The media has not been giving Governor Chris Christie credit for the way he is forcibly reigning in spending and reducing the size of government in New Jersey. He has been doing a remarkable job given all he has to fight against from unions, entrenched interests and the overall Democrat-controlled machinery of the state.
The Hill newspaper goes into detail on his efforts:
As the United States watches a debt crisis in Greece like a fiscal oil spill, waiting to see where it will spread first and when it will make landfall on our shores, Christie is tackling the nation’s worst state deficit — $10.7 billion of a $29.3 billion budget. In doing so, Christie has become the politician so many Americans crave, one willing to lose his job. Indeed, Christie is doing something unheard of: governing as a Republican in a blue state, just as he campaigned, making good on promises, acting like his last election is behind him.
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.
This is how government should be run. As the private economy contracts, so to must local, state and federal governments as they deal with a decreased tax revenue stream. New Jersey, like New York and California, is a special case since liberal Democrat polices have run the state into the ground for decades and decades. Christie is the first politician elected on a platform of cutting government and he even has the guts to carry it out.
Christie is adamant about lowering taxes. After taxes were raised 115 times in the last eight years, he said the wealthy are tapped out. Property taxes rose nearly 70 percent in the last decade, and studies show top earners — the 1 percent of taxpayers paying 40 percent of income tax — are fleeing the Garden State.
The goal is not just to crawl out of crisis but ultimately to lead, said Christie in his budget address. “If we make the tough decisions now, we will be one year ahead of 80 percent of the states in the race to economic growth. If we fail to act, we will fall even further behind … by going first, we can become first.”
The wealthy are tapped out and they have no reason to invest in or even stay in New Jersey. If Christie succeeds, he will revitalize the state using conservative principles of lower taxes and limited government. Every time it is tried it works brilliantly. Governor Bobby Jindal in Louisiana has done the same, cutting taxes, reducing government and his state has actually been growingduring this recession. Again, employing conservative principles of limited government and lower taxes allows the free market to create jobs and thrive.
Christie is in a unique position right now since he clearly has the leadership skills we so desperately need in a politician. I personally don’t align with him on the topics of the 2nd Amendment and abortion but I am completely on board with his fiscal policies.
He is getting attacked from all angles claiming his reforms will only hurt education and other state programs. Unfortunately he does not have the luxury of deciding whether or not to cut spending across the board, he must simply judge by how much to cut spending across the board. New Jersey will continue to be on the road to bankruptcy if it does not reduce the burden of government immediately.
I applaud Christie for his efforts and hope he continues the stamina and backbone to usher in a new age of growth in New Jersey by applying conservative principles.
This was so good I had to post a follow-up to this story. Seems that the New Jersey Senate has approved a school voucher bill with Christie’s strong support, from NJ.com:
TRENTON — A Senate committee approved legislation today creating scholarships for students to attend private schools during a raucous hearing held in front of the Statehouse Annex building.
Hundreds of demonstrators, mostly students from private and charter schools, gathered to rally for the bill. Supporters said it provides students a chance to leave failing public schools, while opponents said it undermines the public school system.
The bill (S1872) could fund $24 million in scholarships for up to 4,000 children the first year. After five years, up to 20,000 children would receive $120 million in scholarships, they said. More money would be set aside for grants to public schools. The funding would come from donations by corporations who would receive tax credits equal to their contributions.
That’s fantastic… Obama is moving away from common sense programs like vouchers, something which has been abundantly successful, while Christie is moving in favor of them. The bill might not make it past the New Jersey Assembly but it sure is gaining bi-partisan traction.
Plus, see this video:
Amen to that. I’m really starting to like this guy.