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Chris Christie Unfazed By Bridgegate, But Bond Rating May End 2016 Hopes

Chris Christie is waving BridgeGate away, but he should be worried about New Jersey's recent bond rating downgrade.
Chris Christie Unfazed By Bridgegate, But Bond Rating May End 2016 Hopes
Image from: Gage Skidmore

Chris Christie has pronounced BridgeGate a non-issue for 2016. Isn't that convenient?


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) was asked Wednesday what effect the George Washington Bridge lane closing scandal will have on his political ambitions.

“I think it will have none, because I didn’t do anything,” Christie said, according to Time magazine.

Christie was speaking to CBS News’ Bob Schieffer during an appearance at the Peterson Foundation Fiscal Summit in Washington, D.C.

Not doing anything is a hallmark of Christie's tenure. He talks the big talk, but doesn't walk it. Ironic that he was speaking at the King of Catfood's Summit, given his own fiscal problems, which prompted Moody's to downgrade the state's bond rating:

The agency said revenue shortfalls have been a persistent problem over the last three years, placing New Jersey in a "weakened financial position." Even before the current $807 million shortfall came to light, state revenue growth in the last three years had come in short of Christie’s projections by billions of dollars.

Covering up those budget holes every year with one-shot moves, instead of finding stable sources of revenue, doesn’t help, Moody’s added, and New Jersey residents can expect the financial strain to increase in the coming year.

"With the ongoing pressure of … pension contribution increases and lagging economic performance, the state will be challenged to improve its weak liquidity position," the analysts wrote.

Following downgrades by Fitch Ratings earlier this month and Standard & Poor’s in April, Moody’s lowered its credit rating for New Jersey by one step, from Aa3 to A1, on Tuesday night.

I wonder whether New Jersey would have been experiencing the same difficulties if Christie had taken the federal stimulus funds and rebuilt that tunnel, repaired bridges, and worked on actual job creation instead of placing the state in service to its billionaires.

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