New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is in town this week to raise money for Congressman Rick Hill. Each day this week the Montana Democratic Party will highlight areas of common agreement between Congressman Hill and Governor Christie.
Congressman Hill has dedicated a good portion of his campaign to criticizing the State of Montana and highlighting how great he thinks other states are. Most recently, he called Montana teachers “the second worst in the nation” and said that “you’d have to be crazy” to start a business in Montana [Voices of Montana, 2/9/2012], the same state that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranks 2nd in Entrepreneurial Activity in the Nation.
So what does Congressman Hill think Montanans can learn from the way Chris Christie runs New Jersey?
When New Jersey was broke and its government shut down, it needed a lot of money in a hurry. Like Congressman Hill, New Jersey turned to the sales tax to find the cash and raised their rate to 7%. That wasn’t enough for Governor Christie, however, who as Governor embraced a plan to start taxing online purchases as well – what one reporter called “the mother of all tax hikes.” Christie has signed two budgets with sales taxes at the same time his state ranked 47th in economic performance.
Congressman Hill is in good company with Governor Christie. Hill advocated for the creation of a sales tax in Montana – as the lead lobbyist for a $400 million tax hike in 1993 and more recently in his campaign for Governor.