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I am Christie

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain

For having the unmitigated temerity to rain on Chris Christie's love parade yet again, New Jersey numbers-cruncher David Rosen has received another gubernatorial tongue-lashing.

"He's dead wrong," Christie said Monday, referring to Rosen's estimate that the state faces a revenue shortfall of as much as $937 million during the next 13 months. "And he's been dead wrong before."

Rosen is a fiscal analyst with the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services. His previous deviations from the governor's triumphalist fiscal narrative inspired Christie to call  him a Democratic party "handmaiden," as well as, most famously, "Dr. Kevorkian of the numbers."

Yet even Christie's own budget team is in revisionist mode: N.J. Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff told legislators Monday that the administration's revenue estimates for the current fiscal year must be adjusted downward, yet again -- this time by $132 million

Meanwhile, an NJ Spotlight analysis that drills deeply into budget politics as well as numbers finds that Rosen's projections have proven "just about dead right."

But if past is prologue, Spotlight writer Mark J. Magyar should brace himself: His recent piece about the increase in the overall state property tax burden during Christie's watch was, according to the governor, "a totally ridiculous report."