]

scott from Union City

@hjs11211 $300,000,000 is not a penny. BTW, it costs more to make a penny than it is actually worth.

@amalgam

I agree with your statement. Elected officials and should be held accountable for their corrupt deals. Voters should also hold them accountable by electing officials that are willing to serve the public as opposed to themselves or their cronies. Unfortunately, the dumbing down of our society, due in part to our failing public school system combined with a media that spends time covering mediocre "news" stories, leaves the majority of the public in the dark.

Should officials allocate tax dollars for saving cats while kids go hungry?
Should officials allocate tax dollars for new green bike paths in NYC while mentally ill people sleep in the street?
Should officials allocate an additional $40,000,000 in tax dollars to SAIC for a NYC time card contract that was found to be fraudulent?
Should officials continue to allocate tax dollars to a department of education that fail to educate our kids? I am not referring to good teachers.
Should officials continue to pay bus companies twice the going rate for transporting our children to failing schools?
Should government employees earn a higher salary and better benefits than the going rate for a similar job in the private sector.

If you don't pay taxes you probaly think its ok. For those of us that start businesses, create jobs, and pay taxes, the answer is usually a resounding no.

Build the ARC tunnel, just stick to the budget.

Jan. 09 2013 06:55 PM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

hjs - Ain't it the truth!

Jan. 09 2013 01:18 PM

amalgam
yep penny wise and pound foolish. Think of all the commuter hours wasted stuck in traffic.
"Think of all the good things that could have be done with that" time and money!

Jan. 09 2013 01:11 PM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

@ scott from Union city -

It's incumbent upon elected officials - and voters whose prerogative in our democracy is to hold their feet to the fire - to provide oversight and ensure responsible spending of public monies. If there are problems with any public venture, as with the ARC tunnel, then time must be made for a review of the process in order to make necessary changes, including restructuring contracts, etc. If you remember back to that time, public sentiment would have supported such contract renegotiation, etc., but it was never attempted. (Also, I'm not sure I can agree that over-spending is "basically stealing" without legitimate, verified evidence of that fact.)

Instead, out of hand, Christie decided to scrap the project, in part, because of potential future (not definite) cost overruns, but also because of ideological and political reasons to sock it to the Federal govt. He also was able to keep hundreds of millions for NJ in a time of budgetary need, the ethics of which can be debated.

In the end, Christie's decision displayed a lack of understanding that the ARC tunnel was not a project based on "convenience" or being "green" or even overspending, but one of economic efficiency and productivity, traffic reduction, pollution reduction, and the importance of infrastructure improvements in a globally competitive economy.

The project will eventually be completed because it's necessary for the NJ-NYC metro area to maintain and improve its vital transportation infrastructure considering an estimated 1 million more people will be added to NYC by 2050 alone.

It's not an option.

Jan. 09 2013 12:51 PM
scott from Union city, nj

@amalgam

I would have loved for the tunnel to be built as well. It would have been a short walk to the proposed station from my house. Unfortunately, the construction project appeared to be ripe with corruption and hundreds of millions over budget before it even reached the hudson river. A great transportation plan undermined by government waste and outright abuse of taxpayer funds.

Martha Stewart went to jail for making under $100,000 on an illegal stock trade. I'm curious to know if anyone went to jail for basically stealing $300,000,000 through over spending on the ARC Tunnel project. My guess is nobody went to jail or was even sued for fraud.

Think of all the good things that could have be done with that $300,000,000.00.

Jan. 09 2013 11:50 AM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

hjs probably recalls this - As a NJ resident, voter and daily NJ Transit rail commuter into NYC, I will never forget Christie's shutdown of the ARC tunnel.

Also, beyond the salaries , etc. of demonized public sector unions in NJ (and elsewhere), people must note the salaries, etc. of NON-UNION public officials, many elected and appointed, who often gain much while escaping public scrutiny.

Jan. 09 2013 10:31 AM
Burtnor from Manhattan

The caller who claimed that passage of the "right to work" law resulted in companies and jobs returning to Indiana was completely wrong. That claim has been roundly discredited. Any increase in jobs came from companies already in Indiana and a plant opening planned long before the attacks on unions began.

See just one article debunking the Governor's false claim here: http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/01/indiana_reaction_belies_pro-ri.html

Brian's initial response -- not to believe a self-serving book by a sitting Governor -- was correct, but the caller's specific claim was left unchallenged.

Jan. 09 2013 10:27 AM
scott Bankey from Union City

New Jersey is incredibly corrupt. Every 4 square mile area has its own city government with, police force, fire department, dept. of education, etc. A consolidation is in order but it is political suicide to propose such a measure.

Private businesses creates wealth for individuals and additional taxes for government. Cutting 20,000 government jobs is a drop in the bucket for NJ but a good start. Many government jobs here in NJ are simply unnecessary and waste our tax dollars.

Jan. 09 2013 10:20 AM
RJ from prospect hts,

I am struck by the statements that Gov. Christie is not going to take the "old" Democratic path of increasing taxes and simultaneously pushing the federal government to come through on long overdue funds. I realize they are different pots, but fundamentally, who does he think is putting money in the feds funding? I think any disaster victims should be helped immediately, but the governor's hypocrisy doesn't qualify.

Jan. 09 2013 10:16 AM

never forget ARC tunnel

Jan. 09 2013 10:14 AM

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