Fighting the Good Fight

May 14th, 2010

By Tom Carter

At a time when the U.S. is running huge deficits and sliding further and further into long-term debt, one courageous governor is fighting the good fight regardless of the political costs.  According to an article in The Hill, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey is fighting a determined battle to cut spending and reduce taxes.

This is bitter medicine, but New Jersey badly needs it.  The state has the worst budget deficit of any state, the highest taxes of any state, and the worst unemployment in its region.  The top one percent of earners in New Jersey pays 40 percent of its income taxes, but that golden goose is dying as businesses and wealthier individuals flee the state.

According to The Hill:

Upon taking office Christie declared a state of emergency, signing an executive order that froze spending, and then, in eight weeks, cutting $13 billion in spending. In March he presented to the Legislature his first budget, which cuts 9 percent of spending, including more than $800 million in education funding; seeks to privatize numerous government functions; projects 1,300 layoffs; and caps tax increases.

His strongest opposition is coming from the teachers’ unions:

Teachers unions are incensed, fighting Christie’s proposal that — in order to avoid cuts to education — teachers accept a one-year wage freeze and contribute 1.5 percent to the generous-by-every-standard health care plans they now enjoy for free. New Jersey, which has the highest unemployment in the region and highest taxes in the country, lost 121,000 jobs in the private sector in 2009 while adding 11,300 new education jobs. During the last eight years, K-12 enrollment rose just 3 percent while education jobs increased more than 16 percent. According to the Newark Star-Ledger, during the recession that has cost many residents their homes and jobs and scaled back hours and pay for the employed, teachers’ salaries rose by nearly 5 percent, double the rate of inflation.

Last November when Governor Christie, a Republican, defeated former Governor Jon Corzine, a Democrat, it was seen as a benefit for Republicans nationally.  Looks like it was more accurately a benefit for New Jersey.

Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, a liberal or a conservative, it has to be clear to you by this point that the U.S. is on the road to becoming a financial basket case — a huge version of Greece.  We have to cut spending and raise taxes if we’re going to escape that fate.  I wonder if Governor Corzine would consider seeking a new job in November 2012?

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8 Responses to “Fighting the Good Fight”

  1. d |

    How about the fair tax? Would that help or hender the economy,not paying taxes unless you purchase? I’m all for Christie,sounds like he is on the right track,but I hate higher taxes.

  2. d |

    Whoops,I spoke too soon. Seems that under Gov. Christie,twice as many people in his administration made over 100,000 than in Gov. Corzine’s[a democrat] administration. 18 in 2009,under Corzine,but 34 including the Gov. himself,under Christie,who makes 175,000, by law. Hmmm, guess what is good for the goose is not good for the gander. He is proposing 1300 state workers layoffs,but his administration is well paid,with no cuts or layoffs in sight. Not my hero.

  3. Brian Bagent |

    Doris, by that criterion, you must absolutely despise both Bill Clinton and Obama.

  4. d |

    I don’t despise anyone,I was just pointing out that Christie is not all Tom seems to think he is. Big Gov. and all,seems democratic,don’t ya think? They aren’t my heros either.I do like Bill though,guess it’s a girl thing:)Or maybe, a no deficite thing.

  5. Tom |

    Doris, do you have a source or a link for what you said about Governor Christie’s administration? I haven’t seen anything like that and didn’t find it.

  6. d |

    I can’t link but it was the A.P.,just looked him up on computer,first thing I found.

  7. d |

    APP.Com,Asbury Park,New Jersey,still under Chris Christie when you look him up.

  8. Tom |

    I didn’t find the original AP report, but there’s a report at with a state official stating that the AP report was incorrect and providing additional information on staff and salaries for the two administrations.

    Regardless of all that, the key issue is that Governor Christie is trying to deal with the twin problems of excessive spending and insufficient taxation. If both problems aren’t managed, the state will go under. And so will the federal government if something isn’t done to increase income and reduce spending. I realize that governments can run deficits and carry debts that aren’t dangerous, but the current condition of the federal government and some state governments is way beyond anything reasonable.

    Governor Christie’s administration’s expenses, whether a little more or a little less that the previous administration’s, are a drop in the bucket compared to the overall problem.

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