Chris Christie: A Moron AND A Hypocrite!

The New York Times reports this morning:

The Christie administration, lenders and a new developer have reached a deal to revive the vast Xanadu entertainment and retail complex, which sits forlorn and unfinished along a stretch of New Jersey highway after having burned through two owners and $1.9 billion, people involved in the negotiations said Thursday.

 The plan: make it even bigger, give it a new name and slap a new skin on the much reviled exterior walls of the 2.4-million-square-foot complex.

The new developer, the Triple Five group, will invest more than $1 billion in the seven-year-old project. And Gov. Chris Christie has agreed to provide low-interest financing and to forgo most sales tax revenue for a period of time…

Hmmm…Chris Christie.  Where have I heard that name?  Oh yes, the guy who is supposedly the fiscally conservative Republican governor of New Jersey, the one who rejected billions of dollars in federal and external money for high-speed rail a few months ago:

If the tunnel—called the “Access to the Region’s Core,” or ARC project—doesn’t get built, New Jersey is almost certain to lose the federal money that had been committed to the project. The state will also have to pay back around $300 million that’s already been spent. Meanwhile, commuters and Amtrak riders will continue to suffer through long delays every morning as trains wait for their turn to pass through a century-old train tunnel under the Hudson. Property values near commuter rail won’t increase, as they did after the first commuter connection to midtown Manhattan opened in 1996. The people who were working on the project will, of course, lose their jobs. And the strain on the existing tunnel will continue to increase, until New Jersey is eventually forced to build a new tunnel, with or without the federal money and super-low interest rates that make the ARC project so attractive today.

You see?  If it’s a public good, then according to Christie it’s not “financially viable.”  But if it’s a particular boondoggle, then of course you can spend New Jersey taxpayer money to subsidize it.  That’s not just hypocritical: it’s economically insane.  It has the government picking winners and losers, while failing to provide the infrastructure to help the private sector generally.

You’d almost think that these guys don’t care about anything as long as they can oppose the President.

Comments

  1. Benny Lava says

    The rationale behind dumping the tunnel was stupid. Borrowing costs were low, and the project was the result of decades of planning. Congestion is a serious issue in the region and it would seriously ease congestion; reducing deadweight loss in the process. The argument that it was unaffordable in the short term was stupid then, and even stupider when you consider that the state can afford things like this. But then again maybe New Jersey deserves this. After all, they did elect him. So they deserve crushing commuting times and failed projects like this.

  2. Sean says

    I had never heard of Xanadu before this, but after looking it up, I think it might be the most offensively unattractive building I’ve ever seen. I also have no idea why the state should be involved in financing a mall of all places, a particularly hypocritical stance since a Republican governor is championing this.

    New Jersey ceaselessly lives up to its reputation.

  3. says

    But he’s doing it by giving out lowertaxes and low-interest financing (paid for with money the government stole anyway). What he’s really doing is stimulating the economy. In fact, government should simply be giving all its money to the job creating investors. Xanadu or bust!

  4. Anonymous says

    If I hand it all over to a club member, just think of how they’ll pat me on the back, and I’ll be the toast of the next occasion, and the swells will talk to me, and extol my cunning and ruthlessness, and somebody will say, “I wonder what the peasants are doing this evening.” And I’ll look at my Rolex and say, “Oh, right about now . . . !” And oh, the beautiful women (or men, depending) who will circle near.

  5. Anonymous says

    Government IS allowed to pick winners and losers, so long as the winners are club members, and the losers aren’t.

  6. calling all toasters says

    Republicans will never support any project from which their friends cannot skim a huge amount of money.

  7. says

    (Zasloff): “Chris Christie: A Moron AND A Hypocrite!
    Maybe you could argue with this guy.
    Or <a href="http://www.samefacts.com/2011/01/uncategorized/civility-at-rbc/"this guy.”

    (Zasloff): “You see? If it’s a public good, then according to Christie it’s not “financially viable.”
    I see that your words do not express the sense of the article you quote.
    I believe it was Ambrose Bierce who wrote: “A hypocrite is a man who…but aren’t we all?

