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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?

Gov. Chris Christie was a featured luncheon speaker 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.

Should Christie tell Washington how to fix its fiscal and economic policy?

  • Are you kidding? Not when New Jersey has the third-lowest bond rating in the country, has yet to regain 63 percent of the jobs lost in the past recession, and is struggling to plug its fifth budget deficit in three years.

  • Sure, the pension problem would be worse if he didn’t team up with Sweeney. Obama and Boehner should pay attention.

  • No, he should only give advice to New Mexico. It’s the only state with a worse economic growth rate than New Jersey.

  • Why not? Jon Corzine used to go on cable TV all the time talking about the economy, and look how well he did with MF Global.

  • What’s he doing in Washington when he has an $807 million budget gap and doesn’t trust the Treasury economists he left back in Trenton to get the numbers right?

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