Both Republicans and Democrats are featuring governors at their national nominating conventions. Because convention speakers are chosen as the parties’ ambassadors to new audiences during these TV spectacles, the state policy team at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy are providing quick sketches of current governors from both parties who have been leaders – for better and for worse – in state tax policy.
[UPDATE 8/30/12: The good people at FactCheck.org reviewed Governor Christie's RNC speech and call it a Fact Free Keynote. Read why here.]
Tonight, America will hear from New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie, a man known for his bombastic, no-apologies approach and who we crowned "Fiscal Drama Queen" in our 2012 gubernatorial yearbook.
Since taking the reigns as the Garden State’s leader in January 2010, Governor Christie’s fiscal agenda has done “serious damage to virtually every constituency imaginable in this state – except for corporations and the super-rich.” Christie raised taxes on the working poor and on fixed-income seniors while at the same time insisting on tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthiest New Jerseyans. He has thrice vetoed a temporary millionaire’s tax (impacting a mere .2 percent of the state’s taxpayers, temporarily!) that would have prevented hundreds of millions of dollars in spending cuts to schools, health care for working families and legal assistance for low-income individuals, to name just a few programs impacted by Christie’s priorities.
And now, Governor Christie wants a significant income tax cut so much that he continues to swear by a fantastical revenue forecast despite consensus among nonpartisan experts that 2013 revenues are likely to fall a staggering $1.3 billion below that projection, (much like the last fiscal year, which ended with $542 million less in the bank than predicted).
An ideologue with political ambitions who fails to serve his constituents, Christie is nonetheless the keynote darling of the 2012 GOP.