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Chris Christie Needs An Economist

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If you're looking to make a career change and you've got a head for numbers, great news: the state of New Jersey is hiring. Even more good news: if you can handle getting your head bit off the first (and hopefully, for your sake, last) time you accidentally address Christie as "boss" (and are subsequently treated to a 10 minute lecture about how "There can only be one 'Boss,' and he hails from Asbury Park; you can call me Governor or Sir"), it shouldn't be too difficult to exceed expectations, as the last guy set the bar extremely low.

Charles Steindel, whose three straight years of optimistic revenue projections influenced six New Jersey credit downgrades, is resigning as Republican Governor Chris Christie’s chief economist. New Jersey is seeking a replacement with a July 30 deadline for applicants, according to a job posting by the office of Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff...Christie, who created the chief economist’s job to help guide the state to recovery after the 18-month recession, has been dogged by revenue shortfalls and rising pension costs. The three major credit-rating companies have all indicated that the state may face a seventh downgrade, a record for a New Jersey governor, if he and lawmakers can’t end recurring deficits...

Santarelli has said the missed projections were caused in part by New Jersey’s volatile tax structure, the economic effects of Hurricane Sandy and federal measures that prompted high-income filers to accelerate payments. “The treasurer is extremely grateful to Dr. Steindel for his service to the state,” Santarelli said in a follow-up e-mail after the telephone conversation. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, 55, a Democrat from West Deptford, said by telephone that Steindel’s forecasts “haven’t been right yet.” “The one thing that has been consistent,” Sweeney said, “is that he’s been wrong.”

Christie’s Economist Quits After Faulty Revenue Forecasts [Bloomberg]


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