Pension reform was the signature accomplishment of his first term and one of the keys to his reelection. It presumably would be a cornerstone of Christie’s case for the presidency if he runs.

On May 20, however, Christie threw all that into doubt. He announced that New Jersey would have to cut a scheduled payment to the state’s pension fund by $900 million this year; he also requested legislative authority to reduce next year’s payment by $1.5 billion.

Turns out that the state badly overestimated how much revenue it would reap, so it can’t make the pension payments and still balance the budget as required by the state constitution.

To be sure, New Jersey Democrats argue that Christie could have raised the money to pay for pensions by imposing a millionaire’s tax.