Republicans are crushing Democrats in the pre-midterm election polls, but they still don’t have a great candidate to oppose Obama in the 2012 presidential election. Now I’m fully aware that I am getting way ahead of myself here, but there’s a rising Republican star in New Jersey. A state that hasn’t cast its electoral votes for a Republican president since Lord knows when, didn’t just elect some wishy-washy RINO Republican, they elected a real fiscal conservative who’ll stand up for what he believes in (which just so happens to be right.)
Taxes in New Jersey are already notoriously high. The cost of living in that state is brutal! So what do local politicians want to do? Enact more taxes. They want to pass another tax and call it “The Millionaire’s Tax.” They hope by calling it a millionaire’s tax they’ll get the middle class to feel like the government is only increasing taxes on “them” and not “us.” Obviously a tax increase on the wealthy may cause the wealthy to leave New Jersey, and they’re the ones who provide the jobs. When this bill got to Chris Christie‘s desk he vetoed it immediately. No debate was needed.
While some politicians seem to believe they can raise taxes more and more and eventually create a budget surplus, Gov. Christie is determined to cut spending. Christie is challenging one of the most adored and put-on-a-pedestal groups in the country–school teachers. First, let’s acknowledge that we love good teachers, we appreciate their work and so on. Second, let’s praise Gov. Christie for calling teachers’ unions an “interest group.”
The “great recession” has hit private sector employees hard, but those in the public sector have been shielded. Gov. Christie is one of the few politicians willing to be honest and essentially say New Jersey is broke. I’m sorry, but we’re in bad shape.
In order to fix the budget, Christie is telling teachers and state workers that part of their pension plans will have to be sacrificed. As it is now, the pension pool is $46 billion underfunded, and in 15 years it will be $85 billion underfunded. Christie has said the “system is completely out of control.”
Christie on Tuesday proposed rolling back a 9 percent benefit increase granted a decade ago. He also would require public workers to contribute 8.5 percent of their salaries toward retirement and would raise the retirement age to 65 for teachers and state workers with less than 25 years in the system.
He proposed reducing pension payments by 5 percent for police and firefighters who retire after 25 years, and would make public safety employees work five additional years to get 65 percent of their salaries as pension. Police and firefighters can now retire after 25 years regardless of age for 65 percent of their salary.”
Obviously the teachers’ unions are going berserk. Christie has been blunt (like a true Yankee) and honest. He has told them to take reduced pensions or get nothing because the state is nearing insolvency, is in a desperate situation, and without changes won’t be able to pay for the pensions.
The national story out of this is Christie as a rising star in the Republican Party. Obama is trying to pass another (wasteful) stimulus bill. This one he is calling a small business stimulus, which makes it sounds nice, but doesn’t change the fact that he wants to spend more money we don’t have. Republicans have opposed the bill. When asked about the Republicans being called the “Party of No,” Chris Christie said, “It’s the Republican party’s obligation to say no. We believe in less taxes, less government, and common sense regulation.” Sounds like a winning platform to me!
Chris Christie called the problems in New Jersey a “preview for what the rest of the country is about to handle.” When Neil Cavuto mentioned his “extensive travel plans,” Christie says he is just helping other fiscal conservatives win their elections. Could there be more to it? Something greater? Can Christie save New Jersey from “insolvency” and then do it on a bigger scale?
What do you think of Chris Christie’s brash honesty and is he a legitimate star in the Republican party?