Sunday, May 4, 2014

New Jersey and Mississippi: Perfect Together

There can be no more damning a statistic than the one in today's Star-Ledger and on This article lays out in stark detail why Chris Christie will not be elected president, and why he should not have been reelected this past November. His economic record is terrible and New Jersey is tied with Mississippi, and just above New Mexico, as the state with the most anemic private sector job increases in the country.

Mississippi at least has some excuses for its place on the list, owing to its history, relatively poor population and the destruction of its industrial base over the past 40 years. New Jersey should be doing better. After all, this is the home state of the major pharmaceutical industries and one with a terrific public school system (unless Christie has his way with it) and a college-educated work force willing to put up with serious infrastructure problems ('nother train tunnel anyone? Anyone?) and terrible roads/trains/buses. And that's before we even get to work.

The governor will surely blame his troubles on the Democrats who run the legislature and who won't approve his business-friendly judges or cut the income tax so he can starve the public sector unions that contribute so much to the state's bottom line. He'd much rather make the unions pay even more for their pensions and benefits, simultaneously taking more money out of the economy and destroying the middle class, while blocking the even small revenue boost that would come from asking the wealthy to pay more. And he won't even make the pension payment he promised.

The Governor wants to run on his economic record. The problem is that he doesn't have one that the rest of the country would benefit from. He still also opposes marriage equality and ran against an immediate minimum wage increase of $1. It passed because the people of New Jersey voted for it, but nobody's getting rich on it.

Further complicating Christie's future plans is the entry of Jeb Bush into the national Republican conversation. Now donors might have to choose the Bush that even his mother preferred to be president with a governor who's still defending himself over a traffic jam. Right now, Christie is losing that race too. It really has gone from bad to worse. He won reelection with over 65% of the vote. Now he might not even compete with the family whose last son presided over the destruction of the economy and fought two wars on credit cards.

I'll say it again: Chris Christie won in 2013. That will prove to be his final general election win.

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