New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is about to cancel the project that would build a second rail tunnel to New York, if Bloomberg’s sources are correct.We understand Chris Christie’s desire to cut government spending, but this is not a good idea.
Sure, New Jersey needs to cut its budget. But cutting a project that is going to grow business in Northern New Jersey, put 6000 construction workers back to work, and potentially boost the area’s troubled real estate sector is silly and short-sighted — even from a budget standpoint.
The state will tax revenue from ancillary construction that would occur around the project, like new real estate developments that would take advantage of the new convenience of commuting to New York from New Jersey. And if more people choose to live in New Jersey, rather than New York, because of this convenience, they pay taxes too.
We’re all for cutting government spending on things that aren’t working, like New Jersey’s public school system, which needs to be regionalized. And for cutting property taxes, because in New Jersey, they’re way too high.
And while we acknowledge that the love of all-things infrastructure is overblown, some projects can be readily identified as good investments. And this is one, especially when you consider how much of the project’s funds — $3 billion of the $8.7 billion it will cost — is coming from the Federal government.
So, we’re with Krugman, on this one.
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