Wisniewski says Christie falls short of leadership in speech

New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman John Wisniewski today savaged Governor Chris Christie’s State of the State address, calling the speech a showboating exercise in trickle-down economics.

“Governor Christie outlined an agenda that fails to address critical problems that threaten New Jersey’s economy and quality of life,” said the state party chairman, who also serves as an assemblyman from the 19th District. “New Jersey needs a leader who recognizes the chronic unemployment, tax inequity, environmental problems and fiscal time bombs we face and works with the Legislature to craft solutions.  

“For all his talk about bipartisanship and his fight for New Jersey’s taxpayers, Governor Christie has, at best, deferred action on critically important issues or, at worst, refused to honestly discuss and address problems he would rather defer until after the next election, regardless of the consequences,” Wisniewski added. “At a time when New Jersey needs a leader, we have a showman, but no leadership.” 

The Democratic leader said the Governor took credit for slower growth in property taxes in the past year, but failed to recognize the impact of his cuts to education, aid to municipalities and property tax rebates during his tenure.

“These cuts have a direct relationship to increases in property taxes over the past few years,” Wisniewski said. “They have increased the property tax burden for New Jersey’s middle class families to achieve the Governor’s goal of reducing income taxes for New Jersey’s millionaires. The effect is particularly brutal given our unemployment and economy.”

The state party chairman railed against what he cited as Christie’s failure to join the EPA in the fight against air pollution from states to our west, his withdrawal from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and a revised Energy Master Plan that rolled back the state’s renewable energy goal from 30% to 22.5%.  

Chair of the Assembly Transportation Commitee, Wisniewski also pointed to what he called “fiscal time bombs” the Governor failed to defuse.

“In the coming years, the Governor’s outline for funding the Transportation Trust Fund and his plan to fund the shortfall in the state’s contribution for pensions and benefits are structured with balloon payments that increase by $5 billion in the next few years,” Wisniewski said. “For all his rhetoric about responsible budgeting, he has set New Jersey on an unsustainable fiscal path. To suggest to the people of New Jersey that we may be able to afford tax cuts in light of our approaching fiscal crisis is the height of irresponsibility.   The Governor is not being honest about the fiscal future we face in the next few years.”


Wisniewski says Christie falls short of leadership in speech