While Income Inequality Worsens for New Jersey Working Families, Governor Christie and Lawmakers Enrich Themselves
Democrat Jim Johnson: “When I’m Governor, This Charade Ends.”
(Montclair, NJ) – Just days after an independent study revealed that income inequality in New Jersey has soared, Governor Christie and state lawmakers are preparing to pass a series of bills today that enrich themselves.
The study, published by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute, shows that New Jersey is currently the nation’s seventh worst state for economic inequality, with the wealthiest five percent of households earning five times as much as the middle 20 percent and 16 times as much as the poorest 20 percent. New Jersey’s inequality ranking has risen steadily – from 14th worst in 2008, to 11th worst in 2012, to 7th worst today.
Meanwhile, Governor Christie convinced Trenton legislators to consider a new law to allow Christie to write a book while serving in his taxpayer-funded job and keep all profits for himself. In return, Christie promised to approve a pay raise for legislative staff and Trenton insiders.
“While New Jersey’s middle class erodes beyond recognition and poverty soars, Governor Christie and the Trenton politicians do nothing,” said former U.S. Under Secretary of the Treasury and Democratic candidate for governor Jim Johnson. “But when it comes to fattening their own wallets, they come together and move at lightning speed.”
“Let’s be clear – this is not just a Republican problem, continued Johnson. “Trenton has a bipartisan record of putting insiders’ interests ahead of the people. From billions in corporate tax giveaways to the friends of political bosses, to this most recent book deal, fault lies with both the Republican Governor and the Democratic lawmakers in Trenton who enable him.”
“This is Trenton at its worst – a government of, by, and for the wealthy and powerful,” said Johnson. “When I’m Governor, this charade ends. No more backroom deals that turn government into an ATM for politicians. No more looking the other way while the rich get richer, and working people across the state fall further behind. Enough already.”
A former federal prosecutor, Johnson, 55, served as chair of the Brennan Center for seven years. He plans to formally announce his campaign for governor early next year.