Governor Chris Christie has been recognized as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for the second time, but the question remains: what impact has the Governor’s influence had?
- Christie’s influence has not helped to reduce New Jersey’s nine percent unemployment, which is the worst unemployment rate in the region and significantly higher than the national unemployment rate of 7.6 percent.
- Christie’s influence has not helped to reduce the percentage of New Jersey families living in poverty, which has risen for four years in-a-row to record levels.
- Christie’s influence has not brought down property taxes, which have risen approximately 20 percent on his watch due to the reduction of rebates.
So what has Christie influenced?
- He has used his influence to conditionally veto the minimum wage bill, denying low-wage workers a long overdue raise, even as more New Jersey families continue to fall into poverty and income inequality rises.
- Christie used his influence to pursue one of the nation’s most aggressive packages of corporate tax breaks and subsidies. However, both history and our state’s persistent high unemployment rate have proven that trickledown economics is not a solution for New Jersey’s jobs crisis.
- Christie used his influence to cancel the ARC Tunnel project which would have created 6,000 new construction jobs, created 45,000 permanent jobs, increased real estate values, and spurred economic activity.
- Christie used his influence to cut property tax rebates for seniors, to slash education funding to our schools, to reduce tuition assistance for college students, to erode collective bargaining rights for public workers, to veto pay equity legislation, to cut funding for women’s health care/family planning, to pick fights with teachers, and to gut the Earned Income Tax Credit.
There is no denying that Governor Chris Christie is influential. But for unemployed families, low wage workers, and our state’s middle class, Christie’s influence has been a disaster.