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Battle Continues Over Governor Christie’s Tax Cut Plan [AUDIO]

Governor Christie is making plans to tour the Garden State this summer- to demand that Jersey Democrats explain why they’re holding his tax cut plan hostage.

Govenor Chris Christie
Governor's Office/Tim Larsen

Democrats, meanwhile are busy putting out press releases accusing the Governor of favoring the rich, and turning his back on the middle class.

Peter Woolley, Director of the FDU PublicMind poll, says on this issue, “It looks like the Governor comes out on top – because if the democrats do agree to a guaranteed tax cut, Christie looks like a hero at the GOP national convention, and if he doesn’t get the tax cut now, he gets to say that the Democrats denied this tax cut- that this is the MO of the democratic party…So he gets a good target to shoot at, and even if he doesn’t win on the issue, at least he gets somebody very clearly to point at and to contrast himself to.”

He says with the Republican National Convention coming up, Governor Christie will be featured prominently, and it’s not surprising that democratic leaders won’t budge on the tax issue, since “I think the Democrats would like to give him as little to crow about at the National Republican Convention as they can, but the fact is they’ve already cooperated in a number of reforms.”

Woolley adds even though this issue has now turned into a type of political theater, “political theater is communication – and what Christie wants to communicate is not just bipartisanship, but he wants to communicate the difference between his program and the program of the democrats…if he gets his tax cuts he can claim bipartisan support, if he doesn’t get his tax cuts he can say – look, that’s the difference between me and the Democratic party.”

He also points out Christie’s summer tour is ” a good way to drive home his message…And that’s the power of the Governor’s office – when you’re the Governor, you get the bully pulpit, you get to be the one guy who speaks for you.”

Woolley adds the bickering over this issue – the back and forth between the Governor and Legislative Democrats – will probably continue for months- and it could stretch into next year, when Christie presumably runs for re-election.

He also says it’s interesting to note “the tax cut they’re talking about is really very small – the first year of the tax cut would really be about 150 million dollars worth for the whole state…For the average person – it might add up to a couple hundred dollars- it’s really a pittance…We have this grand political theater but we’re talking about a relatively small amount of dollars here.”

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