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GOP watch: Tunnel vision?

The New York Times: "The largest public transit project in the nation, a commuter train tunnel under the Hudson River to Manhattan, was halted on Thursday by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey because, he said, the state could not afford its share of the project’s rising cost. Mr. Christie’s decision stunned other government officials and advocates of public transportation because work on the tunnel was under way and $3 billion of federal financing had already been arranged — more money than had been committed to any other transit project in America."

The Star-Ledger: “Critics say Christie's decision to scrap Hudson tunnel project will cost N.J. homeowners, commuters jobs.” More: “Commuter trains so packed that passengers eye overhead racks as a tempting refuge from the crush; more cars on the road, making for longer traffic delays and dirtier air; billions of dollars in home value lost to suburbs more accessible to Manhattan and therefore more marketable; continued crushing property tax burdens; fewer income tax dollars in state coffers and an all-around grim long-term economic outlook for the state.”

Reuters: “Digging for the tunnel, which was estimated to create 6,000 jobs, began in June 2009. It was to open in 2018.”

The AP: “As a candidate last year, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was willing to support the planned New Jersey-to-Manhattan rail tunnel. As governor, he now says the nation's largest public transportation project is a luxury the state can no longer afford.”

Liberal economist Paul Krugman calls the move by Christie “a destructive and incredibly foolish.” More: “But it shouldn’t have been all that surprising. We are no longer the nation that used to amaze the world with its visionary projects. We have become, instead, a nation whose politicians seem to compete over who can show the least vision, the least concern about the future and the greatest willingness to pander to short-term, narrow-minded selfishness.”