Christie blames Democrat-backed taxes for slow economic recovery
Gov Chris Christie continues to blame New Jersey's slow post-recession economic recovery on Democratic-backed tax hikes that he says will only get worse if a Democrat replaces him when his term expires.
The governor said the Garden State is just "too expensive" and the Legislature "doesn't want to deal with it."
"First off, new stats came out this week saying NJ jobless claims are at a 15-year low. We haven't done as well as other states (with economic recovery) because we're too expensive. Our taxes are too high," Christie said Monday night.
The governor said he's vetoed more proposed tax hikes than any other governor in New Jersey history.
"People can't afford to live here and can't afford to die here," Christie said. "If there's a Democratic governor in my seat at the end of my term, put your hand on your wallet everybody, because they're coming."
New Jersey's unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent in September with 20,200 jobs being added over August — but that still compares to a national rate of 5.1 percent. New Jersey Policy Perspective noted back in April NJ had only recovered 68 percent of the jobs it lost in the recession — compared with a national figure of 135 percent.
Meanwhile, tax revenues have slowly climbed back to where they were around 2009, but are still way down from pre-recession levels.
Much of Christie's effort has been focused on holding the line on taxes — and trying to improve on an expensive business climate that started pushing businesses out of the state well before he took office. Those loses have cost New Jersey jobs and tax revenue, and that's a problem acknowledged broadly by both major parties.
Louis Hochman contributed to this story.
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor at NJ 101.5. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.