Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey was the keynote speaker at the opening of last night’s Republican convention.
Christie has been a darling of conservative Republicans because of his blustering put downs of anybody who challenged him publicly. Many hoped he would seek the Presidential nomination of his party or, barring that, be chosen as the vice-presidential running mate.
However the “New Jersey experience” under Christie has been anything but rosy. Here are some key economics stats to know about Christie’s tenure as the Garden State’s chief executive:
– New Jersey ranked 47th in the nation in GDP growth in 2011. [Bureau of Economic Analysis]
– The Garden state’s unemployment rate of 9.8 percent is fourth highest in the nation, trailing only Nevada, California, and Rhode Island. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
– New Jersey lost 12,000 jobs last month, the most in the country. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
– The state ranked 44th in personal income growth in 2011. [Bureau of Economic Analysis]
Christie has focused on cutting taxes for millionaires (while blocking a millionaires’ surtax), slashing social spending, and opposing plans to help New Jersey’s workers. He’s cheered the firing of public sector workers and scuttled important infrastructure projects on false pretenses.
Finally, he’s handed out a record number of corporate handouts, while getting little for it in terms of job growth. And for this, he’s been rewarded with a huge speaking slot at the Republican convention, from which he proclaimed Republican economic ideology a stunning success.