$101 Billion Difference Between New Jersey's Senate Candidates' Agendas


(Alexandria, VA) – A new study from National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF) reveals that Newark Mayor Corey Booker’s campaign agenda would add $33 billion to the federal budget, while former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan’s agenda would cut $68 billion dollars – a total difference in the candidates’ campaign agendas of $101 billion.

NTUF Director of Research Demian Brady said, “After a heavily publicized Senate race, New Jersey has plenty of words and promises from their candidates - now, NTUF has put a clear number on the price of all those proposals for voters.”

NTUF analyzed each candidate's official campaign materials, public statements, and media appearances in order to determine which of their proposals could affect federal spending.

The key findings:

  • Lonegan's agenda included two items that would decrease federal spending, along with ten that carried unknown costs.
  • Mayor Booker offered more in the way of both detail and volume of proposals. Of the 58 that NTUF determined to 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 – and roughly equal to the GDP of Puerto Rico.

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.

The complete analysis of each candidate's proposals, as well as a number of summary graphs and other information on the studies, is available here.

NTUF is the research affiliate of the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union, a non-profit taxpayer advocacy group founded in 1969. More information is available at ntu.org/ntuf.