Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Reasons I Would Move To New Jersey

Governor Wrecking Ball?  Considering Jersey's a fiscal wreck, that may be exactly what the state needs...
WHEN Republican Chris Christie campaigned for governor of New Jersey last year, he promised to turn Trenton upside down.

Voters - even Democrats - must have liked the idea, because they kicked out incumbent Jon S. Corzine in favor of a tough-talking former U.S. attorney who had virtually no experience in elected office.

Now, Christie has a white-knuckled grip on the Capitol, and yet, amid his trying to topple established Trenton norms, his approval rating has dropped by 9 points.

"I think the public is confused," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "What we have right now is a governor who is doing exactly what he said he was going to do. It's certainly a breath of fresh air."

Christie, dubbed "Governor Wrecking Ball" by a Newark Star-Ledger columnist and praised as a reformer by Rush Limbaugh, unveiled a doomsday budget in Trenton last month that included deep cuts in state aid to school districts and municipalities. He proposed massive cuts to public transportation and Medicaid, all to help close the state's nearly $11 billion deficit. He also has pledged to veto any tax hikes.

"The day of reckoning has arrived," Christie said during his budget address.

About a week after he unveiled the budget, Christie signed sweeping pension reforms for public employees that include reimbursement caps for unused sick days and contributions toward health care.

"It's like cold turkey for the state," said Bill Layton, Burlingtion County GOP chairman.

Some say Christie's fresh breath has been a little too hot, like a fire-breathing dragon laying waste to municipalities and school districts across the state, with no regard to whether some have made budget sacrifices.

"I think part of the problem in New Jersey right now is that too much is happening too soon," said Chuck Chiarello, mayor of Buena Vista Township and vice president of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.

"I have to admire the governor's spunk, but New Jersey didn't get into this deficit last year or the year before," Chiarello said.

"It's been a 20-year process. The governor could actually be jeopardizing our state economy. The economic impact this could have on our communities hasn't been measured yet."

In an escalating war of words with the powerful New Jersey Education Association, Christie has accused teachers of being unwilling to give up raises to save jobs or the high-school marching band. Christie called the union "bullies." The union said that he was picking on teachers to give tax breaks to millionaires.

"We expect to lose anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 jobs," NJEA president Barbara Keshishian said. "There's going to be plenty of after-school programs cut, too. It's going to be devastating."
Yes, it's just as devestating as all those private-sector workers who have lost their jobs in a down economy. The voters are coming to the realization that government, at least state government, can't just print money out of thin air. Christie's following through on their wishes. Kudos to him.

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