Today, Governor Chris Christie will deliver his fifth State of the State Address. If it’s anything like his last four, it will attempt to put a shiny gloss on a failed record instead of proposing solutions that would help lift up working families who have been left by the wayside.
Before you watch the speech or read the Governor’s spin in tomorrow’s newspaper, here are the facts about New Jersey’s dire straits after six years of trickle-down economics and failed policies:
Tanking New Jersey’s Economy
Despite promises that lowering taxes for the wealthy and giving away over $4 billion to multinational corporations like J.P. Morgan and Pearson, Inc. would jump start the state’s economy, our recovery lags behind our neighbors:
- New Jersey ranked 49th in job growth last year, behind neighboring states like New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
- In 2013, NJ saw the largest increase in poverty and child poverty in the nation.
Failing New Jersey’s Middle Class
The Governor’s failed policies have led to a decline in economic security for New Jersey’s Middle class, slashing and undermining the pillars on which families have historically built their version of the American Dream.
- NJ has the fourth highest foreclosure rate in the nation, meanwhile Governor Christie misappropriated $75 million in foreclosure relief.
- Newark, Elizabeth and Paterson outrank even hard hit Detroit in their percentage of homes currently “underwater.”
- Instead of bolstering the middle class as promised, Governor Christie made home ownership LESS affordable by slashing property tax rebates in half.
- Instead of increasing higher education in his first term as promised, Governor Christie CUT funding for state public colleges and universities spending by 15% in his first year in office.
Governor Christie likes to talk tough about fiscal responsibility, but he has repeatedly taken actions that undermine our state’s fiscal health. His failure in this area will have long standing repercussions for NJ and its residents for years to come.
- By failing to fully fund the state pension, Governor Christie broke the very law he rammed through the New Jersey Legislature.
- New Jersey has seen eight credit downgrades over the course of Christie’s first term, driving up borrowing costs five-fold over the last 19 months.
Failing Sandy Survivors
Despite having $1.1 billion earmarked for families impacted by Sandy, two years later many have not received the support they badly need.
- Of the $709 million that has been awarded, only $323.2 million has actually gotten out to people in need.
- Of the 40,500 primary residences that were destroyed or damaged in Sandy, only 328 homes have been completed as of January 6th.
Under Governor Christie, New Jersey public schools have been underfunded by a staggering $6 billion, leading to larger class sizes and reduced programming. What’s worse is that Governor Christie’s cuts have hit students the neediest of students the hardest.
- Governor Christie illegally changed per pupil funding mandated under the School Funding Reform Act, taking funding away from poor students and English Language Learners.