Chris Christie: "Jobs and Infrastructure Are Not What New Jersey's About":
No need to adjust your monitors to widescreen. That fat bag of snacks, that tub of elephant shit up there is, in fact, the governor of New Jersey, Christopher J. Christie. The "J" stands for "jelly." The Republican was elected in 2009, and, oh, the benefits the state has reaped. So far, Christie is responsible for the loss of $400 million in education funding, and now, with his killing of the already-underway construction of a new railway tunnel that would go from Secaucus to near Penn Station, he's tossed back $3 billion in grant funds to DC, as well as put the state on the hook for the $300 million the federal government already spent. This is not to mention the jobs lost, the economic development squashed, the positive environmental impact for polluted Northeast Jersey blown away.
Christie says he's making a brave stand for fiscal responsibility, that the project might well run several billion dollars higher than originally budgeted. "I have made a pledge to the people of New Jersey that on my watch I will not allow taxpayers to fund projects that run over budget with no clear way of how these costs will be paid for," said the governor. How brave. How...oh, wait..
From the Newark Star-Ledger, December 11, 2009: "Gov.-elect Chris Christie yesterday defended his decision to support borrowing more than $1 billion to pay for highway and mass transit improvements, saying it would be 'irresponsible' to cut off funding for projects that have already started."
Now, why would a morbidly obese man undulate his girth away from a pork-filled buffet? Because he wants filet mignon, a big heaping helping of it. With blue cheese sauce.
Christie ain't gonna, no-how raise the gas tax. He's a modern Republican and that means ideology trumps all. Also, he needs money for the empty coffers of the state's highway fund. The Star-Ledger pointed out, on November 26, 2009, "Gov.-elect Chris Christie has vowed not to raise New Jersey's 14.5-cent-per-gallon tax to replenish the state's diminishing funding resources for road and rail projects. Both state and federal taxes -- which combined add 32.9 cents to the per-gallon price -- haven't been raised in about two decades." To be fair, the man-shaped goo-bag did campaign on the issue. But he also claimed he supported the tunnel, so, you know, things change, eh?
And why is this gluttonous ogre, who would make Diamond Jim Brady say, "C'mon, motherfucker, eat a salad," so very, very opposed to even a small increase in the gas tax in order to fund, you know, the things the cars drive on? Well, let's let some of New Jersey's editorial writers tell you why:
"He knows that raising the gas tax would spoil the political image he has built for himself, all the way to Iowa. He’s a rock star on the national conservative circuit now, and that’s hard to give up," says the Star-Ledger's editorial board.
Or, as Atlantic City Press's Jim Perskie writes, "[I]t’s fair to ask if killing the tunnel project is yet another indication that Christie is now more interested in burnishing his national image as a tough, cost-cutting Republican presidential candidate than in governing New Jersey...when you are out in Iowa telling the faithful about all you’ve done in New Jersey, nobody in the audience checks to see if you’ve actually done it or just proposed it."
They look soft, but hippos are the most easily enraged and dangerous beasts in the jungle.
(By the way, the Rude Pundit has driven on River Road in Edgewater, New Jersey, and seen the destruction of a perfectly lovely rocky cliffside in order to build the tunnel. What a goddamn waste.)
Correction: An earlier version of this said Christie was elected in 2008. He was not. He was elected in 2009, which means he's worked really quickly to be so awful.