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April 22, 2010

Gov. Christie's Smackdown of a Liberal Legacy

Posted by The MaryHunter at April 22, 2010 5:11 PM

George Will reports on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is working hard to redress some serious wrongs from the tax-and-spend Corzine administration. The financial mess that Christie has had to deal with in his first year has been staggering.

He inherited a $2.2 billion deficit, and next year's projected deficit of $10.7 billion is, relative to the state's $29.3 billion budget, the nation's worst. Democrats, with the verbal tic -- "Tax the rich!" -- that passes for progressive thinking, demanded that he reinstate the "millionaire's tax," which hit "millionaires" earning $400,000 until it expired Dec. 31. Instead, Christie noted that between 2004 and 2008 there was a net outflow of $70 billion in wealth as "the rich," including small businesses, fled. And he said previous administrations had "raised taxes 115 times in the last eight years alone."
So he closed the $2.2 billion gap by accepting 375 of 378 suggested spending freezes and cuts. In two weeks. By executive actions. In eight weeks he cut $13 billion -- $232 million a day, $9 million an hour.

You want government excess? Here's your government excess, says Christie:

Government employees' health benefits are, he says, "41 percent more expensive" than those of the average Fortune 500 company. Without changes in current law, "spending will have increased 322 percent in 20 years -- over 16 percent a year."
Partly to pay for teachers' benefits -- most contribute nothing to pay for their health insurance -- property taxes have increased 70 percent in 10 years, to an average annual cost to homeowners of $7,281.Christie proposes a 2.5 percent cap on annual increases.
Challenging teachers unions to live up to their cloying "it's really about the kids" rhetoric, he has told them to choose between a pay freeze and job cuts.
Christie notes that the $550,000 salary of the executive director of the teachers union is larger than the total cuts proposed for 190 of the state's 605 school districts.

The path to New Jersey's fiscal oblivion was well-paved by years of Democrat corruption and union excesses. Christie has his work cut out for him, but so far, he seems to be doing all the right things.

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You just don't want to mess with this kinda guy.