Wednesday, April 30, 2014

If You Dispute Chris Christie's Budget Estimates, He'll Go After You — Even If You're Right

Despite what Cato Shrugged thinks, Chris Christie is nothing but a typical evil politician.

Vox reports:
"Governor Christie's predictions for tax collections have missed the mark," the Bergen Record's John Reitmeyer writes today, and the state now has an $800 million budget shortfall. It's only the latest in a series of optimistic budget estimates by Christie that have been disproven by reality.

Economic forecasting is hard, and there isn't malfeasance behind every missed projection. But what makes this particularly embarrassing for Christie is that, when the state's top budget wonk criticized his past forecasts, Christie responded by insulting him and suggesting that he be fired...

When Christie issued his budget estimates in 2012, they looked odd to most observers. He predicted that revenue would have a huge yearly increase of 7.4 percent — which the Star-Ledger found was the most optimistic in the nation — due to economic growth...

[I]t was very inconvenient when David Rosen said Christie's projections would come up $145 million short this year, and $392 million short the following year. Christie criticized Rosen immediately, calling his office partisan and saying "they shouldn't be given any credibility." He added, "They're background noise to the New Jersey comeback."

Weeks later, Christie went further, going after Rosen personally in what the Star-Ledger called "a fiery 20-minute tirade." He called Rosen, widely respected among legislators of both parties for years, a "Dr. Kevorkian of the numbers" and asked, "Why would anybody with a functioning brain believe this guy? … How often do you have to be wrong to finally be dismissed?" Christie went on: "It should be humiliating to him. Nobody in this state believes David Rosen, anymore, nobody. And nobody should. He's so wrong, for so long, that his credibility is now gone."...

But Rosen's projections turned out to be far more accurate — and, if anything, were conservative. He had said that revenue for the 2012 fiscal year would fall $145 million short of Christie's estimates, and it actually fell $275 million short.  For the two fiscal years ending in June 2013, Rosen predicted a $1.3 billion revenue shortfall, and this also turned out to be right on.

As the inconvenient numbers rolled in, Christie kept insulting Rosen publicly, calling his estimates "politically motivated," and saying Rosen wanted to derail his planned tax cut. But only days later, Christie's administration advised potential bond investors on Wall Street that revenue could fall far short of their earlier estimates — as it subsequently did.


  1. How anyone could think that fat bully would make a good president is beyond me. He needs to get off his lard bottom and make a real living.

  2. How do you know if a politician is lying? Look to see if his mouth's moving. Christie like to talk, action-not so much. States like NJ have massive amounts of debt, sky-high taxes (worst in the nation, by some measure). Really you have very deep, difficult problems that, even with discipline and sacrifice, would take years to rectify (absent a default). It's much, much easier to just talk and pretend that everything's OK and getting better, than to address problems head on, be more truthful, and actually get something done. State government in NJ (schools, police, pensions, etc.) have grown so large that they're suffocating its residents with taxes. It's like a huge tapeworm that gets hungrier as it gets fatter -- kind of like Christie.