Oopsie; New Jersey Owes $271m

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is doing his bit to further the Republican agenda of letting America rot, and as you recall he recently halted a project to build a new tunnel to Manhattan under the Hudson, for which the state had received a big chunk of federal money. He wanted to spare New Jersey taxpayers, he said.

But here’s the oopsie — the feds want the tunnel money back.

The Federal Transit Administration has sent a debt notice to New Jersey demanding a payment of $271,101,291 by Dec. 24. After that, the feds will charge interest on whatever the state still owes.

An editorial in the New York Times sums up Gov. Christie’s other accomplishments so far:

While Mr. Christie was busy hacking away at public education in his state so he could preserve lower tax rates for multimillionaires, his administration also bungled its application for education money through the Race to the Top program and lost $400 million. He also lost federal matching funds for family planning by vetoing the state’s share.

Apparently, Gov. Christie’s only executive abilities are losing federal money and getting himself on YouTube. No wonder the GOP sees him as future presidential material.

31 thoughts on “Oopsie; New Jersey Owes $271m

  1. Christie is beloved by Sarah and her Heartland ‘Reel Murkin’s” because they hate NY City, and this “Tunnel to Somewhere” is viewed as just like Alaska’s “Bridge to Nowehere” (which Sarah was for before she was aginst, or vica versa, whichever way the tweet blows that day).
    They don’t want any money spent on access to NY from NJ, where each and every tunnel, whether for vehicles or trains, is horribly backed-up every morning and afternoon at rush hours. Where additional train lines can lower vehicular traffic. Where all it takes is a rich putz in his Hummer rear-ending another rich putz in his BMW while text messaging on the GWB, or some poor yutz in an ’82 Yugo, where grafitti is the only paint on the car, and it hasn’t had an oil change since Clinton was President, and they could afford it, breaking down in the Holland Tunnel at 7am, to make walking to work on your hands seem like a faster option. Nor do they care. And they don’t know what it’s like to play ‘Radio Roulette,’ where you switch from 880WCBS to 1010WINS to see which one has a tip first, and you go for it before everyone else does, and maybe you can shave 15 minutes off of what’s looking like what they’re telling you is an hour delay, which means mores like two – at best.
    Also, they don’t realize that the Federal tax dollars NY and NJ pay, flow down to them so that passing lanes can be built on two-lane roads in The Heartland so they can finally pass that truck going 35 in a 55 that’s carrying pigs to slaughter (if you haven’t had THAT experience, I wouldn’t put it on my ‘Bucket List” – you’d rather be dead instead. Trust me on that one.).
    “I H8 NY!” is their motto. “I H8 SF” is the one for the other coast.

    Me? I forgot whether it was you maha, or one of the commenters, who said that there ought to be a sign at every crossing into or out of NY City that says something like, “Your wait is courtesy of the political ambition and fiscal stupidity of NJ Governor Chris Christie!”
    Doubtless, this idiot wanted to use the money from NOT building the tunnel into keeping gas prices low, and on additional lanes on highways, so that more cars can wait cheaper when the road narrows and still bottlenecks in a system designed for 1970’s traffic, if that.
    So, Chris, no RR tunnel, no money. Perhaps if the Governor decided to skip a few meals, they could at least break ground. Hell, if the fat pig went on a diet, they might be able to build it without Federal help.
    JFK in the 1960’s – ‘If we all work together, we can make it to the moon before the ’60’s are over!’
    Republicans in 2010 – ‘We can’t afford to fix or improve the infrasturcture, which must have been built by f*cking elves at night or something, since government can’t do anything right! Besides, you shmucks should have been rich so you can helicoptor in.’

    There, I feel better…
    Ah, time for my noon break. What should I take with my decaf today? Thorazine, or Vallium? Ooops, I forgot, I don’t have medical, so I’ll just have to make do with the coffee, I guess.

  2. Crap, I just wrote a long word salad, hit ‘Submit Comment,’ and it disappaered!

  3. Thanks, maha, I spent a long time on that rant. I’m not sure it was worth it, but, what the hay…
    You know what I think put it in there? The names of the pharmaceuticals. I gotta remember that!

