Budget Lessons from NJ


Photo Courtesy of The Architect’s Newspaper

Hey New Jersey, you’re an inspiration.

Yesterday’s stunning announcement from Governor Chris Christie, killing a $8.7 billion commuter tunnel, could be viewed as an act of budgetary courage.

The tunnel, which would have expanded New Jersey’s rail capacity into Manhattan, was already underway—and eagerly anticipated on both sides of the Hudson.

But, after several days of analysis, Gov. Christie stated that cost overruns could jack up the tunnel’s price by several billion dollars. “The state is broke,” he said at a news conference. “I don’t have the money.”

Christie is now facing furious criticism from politicians and commuters alike, who accuse him of making this high-profile choice to grease the wheels of his career. We’re not ruling that out.

Still. Let’s consider the act of backing out when you know you can’t afford something. Consider the chutzpah it takes to reverse yourself, and say, “Sorry, I did the math, I can’t swing it.”

Financial sanity requires strange acts of bravery sometimes.

Boast. Did you ever walk away from a purchase you couldn’t afford?