Thursday, October 29, 2009

NJ Governor

The race for NJ governor is a little like the World Series in my mind: on one hand you have a team that I dislike and that can buy whatever it wants; on the other a band of underdogs, who look like they might win, but about whom I can't summon up much enthusiasm other than the desire to see the disliked team lose.

I'm talking, of course, about Corzine and the Yankees on the one hand, and Christie and the Phillies on the other. About the former there's not much to be said that I haven't already. About the latter: how can I be enthusiastic about Chris Christie? His strongest credential is fighting corruption. Since we have a corruption problem in NJ, that would seem to be important. But we have a much more urgent problem: we're going bankrupt. It's bad already and the dynamics are only getting worse.

As of right now, New Jersey suffers the highest tax burden of any state, according to the Tax Foundation. So the treasury coffers must be bursting, right? Well, no. In fact, our debt continues to balloon to ever-greater heights while, at the same time, both residents and businesses flee the state. Eventually, whoever is left will have to pay this off, so let's hope the last person left in the state is really wealthy.

Back to Christie: he talks a little about cutting spending and cutting taxes, but there's no reason to believe he's serious about it. He won't take on the public employees' unions that are sucking the state dry. He might cut some taxes, or reinstate the property tax rebates that Corzine suspended, but without commensurate spending cuts that only delays the inevitable.

The only reasons to back Christie at all are that he's not Corzine, and that electing him would send Obama Nation a message that people are getting fed up with Democrats - even in New Jersey. Is that enough to get me to vote on Tuesday? I'm not sure. Maybe I'll be out celebrating a Phillies victory instead.

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