The first real night of the 2012 Republican National Convention will close tonight with a keynote address by Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ). Christie has become a conservative darling for his blunt speaking style and his open willingness to berate public servants.
“I’ll be talking about the New Jersey experience and what that means for the country,” Christie said while previewing the speech. “If [listeners] say I like the vision he’s laid out for the country and for his party for the next four years, then I will have done the job for my party and my country.”
However, the “New Jersey experience” under Christie has been anything but rosy. Here are some key economics stats to know before Christie hits the stage tonight:
— New Jersey ranked 47th in the nation in GDP growth in 2011. [Bureau of Economic Analysis]
— The Garden state’s unemployment rate of 9.8 percent is fourth highest in the nation, trailing only Nevada, California, and Rhode Island. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
— New Jersey lost 12,000 jobs last month, the most in the country. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
— The state ranked 44th in personal income growth in 2011. [Bureau of Economic Analysis]
Christie has focused on cutting taxes for millionaires (while blocking a millionaires’ surtax), slashing social spending, and opposing plans to help New Jersey’s workers. He’s cheered the firing of public sector workers and scuttled important infrastructure projects on false pretenses.
Finally, he’s handed out a record number of corporate handouts, while getting little for it in terms of job growth. And for this, he’s been rewarded with a huge speaking slot at the Republican convention, from which he will likely proclaim Republican economic ideology a stunning success.