Chris Christie Unveils State Budget Today [AUDIO]
Wall Street is already wagging its finger at Governor Chris Christie warning of credit downgrades if the state budget proposal he lays out this afternoon is not on the up and up.
One political observer says because this is an election year for the Governor and all 120 State lawmakers, anything goes.
"The budget is going to be interesting and the Governor has already indicated in his State of the State Address that there are not going to be any new initiatives," said Monmouth University poll director Patrick Murray. "He's not going to try and squeeze something into the budget and that's important because we already know that it's going to be very difficult to balance this budget because revenues aren't meeting projections."
Washington is becoming more dysfunctional by the day and if a last minute deal isn't reached, automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration will kick in. That would further exacerbate New Jersey's fiscal woes because it'll mean less federal aid.
"I think at the end of the day the Governor is going to be presenting a budget uses as many tricks as Governors have in the past in order to get through this election year," predicted Murray. "I think the real issue here is not about priorities. It's about the Governor getting a budget through that looks balanced constitutionally thast can get him through the election."
If Christie does propose a spending plan that includes gimmicks it would suggest he's not too worried about warnings from Wall Street. Shouldn't he be concerned about attacks from Democrats in an election year? Murray doesn't think so.
"The Democrats will try to claim that he's not really balancing the budget and that he's using gimmicks (and) that he's using tricks," explained Murray. "Even if the Democrats attack Christie on this, Christie can come back and say, 'Alright, I'll cut this, this and this,' and he'll look for things that only benefit Democratic constituencies so Democrats are in a real catch-22 situation here."