Friday, December 03, 2010

GOP math

exhibit A: new jersey governor chris christie canceled the ARC rail tunnel project in the name of fiscal austerity. the rail project would build a second rail tunnel under the hudson river is critically needed for northern new jersey, whose entire economy is is based primarily upon commuters to NYC. by canceling the project, NJ broke an agreement with the federal government, which meant that the state owed the u.s. $271 million. and now christie has hired a private law firm that charges $485 per hour to fight that charge, instead of using the state's own in-house lawyers. at this point i don't see how the cancellation can possibly save money for the state if you add up the economic cost to bedroom communities in northern NJ if there is no additional tunnel (and the state tax revenue that goes with that), the extra expenses that NJ will ultimately have to pay for canceling the tunnel project and the litigation costs it will sustain in fighting the charge.

exhibit B: on the national level, the GOP has decided that the deficit is the biggest economic problem facing the country and they are pushing for broad cuts on the federal level. meanwhile their two top legislative priorities right now are: #1 making the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent for rich people, which will result in an increase in deficit projections to a much greater extent than any other proposal currently being considered in this country, and #2 repealing the patient protection and affordable care act, a law that is projected by the CBO to reduce the federal deficit over the next ten and twenty year period (pdf).