So they had our governor on a call-in show last night:

Solving the state’s debt problem? Easy. Lease the roads. Make tolls huge. (Like that won’t hurt.) Ten minutes later, he says that with the money saved by leasing the roads and reducing the debt, that we will build high speed rail lines to PA to get trucks off the road and improve efficiency. (So what does that mean? That A. He will spend, spend, spend once the debt is cut and B. by reducing the number of trucks on the highway, the toll revenues would be reduced. Hmmm, doesn’t that screw over whomever the highways get leased to?)

Universal Health Care? Loves it. (Washington would pay for some of that, so that won’t hurt either…)

More school aid at local level – that would help keep down property taxes (and the money comes from…where?)

Raising the gas tax is off the table…but as a last resort (he knows that it would create anarchy and probably spark a recall, but will threaten us if need be. Raising the gas tax stinks since it is regressive – for the benefit of Cranford Talkers, it means it hurts the poor more than the rich)

The 20% expense review? That sounded reallllly serious. (Slap in universal health care, which he says he wants two minutes later and the government will balloon beyond comprehension.)

Then it was blah, blah, blah.

Towards the end I loved the comment that for localities to keep their property taxes down (his target of 4% or less increase a year), that they need to be tough in their negotiations with police, fire, etc. HOW CLUELESS CAN YOU BE? And the need for them to keep their portion of property taxes low is why, because the state is a crappy negotiator and spent all the money? And does he REALLY think that firefighters won’t scream for a big raise because they are property tax payers too? I’m sorry. That’s idiotic.

Here’s the take on Corzine’s Q&A last night from Tom Moran of the Star Ledger:

Maybe he has changed. When he first pitched this idea in February, he said he wanted to use monetization to free up money for new programs, such as Sen. Joe Vitale’s plan to provide universal health care in New Jersey. He didn’t seek office, he said, to play the role of Grinch.

Now, he says every penny from this move should be used to reduce debt, or to fund mandatory transit projects, like repairing bridges. Asked yesterday about Vitale’s plan, he sounded like the Grinch himself.

“It will be very hard to justify new programs,” he said. “We have to cut down on spending.”

That, of course, is the rub. If we reduce our debt only to borrow more we’ll be back in same hole soon — only with higher tolls.

Corzine says he’ll prevent that. But we’ve seen what can happen to his good ideas once they reach the Legislature. He gives them a nice piece of art, and it comes back with a mustache scribbled across it.

One thing is clear: This is Corzine’s make-or-break moment. He has pushed all his chips to the middle of the poker table. And he’s acting like a guy who believes in his cards.

Trouble is, all he’s got is no better than a pair of twos. If he can’t even get his own party on the legislature to stop the dual-office holding, what the hell is he thinking that they can be responsible on anything else?

I’m even more pessimistic than I was before.

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