  4. Also in the news today: the “$700 billion bailout” (TARP) actually cost $25 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

    Tops on the Tea Partiers’ Christmas wish list: white-out for their protest signs.

  5. Gulag, dang your word salad treat is Most Tasty, even when pulled out of the spam filter.

    I wonder how long Christie will last. NJ isn’t the Outback, and I’m sure SOME people there are tired of being ruled by a laughing stock with thimble-sized ideas.

  6. Gulag, one or two more thoughts – ever think of writing your own blog? OTOH, people more paranoid than myself are being more guarded with their comments these days, knowing that probably all emails, phone calls, blog comments are likely ending up in some database.

    See this comment to If You’re Not Paying For It, You’re the Product:

    As a consultant, I wrote a whitepaper for $INSURANCE_COMPANY that discussed using social network data to refine their premium calculation metrics. The essence of it was that people by themselves do not give an adequate portayal of the risk they represent, as the high-payout-low-occurrence events simply do not occur all that often in a person’s life so they are hard to accurately insure against, but knowing who their friends are helps immensely…. [my emphasis]

    It’s for this reason (and the fact that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has repugnant Libertarian leanings) that I won’t join Facebook, for example. It’s too easy for Any Co. to build a profile about you based on your circle of friends and their loose comments.

  7. Republican logic: New Jersey is on the East Coast. The East Coast is evil. Christie is destroying New Jersey. Therefore, Christie is good. Also, Jeebus.

  8. I don’t know what the construction industry is like up in NY & NJ right now..But if it’s anything like Florida, then throwing some jobs into the economy doesn’t seem like a bad idea at this time. Can Christe eat a little humble pie at this point and backtrack to get this project going, or has he blown it for good?

    Maybe realizing that he’s pissed away$ 271 million dollars of taxpayers money might make him reconsider the wisdom of his decision.

    • Can Christe eat a little humble pie at this point and backtrack to get this project going, or has he blown it for good?

      My impression of Christie is that he’d rather put half of the state out of work than admit he was wrong about the tunnel. He’d probably rather feed the student body of Walt Whitman Elementary School in Bayonne (assuming there is one) to sharks than admit he was wrong about the tunnel. His entire claim to fame is about what a tough guy he is, standing up to parasites like the federal government and teachers and construction workers so that the wealthy of New Jersey can sleep soundly in their designer sheets at night.

      Put another way, if he does the right thing for the people of New Jersey and re-starts the tunnel, he loses his shot at ever being the Republican nominee for POTUS. So, bye-bye, tunnel.

      BTW, Mayor Bloomberg has suggested a more modest tunnel project that would be New York’s baby, because another tunnel is needed very badly.

  9. moonbat,
    What a kind thing to say! How like you.
    I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea of how to start. But, as of right now, I have plenty of time. As for being guarded, if I wasn’t picked up during the Bush Junta, there’s little chance of that happening in the next two years.
    Also, I I love my time here at maha’s site.
    Any one else want to chime in?

  10. We’ve got the same deal here in cheddaville. The new governor ran on the anti-train from Milwaukee to Madison. The feds payed $810 million for the high speed train. Said governor nixed the plan (even though he hasn’t taken office yet), claiming he wanted it for roads. He was too stupid to realize that this was a competitive, program grant and it could only be used for High Speed Rail. $100 has already been spent and would have to be repaid if HSR is not used. Governor elect claims it would cost dear cheddar-heads $8mil. per year to run the train, even if the train is free. And he doesn’t want to do that. But the $100 million repaid would fund AT LEAST 12 years of the train. Plus add jobs to a state that badly needs well paying jobs. If we give the money back, it goes to Illinois, as do the jobs.
    Gotta love these small gov’t republicans, they’re so stupid, well, I had a good euphemism but it would not be appropriate on this family site.

  11. Is there no outrage? The federal government is always wanting their money back especially the IRS. One would think they had more important things to be concerned about. Good article!

