Phil Murphy Doesn’t Know How Much His “Free” College Plan Would Cost Taxpayers

Phil Murphy’s campaign is struggling to say how much his “free” college tuition proposal would cost New Jersey taxpayers. After the former Goldman Sachs executive claimed it would cost the state $400 million, his campaign quickly backtracked, attempting to lower that number to $200 million, in hopes of misleading voters on the real cost of Murphy’s campaign promises. If Murphy doesn’t even know the actual cost for one of his main proposals, voters can be sure that his promise of imposing a $1.3 billion dollar tax increase per year is only the beginning.

The NJ Observer reports:

“The Phil Murphy campaign had a tough time Monday figuring out what one of his core campaign promises would actually cost.

Murphy, the Democratic nominee for governor, told reporters at a campaign event Monday morning that his plan for tuition-free community college would cost the state roughly $400 million per year. But hours later his campaign said the program would cost half as much.

‘The community college piece is probably something in the area of $400 million a year,” Murphy said during a news conference at Mercer County Community College…

‘And if you look at a $35 billion budget, which is what we have, and you look at the impact you could make with that investment, it’s an overwhelming return and high priority.’

Immediately after the event, Murphy campaign spokesman Derek Roseman walked back the candidate’s comment, saying that the $400 million figure was a ‘top-line estimate’ and that the true cost could be lower. Another campaign spokesman, Daniel Bryan, said it was impossible to know the actual cost given a number of variables, such as how much federal aid the state receives for community colleges.

Hours later, the Murphy campaign settled on a new figure: $200 million.

Murphy’s math snafu comes as his Republican rival, Kim Guadagno, has attacked him over plans to raise some taxes and increase spending in some areas. Murphy’s campaign said he would raise $1.3 billion in revenue by increasing taxes…”