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On the list this week: Ford, Novartis, gas tax and more.

Each week in Face Time, NJBIZ editors approximate Chris Christie's mood and facial expressions based on the news.

FACE TIME: CONFIDENT
"Are things better in New Jersey than they were four years ago?" Christie asked during his Walk to Washington dinner. "Of course they are." Sounds like a stump speech to us — and it's perhaps another example that Christie is eager to see how he'll play on the national scene.

CHEERS

Ford

Mark Fields, now expected to be next head of Ford Motor Co., is a Jerseyan through and through. The Paramus High graduate also is a Rutgers graduate.

Novartis

It may be years before we know if the plan worked, but Novartis' announcement that it is aggressively overhauling the way it does business, starting with multibillion-dollar deals, hopefully puts it at the forefront of a rapidly changing industry that is so vital to New Jersey.

Tesla

Keeping with cars, it's good to see Tesla is keeping up its plans for the Garden State as it will open its first supercharger station in Hamilton. It's the 100th station worldwide for the first company that appears to have figured out electric cars.

JEERS

Executive pay

Our feelings on C-suite salaries are well known. Those who make the big decisions that have big impact deserve big pay. But even we are taken aback by a report that N.J. CEOs make 121 times more than an average employee — especially at a time when the average middle-class worker is no longer the richest in the world.

Home sales

A new report that showed U.S. home sales dropped to their lowest level in eight months — at a time they should be rising — is not good for New Jersey or the economy.

Gas tax

Most Jerseyans don't want an increase in the gas tax (we get that), and now some are complaining about the rising costs due to the switch to more eco-friendly summer gas (understandable, too). But understand this: if you want a greener place, someone has to pay for it.

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