Republican Gov. Chris Christie is basking in the national spotlight while actively campaigning for the job of VP on Romney’s ticket. In his absence from New Jersey our state is in dire economic decline and our governor does not appear to notice or care.
Christie is busy trying to paint the state's black economic picture white by spinning a tapestry of fiscal fantasy. But there is a point where realty becomes unavoidable and no amount of bombastic rhetoric will hide the dismal truth that New Jersey is in trouble as the result of Christie’s failed economic policies.
As Christie campaign’s across the nation, property taxes are eating up a larger share of family income in New Jersey. In fact, net property taxes are 20 percent higher under Christie than they were 2 years ago when he became governor. With property tax credits and rebates included the average New Jersey homeowner paid $7,519 in net property taxes last year, up from $6,244 in 2009 according to statistics released by the State Department of Community Affairs. A significant part of the problem is that New Jersey is the only state other than New Hampshire where local property taxes are higher than state income, sales and corporate taxes combined.
The March 2012 unemployment figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics add to New Jersey’s economic distress under Christie. New Jersey’s state unemployment rate is still at 9 percent, far higher than the national average of 8.3 percent. Our unemployment rate is even more dismal when compared to surrounding states, while we remain above 9 percent, Maryland’s unemployment rate is 6.6 percent, Delaware 6.9 percent, Connecticut 7.7 percent, Pennsylvania 7.5 percent, and Virginia at 5.6 percent; no wonder Christie is looking for a job in Washington, DC.
Our state’s high unemployment figure is directly related to the fact that New Jersey’s housing market continues to fall. According to the housing index from online marketplace LendingTree LLC, New Jersey’s housing market ranks near the bottom in the nation due not only to unemployment rate but also rate of foreclosure, home vacancies, loan to value ratio, and equity. In the LendingTree index, New Jersey was 47 out of 49 geographies in the nation, ahead of only Florida and Nevada.
New Jersey homeowners need to remove their blinders and see the economic crisis that has been the true result of Christie’s failed economic policies, as Truman said, “The buck stops here." And here for New Jersey is on Governor Christie’s lap.
Christie needs to worry less about his personal political future and more about the economic future of New Jersey families.