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NJ Senate Race: Booker, Lonegan Separated by $101 Billion

by Michael Tasselmyer / /

On Wednesday, New Jerseyans will vote in a special election to decide who will replace outgoing U.S. Senator Jeffrey Chiesa, a Republican and former state attorney general who was appointed by Governor Chris Christie to fill the seat vacated after Frank Lautenberg's death in June. Ahead of the election, National Taxpayers Union Foundation has released its line-by-line analysis of the proposals made by the leading candidates: former Newark mayor Cory Booker, who won the Democratic nomination in August, and his Republican challenger Steve Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota.

During any election cycle, candidates propose and debate a variety of policies, which can give voters some insight into how they would spend (or save) the tax dollars they send to Washington. Unfortunately for taxpayers, it can be difficult to translate these proposals into specific dollar figures. Using data and methodology from the BillTally project, NTUF has analyzed the campaign promises of would-be Senators and Representatives since 2000 in order to make the budgetary implications of their agendas clearer for interested voters.

For the New Jersey election, NTUF sifted through each candidate's official campaign materials, public statements, and media appearances in order to determine which of their proposals could affect federal spending.

  • Lonegan's agenda included two items that would decrease federal spending and ten that carried unknown costs. Mayor Booker has offered more in the way of both detail and volume of proposals: of the 58 that NTUF determined would have some budgetary effect, 20 would increase federal spending.
  • On net, Booker's proposals could increase federal spending by $33 billion per year, while Lonegan's could save almost $68.2 billion per year.
  • That difference amounts to nearly $101 billion per year, roughly 2.8% of the Congressional Budget Office's projected federal outlays for Fiscal Year 2014.

For links to analyses of each candidate's proposals, as well as a number of summary graphs and other information on the studies, check out today's special edition of the Taxpayer's Tab online here.