What is your nomination for the most intriguing political story this year? Here's mine: What if New Jersey Governor Chris Christie actually succeeds in paring down the Garden State's runaway public sector, and maintains or even increases his political popularity while doing so? Here's the latest proposed reform:
New Jersey would close its centralized car inspection lanes and motorists would pay for their own emissions tests under a sweeping set of recommendations set to be released by the Christie administration today.
State parks, psychiatric hospitals and even turnpike toll booths could also be run by private operators, according to the 57-page report on privatization obtained by The Star-Ledger. Preschool classrooms would no longer be built at public expense, state employees would pay for parking and private vendors would dish out food, deliver health care and run education programs behind prison walls.
All told, the report says, New Jersey could save at least $210 million a year by delivering an array of services through private hands.
UPDATE: The Reason Foundation, which is the 501(c)(3) non-profit (donate today!) that publishes Reason-branded editorial content and does public-policy research, participated enthusiastically in the preparation of this study. Which you can read in full at this link [PDF].