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Posts Tagged ‘chris christie’

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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Christie: “Let me help you pack”

Posted by Richard on November 16, 2010

The Parsippany-Troy Hills (NJ) Board of Education recently voted to renew Superintendent LeRoy Seitz's contract well ahead of its expiration next summer. The board and Seitz negotiated the deal now so that Seitz, whose base salary is $212,000 ($242,000 total last year), would be exempt for the next five years from the Christie administration's salary cap plan (most local school district funding comes from the state, including chief administrators' pay). 

In addition to a base salary far above the $175,000 cap, an immediate $4,220 raise, and 2% increases each year for five years, Seitz's contract provides for a $5,000 "stipend," a 15% bonus, travel expenses, 24 vacation days, 15 sick days, 3 personal leave days, paid membership in two professional organizations, expenses paid for two conferences per year, a cell phone, and a laptop computer.  

The story of the board meeting and local citizens' angry protestations is a fascinating read. But the money quote, as usual lately in New Jersey stories, came from Gov. Chris Christie (emphasis added): 

The day before the meeting Seitz is quoted in the Daily Record as saying, "Because of the proposed salary caps, I have to look at my future and the financial welfare of my family. I certainly would have options if I didn't feel the compensation in this district, or New Jersey, is appropriate."

The governor reacted to Seitz's veiled threats to leave New Jersey and go to a nearby state where there is no state salary. "I will say in response to Mr. Seitz, 'Let me help you pack.' We have real problems in our state that we have to fix and we don't have the time, nor the money, nor the patience any longer for people who put themselves before our citizens," Christie railed.

(Half a HT to Veronique de Rugy , who quoted the story without linking to it, so I had to track it down myself.)

Here's a must-see video of Gov. Christie addressing a town hall meeting and calling out Seitz by name, demonstrating that he's learned Saul Alinsky's 12th rule for radicals (it must really stick in the craw of leftists to see people like Christie turn their own tactics against them): 

[YouTube link]

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A tale of two governors

Posted by Richard on July 20, 2010

I supported the successful gubernatorial campaigns of both New Jersey's Chris Christie and Virginia's Bob McDonnell. I'll support the former again in the future. But not the latter. Both governors are Republicans who claim to be fiscal conservatives, and both came into office facing budget crises. The difference in how they handled them is highly instructive, and it's a reminder that there's still plenty of rotten fruit in the GOP barrel.

Gov. Christie faced an $11 billion budget deficit, and all the powers that be in both parties declared that closing it would require a combination of "painful" cuts and tax increases (ever notice that tax increases are never described as "painful"?). Christie would have none of it. He insisted that the people of New Jersey were already overtaxed. He took on the teachers, firefighters, and police, among others, challenging their generous pensions, pay, and other benefits. He vetoed every tax increase the Democratic legislature sent him. He faced down the special interests, entrenched bureaucrats, and career pols. The result? He's immensely popular, and his balanced budget passed virtually unchanged. It's the lowest state budget in four years. 

Now, Christie is pushing a Constitutional limit on property tax increases (he's highly likely to win this fight, too). And his next big push will be for major public employee pension reforms. Christie is uncompromising, true to his word, and refreshingly direct and honest. Scores of YouTube videos of him at public appearances, addressing the legislature, etc., make it clear why some people are calling him a political "rock star." Here's a recent interview with Paul Gigot.

[YouTube link]

Meanwhile, in Virginia, Gov. McDonnell faced a $1.8 billion budget deficit. He recently crowed about turning it into a $220 million surplus. Did he, too, stare down the special interests and big-spending pols? Did he, too, cut spending by 10%? Um, apparently not. Apparently McDonnell's approach was more "go along to get along," and the surplus is being called a fraud.

It seems that McDonnell balanced the budget by borrowing from the pension fund. And by forcing retailers to remit sales taxes for July in June, before they'd even begun to collect them. And by raising taxes on manufacturers and increasing a plethora of "fees."

So, about that $220 million surplus — surely, the guv used it to partially repay the pension fund (since unlike Christie, he doesn't seem inclined to take on a pension reform battle). Or maybe he set it aside to cover the lack of sales tax revenue in July of the new fiscal year. Or maybe he just saved it for a rainy day, since Virginia's tax revenues are still declining.

None of the above. He immediately spent it:

McDonnell told a news conference that the money will go to a $82 million, 3 percent one-time bonus for state employees, to local school divisions, to the Water Quality Improvement Fund and to the transportation trust fund. 

I'd like to see Chris Christie become President. And I'd like to see Bob McDonnell recognized as the poster child for what's wrong with the Republican Party. 

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Gov. Christie: This is the fight we have to win for our kids

Posted by Richard on June 8, 2010

Every time I see a video of or read a statement by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, I like him better. In this 4:42 clip from a town hall meeting, he talks about the teachers' union. I love the schoolyard bully metaphor.

[YouTube link]

Nice rhetoric, you say, but what specifically is Christie doing? Glad you asked. In "The Reform Agenda: Changing Course in N.J.," Christie described the state's monumental fiscal crisis, which had been years in the making (state spending growing at double-digit annual rates for decades; 116 tax increases in nine years). Then he outlined his reform proposal. It consists of constitutional caps on property tax increases and discretionary spending, accompanied by a comprehensive set of legislative reforms on collective bargaining, civil service, health care, education, and pensions. 

That bold and broad reform proposal follows putting together a budget that cuts state spending by over a third. And by all accounts, Christie is remarkably popular. I hope he serves as an example for other state leaders around the country on how to restore fiscal responsibility and tackle tough problems instead of kicking them down the road. 

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Best damn governor in America

Posted by Richard on May 15, 2010

Chris Christie has been governor of New Jersey for less than four months, and he's already said and done more good things than any other governor in America. I made some modest contributions to his campaign, and I think they may be the wisest political contributions I've made in years.

Is it too soon to talk about Christie for President? Some people don't think so —  there's already a "Chris Christie for President in 2012" Facebook group. That may be a stretch, but I think Christie has a future in national politics. At least, I hope he does. 

In the following video, Christie responds to a reporter's snarky question about Christie's "confrontational tone." His reply is priceless. Keep your eye on the fellow behind and to the left of Christie — he really enjoyed it. 

[YouTube link]

If you have time, check out some of the other Christie videos, too, like his appearances on Fox & Friends, Morning Joe, and with Don Imus. And by all means, read George Will's profile of the Governor. Christie is a breath of fresh air in the fetid landscape of American politics.

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