Christie Uses East Brunswick Town Hall Meeting To Tout “Jersey Comeback”

Gov. Chris Christie holds his Jersey Comeback Town Hall in East Brunswick on Thursday, May 31. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

Gov. Chris Christie holds his Jersey Comeback Town Hall in East Brunswick on Thursday, May 31. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

EAST BRUNSWICK – Gov. Chris Christie used his 8oth town hall meeting since taking office to chastise Democrats for failing to pass his budget proposal that includes the first stage of a 10 percent across-the-board state income tax cut.

The governor initially made his tax cut proposal in his State of the State speech earlier this year as he touted a “Jersey Comeback,” but that narrative has run into the harsh reality of tax collections that have not met expectations. Christie plans to take money from New Jersey’s Clean Energy Fund and dollars that had been allocated for transportation spending to close a $676 million budget shortfall for the current and next fiscal years.

On the same day that a Star-Ledger’s PolitiFact™ New Jersey column wrote that the Garden State’s rate of job growth has lagged behind neighboring states since Christie took office, the governor again blasted those who challenge his “Jersey Comeback” message.

“I’ve never seen a group of people who are supposed to be serving the public root more against their state the way the Democrats root against it,” Christie said in a video clip posted to the governor’s YouTube account. “This state has a strong and hearty workforce that is starting to come back. And they’re coming back because they finally have someone in the governor’s chair who believes in them, who understands if their potential is unleashed, that they’ll bring the state back, almost despite what we do in this city. If we ever started to give them some help, imagine what would happen. And that’s what we’ve been doing for the last 2½ years… That’s why you’re seeing private sector job growth, that’s why you’re seeing more investment in New Jersey, because there’s finally someone in New Jersey who’s talking New Jersey up rather than talking New Jersey down. ”

Democrats have offered their own plans to help New Jersey taxpayers by increasing property tax credits, rather than providing income tax cuts that would allow higher-salaried taxpayers to save more money than low income workers.

Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) released the following statement on Thursday in response to Governor Christie’s East Brunswick town hall meeting:

“As usual, Governor Christie is using a handpicked audience in a controlled forum where he can remain unchallenged to perpetuate the myths of a New Jersey Comeback and Democratic opposition to tax relief,” said Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) through a statement released in response to the governor’s town hall meeting. “The truth is that there can be no comeback while New Jersey continues into its third year with unemployment at or above 9 percent. The truth is that Democrats are united in support of property tax relief targeted to those who need it most — New Jersey’s hard working middle class families. As the Star Ledger’s Politifact™ column demonstrated just last week, Christie’s statement about Democratic opposition to tax relief is ‘pure nonsense’, ‘just ridiculous,’ and a ‘Pants on Fire’ outright lie.”

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