Hitting back at Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce’s (R-Morris Plains) criticism for campaigning for Barack Obama in Florida, Gov. Corzine said that the Republican’s complaints about people fleeing the state over the cost of living and rising taxes are deeply flawed.
“I think everybody knows we haven’t raised taxes in two years. In fact we’ve cut taxes. He’s being quite partisan, when in fact the problems we have in New Jersey are fundamentally a problem driven by a failure of economic policy at a national level,” said Corzine on a press conference call from Florida. “We have a national recession — an economic crisis brought on by failed policies of a Republican administration and congress that for eight years has failed to deal with job creation and income growth of middle-class Americans. It’s not unique to NJ. It’s true in every state across the country.”
Corzine also said that a Princeton University study released yesterday disputes DeCroce’s claim about population loss, and that it demonstrates that people who seek a high quality of life and good educational opportunities are still coming to the Garden State.
The Governor took the opportunity to allay fears that Wall Street woes will hurt the state’s revenue stream and pension funds, saying that investments in companies that have hit trouble over the course of the last week are “significantly underweighted.”
“It’s too early to speculate how the financial services world will sort out with respect to its implication for revenues,” he said. “Furthermore, we took a very aggressive stances when we put together our budget and anticipated that there would be very significant diminishment in revenue this year, and that’ one of the reasons we wound up cutting the budget by absolutely $600 million. Not against the growth rate like a lot of our neighboring states, but absolute dollar cuts.”
In Florida, Corzine has met with community groups, businessmen and public officials in the Miami area. He said that campaigning on behalf of Obama is one and the same as working to fix the economy.
“Some political partisan observers are wondering what I’m doing in Florida. I’ll tell you what I’m doing in Florida. We’re trying to get a president in office who will do something about fixing our economy, and dealing with the financial crisis we have and probably the worst management of the situation since the depression, with outcomes completely unknown that reflect a complete failure of the stewardship of the economy by the Bush administration,” he said. “We need to make sure we have a change in policy, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to have done by making sure we elect Barack Obama.”