So the relatively new governor of New Jersey. Chris Christie has become one of the darlings of the Republican Party and some of the Tea Party groups because he's cutting programs all over the place while refusing to raise taxes on the wealthy elite in the state.
But here's what that means on the ground in just two policy areas.
He stopped the tunnel that would connect New Jersey to New York and cut the time it takes to get from one to the other drastically by eliminating the daily delays that make our greatest city and its environs less efficient than most metropolitan areas of the world, including some in developing countries (as we know, China now has the fastest trains), a tunnel on which work had already begun—so the cost of that work will still be paid for by Jersey taxpayers, mostly by the non-wealthy as usual—despite the fact that the federal government was willing to pay for much of that tunnel's cost and New York was willing to help as well.
His answer to the problems of commuting between New Jersey and New York that will only grow worse since they rely on tunnels that date back to almost a century is to spend more on roads! In a state that is criss-crossed with so many highways it's like some random Marcel Duchamp drop-a-ton-of-strings-on-a-map-and-where-they-fall-build-a-road abstract maze. So he has made the choice for more pollution, more congestion, more taxes going to prop up the profits of oil and gas companies etc. over what's best for the future, the environment, and the non-wealthy of my home state. The wealthy will just continue to take their "cars"—as they call their chauffeur driven town cars and limos—and the new roads and road widening will help them, or they'll hop a helicopter etc.
In education, first his education department hack blew 400 million, yes, four hundred million dollars awarded by the federal government because they filled in the application incorrectly, putting in the wrong year for their budget! Hello!?! And then he just went and cut the budget for education in the state. What that means in my town and the school my thirteen-year-old goes to, is that the teachers' aides used in the classrooms who could help the students with IEPs (special ed issues) were all fired and now those positions are contracted out (great! more money for corporations!) and instead of having aides with years of experience in his school, who know the students and the teachers, who stay after and help out and volunteer their time and effort above and beyond what the job definition is, there are strangers who leave as soon as the bell rings and have no real investment in the community or the school other than a paycheck they get for just showing up.
I asked my son if the aide in the class he was having trouble in had ever helped him, and he said the aide had never even spoken to my son, let alone helped him, or anyone else as far as he could see.
There are many other areas of life in this state that have deteriorated in just the short time Christie has been governor. But that won't stop his rightwing supporters from praising him and holding him up as a beacon of their -back-to-the-future head-in-the-sand ill-informed unreasoning for why making life easier and better for the wealthiest and corporations while the rest of us suffer is somehow the way out of the morass other rightwing Republicans got us into in the first place.
[And for those who always leave comments about how the Republicans and Democrats are all the same, the fact is, under the former Democratic governor, the tunnel was going forward, money was being directed toward mass transit projects rather than more highways, education was a priority and teachers and teachers' aides were not being fired, etc.]