World Trade Center project and corruption, nepotism in N.J. government




The colossal public-private project to rebuild One World Trade Center should symbolize America’s greatness and liberty, but instead it appears to be symbolizing two other American achievements: mismanagement and nepotism.

The Port Authority, which owns the skyscraper and all the transportation links between the Center, appears to be awash in debts compiled over the years by the governors of NY-NJ from 2002 to present-day. If there ever were bipartisanship, this incompetence is the singular issue. Okay, it’s safe to assume that the re-building of this project wasn’t exactly going to be a simple assignment, free of competing bureaucratic interests, greed, and corruption. But it’s really turning out to be a haphazard melange of all three and, much like when anytime the "stuff" hits the fan in government, the blame game takes precedent.

According to Nicole Genis of the New York Post, “One WTC will cost $3.9 billion. The PATH station has soared to $3.7 billion. And we can’t get back the federal money that pols spent on a sports museum and on the Bank of America and Goldman Sachs towers.

That’s how the Port Authority got caught on the hook for $7.7 billion (after money from other sources) for WTC rebuilding.”

Worse yet, it’s all on borrowed money and the Port Authority now owes $19 billion.

But naturally when government and the private sector want their big fancy pork projects but choose to pay for it on credit card, it’s the schmuck taxpayers that are stuck with the astronomical interest and the high monthly payments. After all, New Jersey commuters saw hiked tolls for the second time in three years. And now it appears that tolls are set to rise every year for the foreseeable future. Funds were not earmarked to pay for useful core projects, such as the ARC Tunnel project that Gov Christie canceled (maybe because he can’t yell at it on Youtube?), which not only would have created thousands of new jobs for the abysmally unemployed in NJ, but also would have created another rail line for commuters and avoid all the massive delays that commuters face now at Penn Station.

And instead of appointing relevant and strong-willed people at the Port Authority (or Patronage Authority as it should be called) who could speak out, Gov. Christie appointed his former Chief of Staff who’s now a pharmaceutical-industry lobbyist.

In short, quid quo pro is still the way to go no matter who is in office.

Michael Hayne is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire, Follow him on Twitter and Facebook to tell him what a horrible person he is.