New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has named Princeton native and Princeton University alumnus Ford Scudder as the next New Jersey State Treasurer.
Scudder, the chief operating officer of Laffer Associates, an economic research and consulting firm, replaces Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, who left the Christie administration in the summer. Scudder is slated to begin his new post the second week in November.
“With over a decade of private sector experience at one of our country’s premier economic research and analytical institutions, Ford Scudder brings important insights and management experience to our seasoned team of Treasury professionals,” said Christie in a news release. “The unique approach Ford brings will help build on my administration’s approach to responsible management of the state’s finances and prudent oversight of taxpayer funds.”
Christie said he would look forward to Scudder’s insights on fiscal and tax policy solutions that he claimed would continue to grow the state economy and bring “much-needed relief to the burden shouldered by New Jersey taxpayers.”
Scudder earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton University and a master’s degree in business administration from Vanderbilt University. The Scudder family’s Princeton roots date back to the 1600s.
In addition to serving as the chief operating officer at Laffer Associates, a firm led by former Reagan Administration economist Arthur Laffer, Scudder has also served as a senior research analyst for Laffer Investments, a privately-held equity management firm.
Gordon MacInnes, president of New Jersey Policy Perspective, expressed concerns Tuesday afternoon about Scudder’s connections to Laffer.
“While we trust that Mr. Scudder will bring an independent and clear-eyed approach to managing New Jersey’s finances, and have no reason to doubt his abilities, we are concerned by his deep connection to one of America’s most radical anti-tax ideologues,” MacInnes said.
“Cutting state income taxes is a failed economic-growth strategy. It certainly didn’t work for New Jersey in the 1990s. Yet Mr. Laffer and his firm have pushed this tax-cutting agenda, which mostly benefits the well-off, for decades,” MacInnes said. “Most recently, his work advising Gov. Brownback to push through a massive income tax cut in Kansas has turned out to be a dismal failure: the promised economic returns never materialized, but the budget gaps and cuts to schools and other essential public services sure have. That is not the kind of economic agenda New Jersey needs, and we trust it’s not the kind Mr. Scudder will bring with him to Trenton.”