  12. [i]Also in the news today: the “$700 billion bailout” (TARP) actually cost $25 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.[/i]

    If only. As with Enron, creative accounting makes the Ponzi scheme all look good – until it collapses. Thanks to a simple accounting change in 2009, banks were able to hide their losses from view:


    The “$25 billion” figure is generated by claiming that the banks are paying back the federal government. The reality is that the big banks are bankrupt many times over, and they are “paying back” the old borrowed money with new borrowed money.

    Sooner or later, the FDIC will have to bail out the banks again, with money the government simply doesn’t have. Of course they can print it. Think Weimar Germany.

  13. I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea of how to start.

    Well, I was in a Borders bookstore a few days ago, browsing the computer books, and saw Blogging for Dummies. If there’s a subject inquiring minds want to know about, there’s probably a Dummies book for it.

  14. How about sending Gov. Christie “Fiscally Responsible Governance for Dummies?” “Job Creation for Dummies?”

  15. I wonder how long Christie will last. NJ isn’t the Outback, and I’m sure SOME people there are tired of being ruled by a laughing stock with thimble-sized ideas.

    It’s a politically diverse state. There are urban liberals, small-town conservatives, entrenched old money, struggling minority communities. I would guess the education level is above average, since jobs tend to be white collar and technical. The social conservatism is driven more by conservative Catholicism than by fundamentalism.

    So there are strong streaks of social conservatism, but what really gets people worked up are cost of living issues. Local property taxes are off the charts; New Jerseyites pay more than twice as much for car insurance than many other states. So all you have to say is “tax increases” and the whole state stampedes.

    I’d really like to know what’s being said about Gov. Christie around the NJ water coolers, and if people have buyer’s remorse yet.

  16. I bet they don’t have a Joining the Tea party for Dummies book. There wouldn’t be a market for it.. It’s an intuitive impulse.

  17. “Thanks to a simple accounting change in 2009, banks were able to hide their losses from view:”

    Suppose someone here was to criticize the drought because of the flood it will cause. You would scratch your head and say .. huh??? That’s what thimble-brain candide did in economic terms. He/she/it says the banks are broke because they were allowed to carry foreclosures on the books at inflated prices. Maybe, if you say the deflated current prices are the correct value. You concede DEFLATION as the condition we are in. But the last sentence. “Think Weimar Germany.” screams INFLATION as the economic condition, which would restore real estate to the value the banks are listing foreclosures.

    Pick one condition or the other – inflation or deflation – – you can’t have both at once and you MIGHT make a post that doesn’t brand you an economic fool.

  18. Tea Party for Dummies is what we call redundant.Good one, Swami.
    Gulag, I suggest stand up comedy, you’re a natural.
    You crack me up with your wry wit.

    I heard a rumor that our new Gov., Rick Scott wants to kill high speed rail; I’m thinking these bozos would have nixed the interstate highway system because it’s “Too expensive”. No vision at all…….

  19. To be far there are arguments that the Obama education plan is not a good one and might even be worse than Bush’s in some respects.

  20. Doug….Not your best comment. There is no reason why you should have called Candide a thimble brain or referred to him or her as an “it”. That was purely antagonist and unwarranted. You supplanted an accounting term with an economic term by the use of the words inflation and deflation to describe a valuation method and then reused those same words to apply in an entirely different realm with the same meaning attached. That’s a slight of hand that distorts the possibility of Candide’s comment being understood as it might have been intended.

    Think quantitative easing!

  21. moonbat,
    Thanks, I’ll look into it. But I think the “Dummies” one may be too complex. Maybe I’ll start with an “Idiot’s Guide…” That’s more my speed. 🙂
    Or, maybe I’ll ‘Google” it. God knows I have the time. And access to the internet, at least for now…

    OT – If the Republcians do decide to hold up, or stop, the UI extensions, I’d like to start a movement where the unemployed go to the offices of the politicans in their state, Repbulican or Blue Dog, and protest their decision. Maybe demand that the politicians offices feed us while we’re there.

  22. I believe Candide is confused, perhaps willfully. I would want to see some links supporting his or her statements. Non-Libertarian links, to be specific.

  23. Note: the link Candide provided doesn’t mention how the FASB accounting changes might or do impact the CBO’s TARP accounting, which includes money not distributed or already returned by recipients.

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