OLS Budget Analyst Admits All Revenue Estimates Are Wrong [AUDIO]
On Wednesday, Dr. David Rosen with the Office of Legislative Services (OLS) estimated that over the next 14 months state revenues will lag $1.3 billion behind Christie’s projections. Governor Chris Christie expects the budget gap to be about $676 million.
Rosen freely admits that every revenue projection is wrong.
After hearing Rosen’s estimates, Christie blasted the budget expert calling him, “The Dr. Kevorkian of the numbers.” The Governor says OLS is partisan and always has been. He claims it caters to the majority party in New Jersey which currently happens to be the Democrats.
It is crystal clear that the Governor is not buying Rosen’s projections. Christie says, “Nobody in New Jersey believes David Rosen anymore, nobody, and nobody should…..He’s so wrong for so long that his credibility is now gone….Why would anybody with a functioning brain believe this guy? How often to you have to be wrong to finally be dismissed?”
At least one of Rosen’s predictions was 100% true. Even before Christie’s tirade, Rosen had this to say to the Assembly Budget Committee, “I suspect that some of the conversation today and in the next few weeks will concern contrasting revenue estimates. The first lesson that should be learned by a revenue estimator is humility.”
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“All revenue estimates are wrong, particularly when the economy does things that are unexpected on the upside or downside, revenue estimates can be fairly substantially wrong,” said Rosen, also before Christie blasted him. “It’s absolutely true that sometimes we’re wrong on the high side and sometimes we’re wrong on the low side and we probably should be. If we were consistently wrong in one direction it might suggest a bias of one kind or another. When we’re wrong we’re just wrong because we missed.”
Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald came to Rosen’s defense saying, “The Governor’s comments toward Dr. Rosen are especially troubling. This is yet another example of the Governor’s reprehensible use of name-calling whenever things don’t break his way. While some people run from the truth, numbers don’t lie, and once again the Governor is ignoring basic facts – such as how the Office of Legislative Services has been more accurate than the executive branch in forecasting revenues.”
“We stand firmly behind Dr. Rosen,” says State Senate President Steve Sweeney. “He is a true professional who has never shown a partisan leaning in his many years of service to Legislatures and legislators both Democratic and Republican.”
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver says, “The Governor has apparently lost control of himself. If your child acted this way, you would scold him. If your neighbor acted this way, you would have nothing to do with him. If a business leader or a school principal acted this way, they would be dismissed. It is not acceptable for the Governor of the State of New Jersey to act this way. The Governor may not like the budget projections, but that’s not Dr. Rosen’s fault. Dr. Rosen is a professional who works for both parties and has been over time a more accurate revenue forecaster than the executive branch.”
A press release from the Governor office says, “The shortfall for the two years is completely manageable with a $314 million shortfall for fiscal year 2012 and a $362 million shortfall for fiscal year 2013. Although these are revised estimates, the Treasurer has outlined common sense budgeting solutions because the administration has consistently and aggressively managed government all year long. Solutions include spending below budget in fiscal year 2012 and lower spending forecasts for 2013 which exist because actual spending for the year has been managed throughout the course of the year to levels below what was initially projected.”