Christie comedy, deficit drama

Chris Christie's one-on-one Monday with David Letterman was big fun, as the New Jersey governor winningly deployed his self-deprecating wit.

The guy's got a great sense of humor. But his state's increasingly grim fiscal situation is no joke.

New Jersey's Consolidated Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for fiscal year 2012, which ended last June 30, shows a $123 million shortfall between projected and actual surplus revenue available to help fund the current budget. And that's just a small sample of the un-funny money news pouring out of Trenton, where Christie is scheduled to make his budget presentation for FY 2014 on February 26.

According to a sobering analysis by NJ Spotlight, even if December's revenue spike continues and reaches record levels in upcoming months, the improved cash flow won't eliminate a structural deficit that could reach $3.5 billion by the end of June.

Not much of a punch line.