I’m tired of hearing what we can’t do. It’s what we will do that will grow our economy and end the economic crisis. Late last year New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shut down arguably the best economic development project to hit North Jersey since the George Washington Bridge: the Access to the Region’s Core project, or ARC as its better known. Gov. Christie said we don’t have the money and was concerned about potential costs overrides so he gave up billions in federal dollars and scrapped the project. Christie’s concerns were reasonable, but he ignored the bigger picture. Christie gave up a long term project that would have meant years of growth and increased property values in Northern New Jersey and Manhattan. In the end, had he invested in ARC, the economic boom this project would have brought would have dwarfed the money spent on the project. In the process he gave up billions of federal dollars, forced workers onto the un-employment line and missed an opportunity to connect that region to Mid-Town Manhattan.
Christie is a hero to shortsighted igno-crats who believe government can’t do anything right. They believe that now is the time to slash budgets and cut projects. They believe that government is good for nothing and only the private sector can produce jobs and grow the economy. Have they ever read their history, even recent history? You don’t need to go back to FDR to find government investment leading to regional growth. You don’t even need to leave the region, just ask Wall Street that’s been bailed out several times in the past 30 years and has benefited greatly by the Federal Reserve’s low interest rates. Do igno-crats complain about corporate welfare the same way they protest even modest increases in benefits to the poor? The dollars our nation has given away on Wall Street is far greater than anything this nation has invested in healthcare or welfare benefits. Every day the Fed lends billions to Wall Street banks who then gamble in the stock market. Often the money comes back, but sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, the Investment Banks get rich without paying much interest or anything at all on the taxpayer dollars the Fed allows them to gamble. This has a positive impact on the economy of the New York Region, but not what it should given the scope of government involvement.
Why not charge them a reasonable percentage on the dollars they borrow, and then use that money to fund programs? The money Christie is worried about spending on ARC is nothing compared to the profits Wall Street makes in a single quarter utilizing low interest or zero interest loans from the US Government. There’s no political will to raise their taxes to pay for what we need, and God forbid we ask for a reasonable rate of return on our loans. Right now they make billions with our money and we get virtually nothing in return. The right wing of this country is crying we are broke, we’re not. We just lost the political will to ask for what we deserve and our priorities are out of whack.