Balancing New Jersey’s $800 Million Budget Shortfall - My9 New Jersey

Balancing New Jersey’s $800 Million Budget Shortfall

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Trenton, New Jersey (My9NJ) - It was recently announced that New Jersey’s revenue is about $800 million short of Governor Chris Christie’s projections. New Jersey’s constitution requires a balanced budget, so with just eight-weeks left in the fiscal year, the governor will have to either make cuts or raise taxes to break even.

At yesterday’s press conference, Governor Christie addressed his plans.

“I just found out about it yesterday at noon, and I think what you’ve seen is that there’s a number of states both in the region across the country that are dealing with the exact same problem. In the last 27 hours that I found out about it, we have not come up with a complete plan to deal with it, but this is not a problem we’re gonna grow out of, this is a problem we have to deal with aggressively,” he said.

It seems likely that the governor will be making more cuts, rather than raise taxes to resolve the budget deficit, but he won’t make any statements on where the cuts will come from.

Independent journalist Dennis Kneale chimed in to discuss what would be the best move for the governor to make.

“If he does the right things here, he’s going to be able to divert national attention from the entire issue of whether this guy is a hatchet man as a politician who punishes his enemies, and instead look at him as a CEO of a government and what he does in a big crisis here. Now the $800 million is only about 2.5% of a $34 billion budget. The reason New Jersey tax revenue came in $800 million short it’s because the federal government raised taxes on the rich. When you raise taxes you end up collecting less money because the rich end up doing things to avoid paying higher taxes,” he said.

Kneale believes that if Christie can make himself an ally to the taxpayers and unions then he is setting himself up for a good spot in the upcoming presidential election. However, he says that shouldn’t take away from the real budget problems still plaguing the Garden State.

“This budget crisis is only the beginning because the pensions that public employee unions have are just out of control in this country and the unions so far have consistently refused to do anything. This is not about keeping your word; this is about cutting spending so that it matches the income coming in. Jersey becomes the nations test lab for the next big confrontation between public employee pension funds and governments needs to spend only what it takes in,” Kneale concluded.


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