October 10, 2014

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Latest News, New Jersey

Christie Joins Fung, Highlights Shared Record of Fiscal Mismanagement & Jobs Failure

Governor Christie’s trip to Rhode Island to campaign for Rhode Island Republican Allan Fung served only to highlight their shared record of gross fiscal mismanagement and jobs failure.  Under Mayor Fung, unemployment increased even higher than the state level’s unemployment rate and Fung’s position on the Studio 38 bankruptcy would cost Rhode Island millions and reduce the state’s bond rating to junk status.  Under Christie, New Jersey’s bond rating has been downgraded a record–breaking eight times. This is the same kind of failed leadership that Rhode Island families would suffer under if Fung were elected governor.

Fung finds himself down in the polls because voters understand that Fung’s approach will undermine Rhode Island’s ability to grow businesses and create jobs. Just look at New Jersey under Christie – Rhode Island can’t afford it.

Here’s the background:

ALLAN FUNG:

Mayor Fung’s Position on Studio 38 Bankruptcy Would Cost Rhode Island Millions. “Non-payment would reduce the state’s bond rating to junk status, tarnish the state’s reputation and cost the state $36 million more than paying the debt under a “best case” scenario, according to the Minnesota-based SJ Advisors. Worst case: $361.8 million more.” [Providence Journal, 5/9/14]

Fung Consistently Opposed Paying Guaranteed Loans. “I am repeating my opposition to the 38 Studios loan guaranty and to the use of taxpayer dollars to repay those moral obligation bonds.” [Providence Journal, 5/12/14]

Under Mayor Fung, the Cranston Unemployment Rate Exceeds State Unemployment Rate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Cranston’s unemployment rate of 7.9 percent in August exceeded the state rate of 7.8. Cranston also had a higher rate in July 2014. [Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training: Cranston, Rhode Island]

Rhode Island Unemployment Rate is The Third Highest in The Nation. “Rhode Island continued to have the third-highest unemployment rate in the nation in August at 7.7 percent, trailing only Georgia, which was No. 1 at 8.1 percent, and Mississippi, No. 2 with 7.9 percent, according to data released Friday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.” [Providence Business News, 9/9/14]

CHRIS CHRISTIE:  

September 2014: New Jersey’s Eighth Credit Downgrade Under Christie “Most Ever For A Garden State Governor.” “New Jersey had its credit rating cut one step by Standard & Poor’s, handing Chris Christie his eighth downgrade, the most ever for a Garden State governor. The reduction to A, the sixth-highest level, with a stable outlook follows a Sept. 5 downgrade by Fitch Ratings… ‘New Jersey continues to struggle with structural imbalance,’ S&P analyst John Sugden in New York said in a statement today. ‘The governor’s decision to delay pension funding, while providing the necessary tools for cash management and budget control, has significant negative implications for the state’s liability profile.’” [Bloomberg, 9/10/14]

NY Times: New Jersey Economic News Has Been “Dire Drumbeat,” Christie Tied Record For Credit Downgrades During His Term. “For months, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has kept a low profile, waiting for new headlines to distract from the George Washington Bridge scandal. Now they have: The news has been a dire drumbeat about his state’s economy. Credit agencies have downgraded the state’s bond rating six times — making him tied for the record among New Jersey governors, and giving the state one of the lowest credit ratings in the nation — and have threatened that they may do so again because of the pension plans. The state’s unemployment rate remains above the national average, its growth, below, and slower than its neighbors. Its foreclosure and mortgage delinquency rate are the nation’s highest. And New Jersey has recovered only about 40 percent of the jobs lost during the recession, even as the country as a whole has recovered nearly all.” [New York Times, 5/23/14]

Star-Ledger Headline: “For Christie, Jersey’s Economic Woes May Be Biggest Roadblock To White House.” “It’s not the bridge, Governor. It’s the economy… With each day last week, the news about New Jersey’s troubled fiscal condition grew worse. A gaping $807 million hole in the state budget. Warnings that the state may not be able to make its promised pension payments. The threat of slashing property-tax rebates or school funding. And yet another downgrade of New Jersey’s already-low credit rating — the fifth one under the Republican governor’s watch. At the heart of these budget problems is a sputtering New Jersey economy, which has brought in billions less in tax revenue than Christie has forecast over the past three years.” [Star-Ledger, 5/4/14]

Conservative Think Tank Ranked New Jersey’s Fiscal Solvency Worst In The Nation. “New Jersey is in the worst fiscal shape of all 50 states, according to a think tank. An analysis released Thursday by the fiscally conservative Mercatus Center at George Mason University ranked every state by four measures based on 2012 data. New Jersey ranked last in two of them, and near the bottom in the other two. ‘Although the ranking represents a snapshot in time, the states at the bottom are there due to years of poor financial management decisions, bad economic conditions, or a combination of both,’ study author Sarah Arnett wrote.” [Star-Ledger, 1/17/14]

 

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