New Jersey Report Card: Chris Christie
Plays Well With Others: F-
Rather than treating others with respect, Christie instead insults and degrades both his colleagues and constituents. He’s called legislators “numbnuts” and “jerks”, implored reporters to “take a bat” to a state senator and referred to the Office of Legislative Services Director as “Dr. Kevorkian”. He’s called a Navy Seal an “idiot” for asking questions and screamed at people on the boardwalk.
Creative Writing: A+
Ignoring facts, Christie’s “Jersey Comeback” makes for gripping fiction. Under his watch, New Jersey’s economy ranks 47th, business climate slipped to 41st and property taxes spiked over 20%. Last month, unemployment spiked to 9.8% – the largest disparity from the national average since 1978 – as New Jersey lost another 12,000 jobs (7,100 in the private sector).
Organization Skills: A+
The Christie-publicity-machine is a well-oiled one. They’ve packed taxpayer-funded town halls with obedient GOP friends and allies. The only numbers that matter to Christie are YouTube hits and viral videos. His machine’s done a splendid job pushing those numbers, while ignoring the facts that actually matter to New Jersey families.
Home Economics: F
Not only have property taxes spiked over 20% since Christie took office, but now 1 out of every 12 mortgage loans in New Jersey is in the foreclosure stage. This number continues to rise as rates nationally fell to the lowest levels since 2008. New Jersey now has the 2nd highest percentage of mortgage loans in foreclosure in America.
Following Instructions: F
After Christie sabotaged the original Race to the Top application because his Education Secretary dared to collaborate with New Jersey’s teachers, students lost out on $400 million in federal dollars after the Christie administration bungled the paperwork and left the application incomplete.
Governor Christie is more-well travelled than Matt Lauer and Carmen Sandiego combined. Christie is the belle of the right-wing ball down in D.C., speaking to out-of the mainstream think-tanks and interest groups. From Louisiana to Florida to Utah to California… he’s stumped for a whole slew of middle-class breaking Republicans. In May, Christie was one of fellow union busting Governor Scott Walker’s biggest friends on the Wisconsin campaign trail.
Attendance: Unsatisfactory (Too many days cutting class)
As of May 2012, Christie was out-of-state 54 days out of the previous 8 months (not counting trips to D.C, NYC & Philly). That’s more than one and a half days a week out of state on average. It’s only gotten worse over the summer. And let’s not forget the snow days Christie took in Florida while New Jersey was dealing with a historic blizzard.
Christie’s rosy revenue projections are as much as $540 million off-target. He also fails to understand how his tax breaks for “job creators” don’t get the job done when New Jersey continuously lags the rest of America when it comes to jobs.
Sticking his head in the sand when it comes to climate change, Christie pulled New Jersey out of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. He’s also placed our air, land and water in jeopardy with his DEP Waiver Rule, which will gut over 100 essential environmental protections – all to curry favor with corporate lobbyists and the Koch Brothers.
Just like George W. Bush, Christie has failed to learn the dangers of fiscal gimmicks such as trickle-down economics that don’t trickle down and tax cuts for job creators who fail to create jobs.
Completely misinterpreting Bruce Springsteen’s music as badly as Paul Ryan fails to understand Rage Against the Machine. Christie claims to idolize Springsteen, yet his behavior completely contradicts every lesson Bruce has ever taught his fans and listeners.
Christie vetoed women’s health four times at $7.5 million a pop maintaining the money wasn’t there, while giving $261 million in bailout money to casino moguls.
Personal Finance: F
Christie’s pension reforms may have succeeded in portraying him as a tough, fiscal conservative, but under Christie’s watch, New Jersey failed to meet it’s financial obligations – by the end of fiscal 2011, the hole in the pension fund increased by $5.5 billion, climbing to $41.8 billion. New Jersey has also suffered ratings downgrades from the big three agencies: Moody’s, Fitch’s and S&P.
Driver’s Education: F
Under Christie’s policies, train and bus fares have increased substantially. Also, by canceling the bi-partisan supported ARC Tunnel linking to Manhattan, Christie stopped a project that would have taken 22,000 cars off the road every day and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, not to mention creating over 6k construction jobs immediately and some 45k permanent jobs.
Too many incomplete assignments.
– Chicago jobs promised as being “imminent” never came to fruition
– ARC Tunnel cancelled after years of bi-partisan support
– The Jersey Comeback that never was… and never will be under Christie