Corzine aide disputes Christie math

Gov. Christopher Christie’s math doesn’t add up, said Josh Zeitz, an aide to the Democrat the new governor replaced 23 days ago, Jon Corzine.

“Even if we accept the governor’s revenue projections, his deficit is — at worst — somewhere between $739 million and $1.039 billion — a highly manageable problem when compared to the $4.4 billion budget gap that Jon Corzine closed in 2009,” said Zeitz, a former congressional candidate who joined Corzine’s senior staff last year.

Zeitz said that Christie “conveniently forgets we have a built-in surplus of approximately $500 million.”

“His deficit isn’t $2.196 billion.  It is $1.694 billion. Except, it isn’t,” Zeitz explained.  “Subtract the $175 million in revenue solutions that Jon Corzine enacted, which even Christie acknowledged.  The new deficit is $1.519 billion.”

“But not so fast.  Subtract the $480 million in spending cuts and freezes that Jon Corzine enacted, which even Christie has acknowledged and accepted.  The new deficit is $1.039 billion,” Zeitz said.  “Oops.  Remember when Christie didn’t want to credit Corzine with the $300 million school funding freeze, because he claimed that this needed to be enacted by legislation?  Now, Christie claims he has executive authority to freeze even more school funding, without legislative approval.  (Remember that “one set of rules” line from the campaign?)  So let’s credit Corzine with the $300 million in school aid freezes.  The new deficit is $739 million.”

Zeitz insists that Corzine enacted an additional $206 million in cuts that Christie either has reversed or refuses to recognize. 

“If he reversed those cuts, he should tell you about it.  If he didn’t, then the projected deficit is really $533 million,” Zeitz said.

According to Zeitz, a “generous” projected deficit is somewhere between $533 million and $739 million, something he describes as “a cakewalk compared to the $4.4 billion deficit that Jon Corzine had to close in 2009.”

“When Jon Corzine closed the $4.4 billion deficit in 2009, he didn’t whine about it.  He didn’t declare a state of emergency, or grandstand before a special session of the legislature.  He simply did the job he was elected to do. Thirty-six inches of snow in three days is an emergency.  A $739 million budget deficit is not an emergency,” Zeitz said. Corzine aide disputes Christie math