Poll: Should Gov. Christie Be Telling Washington How To Fix Its Fiscal Problems?
If timing is everything, what's New Jersey chief exec doing in D.C. when he's facing a mega-economic crisis here at home?
in Washington yesterday at the 2014 Fiscal Summit sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. The nonpartisan institute is focused on raising awareness of America’s long-term fiscal challenges and promoting solutions that put the nation on a fiscally economic path.
It wasn’t good timing: Christie’s speech came as New Jersey is wrestling with an $807 million current-year budget deficit and just one day after Moody’s downgraded the state's credit rating. The reasons: New Jersey's structurally unbalanced budget, its overreliance on “one-shot” budget gimmicks, and the growing long-term fiscal challenges posed by soaring pension and retiree health benefit costs.
The governor got a laugh when he blamed the shortfall on bad projections by Treasury’s economists. He branded the state’s long-term pension obligations “insanity,” but said the pension bill he and state Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) pushed through in 2011 was a model of bipartisanship that President Obama should emulate.