    While I’d prefer a government that let firms succeed or fail without targeted State help (including the K-PhD education industry). That’s not the norm around here. Hypocrisy is a step up from “openly unprincipled”.

  8. Mark Kleiman says

    Which do you like best about Christie, Bux? The incompetence, the corruption, or the intolerable low-rent rudeness?

  9. says

    I can’t speak to whether the Xanadu project is desirable or not, but in all fairness to Christie, foregoing sales tax for a period with respect to to a project which, but for this tax concession, would not be built and therefore would not collect any sales tax at all, might well be a smart way for the State to help this project. However, competing businesses currently in existence in New Jersey will pay the price for this, since the tax holiday will attract consumers to the stores in the new project and away from the competition.

  10. says

    It should be a fairly straightforward matter to compare the investors and other stakeholders in “Xanadu” (can’t they even pretend to give these scams decent code names) to Christie’s donor list.

  11. James Wimberley says

    Niggle: the ARC project isn’t really high-speed rail, only the common-or-garden sort. But still needed.
    In other non-news, Morocco proceeds steadily with the Tangier-Casablanca high-speed line. Likewise Brazil with the Rio-Sao Paulo line. (The recent slippage in the timeline for prequalification is claimed to be at the request of the possible contractors.) Even austerity-gripped Britain is moving ahead.

  12. Ebenezer Scrooge says

    I’m from Juhsey (NOT “Joisey”). Both Republicans and Democrats are corrupt, but the forms of corruption differ. Democratic corruption is the kind of cheesy stuff that the newspapers and prosecutors like: bagmen and folding green. Republican corruption is far more genteel and often isn’t even illegal: favors to friends, often under the guise of “privatization.” Guess which one costs more?
    That’s not so say that there aren’t exceptions running both ways. Jim Treffinger, for example, was corrupt Democratic style. I’m sure that there are some Democrats corrupt Republican style, but I can’t think of any offhand.

  13. says

    (Scrooge): “Republican corruption is far more genteel and often isn’t even illegal: favors to friends, often under the guise of “privatization.” Guess which one costs more?

    Which costs more? Democratic corruption of the sort you call “Republican” (favors to friends). It’s Democrats who defend policies which:
    1) compel attendance at school and expand the interval (8 through 14 becomes 5 through 18) of compulsory attendance
    2) compel tax support of school
    3) restrict parents’ options for the use of the taxpayers’ pre-adult education subsidy to schools operated by dues-paying members of the NEA/AFT/AFSCME cartel
    4) impose minimum wage laws and child labor laws, which put on-the-job training off limits to most kids.

    State and local K-PhD budgets exceed other government department budgets.

    (Scrooge): “That’s not so say that there aren’t exceptions running both ways. Jim Treffinger, for example, was corrupt Democratic style. I’m sure that there are some Democrats corrupt Republican style, but I can’t think of any offhand.
    Most of them, if you count those who support State-monopoly enterprises like government-operated schools.

  14. calling all toasters says

    Malcolm is such a source of knowledge. I did not know that Republicans have not supported compulsory schooling, and I look forward to their use of this as a campaign issue.

  15. Dan Staley says

    It’s Democrats who defend policies which:

    4) impose minimum wage laws and child labor laws, which put on-the-job training off limits to most kids.

    I know! I’d really like to compel our 8-yo to work in the molybdenum mine uphill to make some money so we can put her in the private religious school that I can’t get the taxpayers to pay for (although a county south of us may be successful at doing)! Durn Dimmies anyways.

  16. says

    (toaster): “I did not know that Republicans have not supported compulsory schooling, and I look forward to their use of this as a campaign issue.
    The initiative continually to expand the age span of compulsory attendance comes from the NEA/AFT/AFSCME cartel’s pet legislators, invariably Democrats.

  17. Dan Staley says

    An undereducated workforce in a highly technocratic economy sounds ripe for exploitation. I can’t wait to pull our 8-yo out of school at 12 so she can go work in the mines and pay her way in my house. She don’t need no commanist education. A-workin with her hands until she’s pregnant was good enough for her grandma goldurnit!

  18. says

    (Dan): “An undereducated workforce in a highly technocratic economy sounds ripe for exploitation.
    True. That’s a good reason to support competitive markets in education services.