Supposedly one of the sharper tools in the GOP shed, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, heard that Illinois cranked up its taxes through the roof so he pulled a stunt worthy of James O’Keefe, traveling to Illinois (on taxpayer dollars?) for this pitch (hat tip to Atrios):
Christie, along with governors in Indiana and Wisconsin, has been trying to pry jobs from Illinois after Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signed a record 67 percent tax increase Jan. 12.
Illinois raised its flat personal income tax rate to 5 percent from 3 percent, but that is below New Jersey’s graduated rates for taxable incomes above $40,000, Quinn’s press secretary, Brie Callahan, said in an interview last week. And while the Illinois corporate rate is increasing to 7 percent from 4.8 percent, that is still below New Jersey’s 9 percent rate, she said.
“We, of course, welcome Gov. Christie and we welcome him spending New Jersey dollars on the Illinois economy,” Callahan said Friday.
Illinois faced a shortfall of at least $13 billion in the 2011 budget year.
What are the Republicans shaving off the budget for next year, $70 billion? Even a hundred billion? Let’s be nice and say so. Not much of a dent in a trillion-plus deficit, is it? Yet according to each and every Republican Obama is responsible along for the huge deficits of the past two years (even Bush’s 2009 budget, with its $1.2 trillion deficit). So it’s plain to see that Republican talk on spending is always, always superficial and insufficient to address our challenges. Yet when one state buckles down and tells citizens they’re going to have to pony up to pay for the government they democratically chose, this Republican Christie can’t wait to try pulling a stunt to punish their act of responsibility. And, yet, like most Republican stunts, it is composed of pure fail. Imagine dragging your $3 hot dogs over to the next stand because you heard they doubled their prices…to $2.50.
Meanwhile, Christie nixed a Jersey/New York tunnel that would have put a lot of his citizens to work and brought much-needed infrastructure to the region, forcing 45 extra minutes of commuting onto the citizens driving economic productivity.
Senator Frank Lautenberg issued a statement today that read, in part: “The Governor was given a deal from the federal government on Sunday that put no extra imposition on the state of New Jersey for its obligation to the ARC Tunnel project, and the Governor refused it. It was clear from the beginning that Governor Christie planned to kill the ARC Tunnel no matter what… This is a tragic day in New Jersey’s history. Two weeks ago, Governor Christie made the biggest public policy blunder in New Jersey’s history. Today he repeated it… The Governor has put politics before performance, and it is the people of New Jersey who will pay the high price.”
Politics over performance? That’s GOP dogma, purely expressed.