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Monday, January 25, 2010

Christie's First Tax Hike Threat

The paint on the front door is still wet, but New Jersey's new Governor Chris Christie has already made his first tax hike increase, as this Associated Press report (picked up by the Star-Ledger of Newark, NJ).   The report indicates that Christie will increase certain taxes on business unless the federal government comes up with funds to replenish the State's unemployment insurance fund.  

While it should be noted that the State is required to replenish this fund, the option of making spending cuts elsewhere in order to free up funds for unemployment insurance was not mentioned as an alternative.

Going to the federal government and saying you will blame it (and its Democratic Chief Executive) for raising taxes unless it gives you money is the equivalent of what on Wall Street used to be called greenmail.  Governor Christie is essentially saying: pay us or otherwise we'll raise taxes -- and blame the Democrats for it.  This type of pressure (which may not be entirely appropriate anyplace except in politics where it appears to be common practice -- wait, isn't that what Joseph Ferriero's lawyers were saying this past summer?) reminds us of how those companies got those deferred prosecution agreements back while Christie was U.S. Attorney, no?

The prescience of conservative Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine, who consistently questioned Christie's "conservative" credentials on many issues including taxes, has been demonstrated by this development.  It only took six days -- or less than four full business days.   Amazing.

Announcing the Christie Doctrine:  I will raise your taxes if I can blame someone else for it.

In politics, this is called passing the buck.   A certain former hockey general manager would call this being a gutless puke.  (Trivia: Name the GM.)   Common people have a simpler explanation:  He lied.

Eric Dixon is an attorney practicing in New York and New Jersey and handles ballot access matters for candidates and public organizations.   Mr. Dixon handles matters involving litigation, dispute resolution, investigations and due diligence directly with clients and indirectly when engaged by other professionals. 

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