Election 2016

How Trump and Christie Colluded to Steal $25 Million From NJ Taxpayers

An outraged Sarah Silverman says the money should go for education.

Photo Credit: (L) s_bukley / Shutterstock.com; (C) L.E.MORMILE / Shutterstock.com; (R) Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com; composition by AlterNet

The very thought of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a man with all the charm and temperament of Bluto, being commander-in-chief was luckily destroyed. His pathetic and nonexistent presidential run proved that America preferred an even bigger, louder and more unstable narcissistic a-hole in Donald Trump. But since he can't keep being governor of New Jersey forever, the blob of buffoonery has to kiss up to Trump in the hopes that it gets him an unelectable cabinet-level position. Well, that cynical effort appears to be playing out quite beautifully.

The sketchy relationship between Christie and Trump took on a new chapter after a New York Times report showed that Trump's $30 million casino tax debt, something New Jersey officials fought endlessly to collect, was suddenly reduced by a massive amount after Christie took office in 2010.

New Jersey agreed to reduce Trump's tax debt via settlement to $5 million after Christie took office. According to Christie spokesman Brian Murray, Christie had not been "aware of the tax dispute" and "could not comment on the terms of the settlement."

Trump's crappy businessman woes start and end with his casinos. As a casino operator in Atlantic City, Trump's casino took a Muhammad Ali-like hit, eventually leading to $30 million in tax debt to New Jersey. Amazingly enough, that large amount was reduced to $5 million in 2011, the Times found after perusing thousands of documents filed in the bankruptcies of Trump’s casinos. Although the specific details of the settlement weren't made available yet in the Times, the report did show that state officials began to review Trump's records with much more enthusiasm; that is, once they discovered his company had not been filling out the required schedule for the minimum tax assessment a decade ago. Of course, this occurred right after the Trump casinos filed for bankruptcy protection in 2004 for a whopping third time. 

But Here's Where the Sh*t Really Hits the Fan at Full Speed

By the time Trump casinos filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009, the state said the total due, with interest, had risen to $29.4 million. Soon thereafter, the Christie administration said the two sides were in settlement discussions. Then on Dec. 5, 2011, New Jersey and the Trump casino company filed a settlement agreement with the court showing the state would accept $5 million, paid in two installments, according to the Times report. I'm no mathematician, but wouldn't that have absolved Trump of about $25 million in debt?

Comedian and actress Sarah Silverman weighed in on the controversy in a tweet.

Basically, the corrupt governor who shut down a major bridge to settle a political score had no qualms about pilfering New Jersey taxpayer money in the past. Christie's office billed the state almost $7 million in legal fees relating to Bridgegate. Nonetheless, he'll still keep screaming at teachers and low-income state workers for robbing the state blind. After all, this is what thin-skinned, unapologetic narcissists do. If only those qualities were an industry, Trump and Christie would never have to deal with bankruptcy problems.

Michael Hayne is a progressive comedian, writer and voice artist. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook or visit ImpressionsGuy.com

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