Cross-posted from Truthdig
Christie depicted the maneuver as a matter of financial necessity, as if he had no other choice but to effectively use New Jersey retirees' money to balance the state's books. With New Jersey under threat of another credit downgrade, Christie was certainly dinged a bit by the political press for not better managing his state's budget. However, lost in the noise about whether or not the governor is a true fiscal conservative was any discussion of the two choices his administration has made -- choices that are at the root of the budget crisis.
The first choice was Christie's decision to spend enormous amounts of New Jersey taxpayer money on lavish subsidies to corporations. As the New York Times reported two years ago, "Christie has approved a record $1.57 billion in state tax breaks for dozens of New Jersey's largest companies." As if that largesse wasn't enough, the Newark Star-Ledger reported that in 2013, Christie signed legislation that "lifts limits on how much the state can give out in economic incentives to corporations and developers."