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Chris Christie: “it will bankrupt us morally”

Posted by Richard on April 10, 2012

Gov. Chris Christie addressed the George W. Bush Institute’s Conference on Taxes and Economic Growth today and demonstrated again why many of us consider him (despite a few flaws) one of the great statesmen and great communicators in our country today. Human Events’ John Hayward reported some of Christie’s key points:

“I’ve never seen a less optimistic time in my lifetime in this country, and people wonder why,” Christie said.  “I think it’s really simple: It’s because government’s now telling them ‘stop dreaming, stop striving, we’ll take care of you.’ We’re turning into a paternalistic entitlement society.”

Christie warned this would bankrupt us both financially and morally, “because when the American people no longer believe that this is a place where only their willingness to work hard, and to act with honor and integrity and ingenuity determines their success in life, then we’ll have a bunch of people sitting on a couch waiting for their next government check.”

If you have only a few minutes, watch this 2:18 video excerpt that includes the above comments.

[YouTube link]

 But if you can spare a half hour, I strongly urge you to watch the whole speech (29:28), below. It’s highly entertaining, informative, enlightening, and uplifting. I guarantee it’s well worth your time.

[YouTube link]

John Hayward made an important point. After quoting Dan Bigman’s summary of Christie’s “reaching across the aisle” to get the support of a third of the legislature’s Democrats for addressing a state budget deficit of 30% (!) without raising taxes, he said of Christie’s “constructive compromises”:

…which actually sounds a lot more like “winning the argument” than “compromise,” in the usual mushy bipartisan drop-your-principles potato-cultivating sense our perpetually growing federal government and its attendants use the term.  Among other things, Christie stopped a “millionaire tax” in New Jersey, capped property taxes, and called for a sizable growth-oriented income tax cut.  Those aren’t the sort of sugar plums Democrats normally have dancing in their heads when they anticipate “compromise” with Republicans.

I’d characterize Christie’s approach as Reaganesque. And I wish Romney, McConnell, Boehner, and the rest of the GOP leadership would watch this speech and think about the lessons to be learned. Gentlemen, the route to victory this November doesn’t depend on pandering to moderates and independents, or watering down your message. It depends on convincing people that this country needs to be turned around. It depends on convincing people that you have a plan to prevent our impending financial and moral bankruptcy. It depends on demonstrating that you’re principled, committed to tackling the tough issues, and sincerely concerned about our country’s future. It would help to have a realistic plan for doing so and be able to present it articulately and persuasively.

Of course, that’s asking a lot of the Republican leadership.

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