If your response to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) bridge scandal is, “Christie’s been far too apologetic,” I have good news: the governor couldn’t agree more.
The governor declared late last that he simply doesn’t want to talk about his scandals anymore. “I’m not proud or happy of what happened,” he said, “but I’m going to stop apologizing for it.”
Instead, the Garden State Republican is eager to give the political world something new to talk about, unveiling a new economic plan yesterday. The New York Times reported:
[Christie proposed simplifying] the tax code from six brackets to three, reducing income tax rates, and eliminating the payroll tax for anyone over age 62 or those entering the workforce under age 21. The current top income tax rate would drop to 28 percent from 39 percent under his plan, while the corporate rate would decline to 25 percent from 35 percent.Those at the lowest end of the wage spectrum would see their rates drop to the single digits from 10 percent, though because of tax credits and deductions they often don’t face tax levies anyway.
The governor sketched out his economic vision in a Wall Street Journal op-ed and in a speech yesterday in New Hampshire, where he called President Obama the “worst economic president since Jimmy Carter.”
Perhaps the real Christie scandal is the poor guy’s inability to remember the George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush presidencies.
Regardless, if the governor believes he can get his national campaign back on track with this economic plan, he may need to brush up on the basics.
For one thing, Christie is under the impression that what the country really needs is another tax break for the rich. How sadly predictable.
For another, he’s convinced he can give the wealthy hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks in a fiscally responsible way, arguing in his op-ed that his tax policies, when “combined with other measures,” won’t “materially increase the deficit.” And what, pray tell, are those “other measures”? According to Christie’s previous announcements, they apparently include cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
Finally, there’s the small matter of Christie’s credibility on the subject. Polls show New Jersey residents turning quickly against their scandal-plagued governor, which is no doubt related to the suspected corruption within Team Christie, but it may also be related to the fact that New Jersey’s economy has been one of the worst in the country since the governor took office and the state’s debt has been downgraded a record nine times in the Christie era.
I can appreciate why the governor is eager to change the subject, with some of his top aides under criminal indictment for alleged misdeeds they committed in Christie’s name, but if he sees economic policy as a way out of his troubles, he’s made a poor choice.