His biggest tests, indeed, are not likely to come from New Jersey’s public-sector unions, which appear almost cowed compared with their counterparts in Wisconsin, where labor protests have brought government skidding to a halt. Mr. Christie, after all, has invested energy in turning public opinion against those public-sector workers.
Yet his agenda of balancing the budget, rescuing a pension fund that could go broke within a decade and curtailing rising property taxes — the holy grail of politics in his heavily suburban state — is far from achieved. And he still could face the wrath of voters who discover that the costs of government have merely been shifted onto their local tax bills…
In proposing his budget on Tuesday, the governor is expected to call for more cuts to close another huge deficit. With major union contracts set to expire in June, he is calling for a wage freeze, which polls show the public supports.
But the state will still be deeply in debt, and facing a growing shortfall in its pension fund — $54 billion and counting — that helped spur a downgrade of the state’s bonds.