NOW THAT'S FUNNY
New York's Governor Paterson has put forth the idea that New Jersey could help pay for the much-needed repairs on the Tappan Zee Bridge. The job is expected to take about $16 billion, and he thought maybe New Jersey wouldn't mind sharing that load.
I wouldn't advise asking Governor Christie to pay for anything. That usually doesn't work out.
Governor Paterson's proposal actually calls for the two states to work together to seek federal funding. Christie doesn't have the best track record in this area, either. He and Bret Schundler weren't able to get money for education through the Race to the Top program, and Christie's office just missed out on getting other federal money specifically for charter schools. Plus, the Feds just sent Christie a bill for $271 million for the tunnel he cancelled, which he is trying to get out of paying. I don't think Washington wants to send us any more money.
Governor Paterson's proposal says that after the repairs are finished, New York and New Jersey would share in the costs and profits of the bridge. Profits? There are profits?
My in-laws live in Westchester, so I drive the Tappan Zee quite often. I've noticed something. It's not in New Jersey.
Yes, New Jersey motorists drive over it, most of them probably Bergen County residents like myself. The rest of New Jersey is busy utilizing the George Washington Bridge, the tunnels, and the ferries across the river into Manhattan. We couldn't even afford to build a tunnel in that neighborhood, so we're definitely not going to chip in for something in someone else's state.
I don't know what Governor Paterson was thinking. Maybe he was thinking that since Mayor Bloomberg got some traction with the idea to extend the New York Subway No. 7 line to New Jersey, that Christie would be open to partnerships. More likely, Paterson is thinking: what do I have to lose, I'm out of here anyway.
In that case, I have some ideas. How would New York like to help us revive Atlantic City? Clean up Xanadu? OK, OK, we'll be happy if they just take Snooki off our hands.
Pam Lobley writes the "Now That's Funny" column. Sign up for her mailing list at www.pamlobley.com.