Why did he?
Because New Jersey is broke
The largest public transit project in the nation, a commuter train tunnel under the Hudson River connecting New Jersey to Manhattan, was halted on Thursday by Gov. Chris Christie because, he said, the state could not afford its share of the project’s rising cost.
I was going to write more on this, but instead must refer you to Ace, who is awesome:
Wait — 8.7 million with a 1 billion overrun??!!
No, they mean 8.7 billion. Yeah, I looked it up for once. Yay, me.
I left the error in to prove other people do it too, you know.
Oh, and that $1 billion in overruns seems on the low side.
According to the governor, cost overruns are estimated to be in a range from more than $2 billion to over $5 billion.
A bit more: the project was rushed to give Corzine an election year photo-op.
Tunnel opponents maintained the project was rushed together so then-Gov. Jon Corzine could get a re-election campaign photo opportunity at a ceremonial groundbreaking in summer 2009.
Click on the link to JWF to read Paul Krugman hyperventilating about how awful this is.
Krugman does have something of a point: Since the feds were kicking in $3 billion and the Port Authority $3 billion, with the state supposed to pick up the remaining $2.7 billion and all additional overruns, canceling the project loses the state money. I mean, I suppose if you could just pay that $2.7 billion and get an additional $6 billion tossed into the deal, that might be a good deal.
But look, it’s not going to be $2.7 billion. It won’t be $3.7 billion. It probably won’t be $4.7 billion and it might not even be just $7.7 billion.
We saw what happened with the Big Dig.
And: The state doesn’t have the money, whatever it is.
And what Krugman’s really steamed about is that Christie won’t just break his campaign pledge to raise gas taxes.
That’s what his problem really is; liberals have in mind an ever-expanding state, and for that they need ever-expanding tax revenues. Until now they have had relatively little pushback: they get slowdowns in the rate of expansion of taxation, but usually no sustained rollback.
Look, I take the trains regularly and certainly would love faster trains and that sort of thing. According to the article,
In scrapping the project, Mr. Christie is forfeiting the $3 billion from the federal government and jeopardizing as much from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The state may also have to repay the federal government for its share of the $600 million that has already been spent on the tunnel.
the project would cost at least $2.5 billion more than its original price of $8.7 billion
And that’s before the work even starts.
Having lived in NJ for decades and seen how the taxpayer is treated as a bottomless source of funds, I applaud Governor Christie for doing this.
Was about time!