Media tax credits: This would have increased film-production tax credits fivefold, to $50 million. The bill, cosponsored by a Republican, has been reintroduced.
Business loans: Female and minority small-business owners in some regions would be eligible for state loans under the bill. It has been reintroduced and passed out of an Assembly committee with one Republican vote.
Retirement tax exemptions: This bill would have exempted some retirement income from taxation for certain payers, costing $127 million.
Allen said she voted for the bills because she thought Democrats had identified funding sources -- an unused account that could be tapped, for example.
"But we dig into it and find that money had been spent or shifted," she said.
That is either a lie or an indication that Republicans "have not taken time to understand how the bills work," Greenwald said.
The Republicans' arguments reflect Christie's veto messages, which said that Democrats "acted prematurely, irresponsibly and in a pattern consistent with the reckless conduct of the past which got us in the current fiscal mess."
Why, then, did Democrats pass bills the state couldn't afford?
"Some have very cynically said these were done to embarrass the governor," Allen said.
Another Republican legislator, Sen. Jennifer Beck, of Monmouth County, sponsored two bills vetoed by the governor, including a $7,500 tax credit for homebuyers. It had six Republican cosponsors and would have created more than 18,000 jobs, bringing in more than $1 billion in tax revenue, supporters said.
Christie vetoed it, citing the immediate loss of $100 million in tax revenue amid a $11 billion deficit.
Despite her support for the bill, Beck is angry at Democrats' attempt to make political hay out of it. It "has nothing to do with their system of beliefs or their sense that this is a good policy initiative," she said. "This is more about trying to back the governor in a corner."
Her bills were "good ideas," but there are other good ideas in the Legislature, she said. Christie has the privilege of choosing those that work in the overall budget.
Democrats need "to get serious" instead of trying to create a campaign issue for next year, when Christie and all 120 legislators are up for election, Beck said.
Asked what bills Democrats should support to address the economy, her only suggestion was Christie's proposed income tax credit, which she said would attract jobs and keep residents in the state. The plan would be paid through a budgeted spike in tax revenues that Democrats are skeptical will happen.
Greenwald rejects the idea that the homebuyers tax credit would cost money. It would stimulate home construction and consumer spending, he said, leading to new revenue from income, sales, and real estate transfer taxes. By the time homeowners claimed a credit on their tax returns, the state would already have gotten a windfall in new revenue, he said.
"So really, again, are the Republicans just not smart enough to understand the legislation?" Greenwald asked. "Are they too lazy to do the research before they vote?"
Does their support for measures, followed by a refusal to override Christie, mean they were "deceiving the public because they don't want to work on bipartisan legislation?"
It hasn't been total deadlock. While a Democratic list showed that the governor vetoed 22 job-creation bills and signed just three, he did make changes -- known as conditional vetoes -- to nine bills that ultimately were enacted. And Democrats have supported his plans to control property and business taxes in an effort to improve the economy.
The most significant disagreement may be the most basic. How bad is the economy doing?
Christie says a "New Jersey comeback" has begun, with private-sector jobs added in 10 of the last 13 months, and income levels, car sales, and homebuilding on the uptick.
"I choose optimism about New Jersey and its people," Christie said in June. "Instead of, like Assembly Democrats, rooting for failure."
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