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Gov. Chris Christie speaks fiscal truth

I have to give a high-five to Gov. Chris Christie. The New Jersey Republican was on “Morning Joe” today and showed why he is not only a rising star within the GOP, but also a model of leadership for politicians who have lost touch with their spines.

A clip of a back-and-forth Christie had with a teacher over benefits contributions and a wage freeze was shown. In it, the governor says things that far too many politicians wouldn’t dare. When she claims, “You’re not compensating me for my education and you’re not compensating me for my experience,” Christie was blunt. “Well, you know what then?,” he said, “you don’t have to do it.... Teachers go into it knowing what the pay scale is.” His tart retort was met with applause.

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Asked for his reaction to the clip shown, Christie, who had to close an $11 billion budget gap, said, “Yeah. That’s fine.” And then he spoke an undeniable truth.

This teacher complaining, they’re getting 4 and 5 percent salary increases a year. In a 0 percent inflation world. They get free health benefits from the day they’re hired for their entire family until the day they die. They believe they are entitled to this shelter from the recession when the people who are paying for that shelter are the people who have been laid off, who’ve lost their homes, had their hours cut back. And all we ask them to do is freeze their salary for one year and pay 1.5 percent of their salary for their health benefits.... As much as I love teachers, everyone’s gotta be a part of the sacrifice.

Everyone’s gotta be a part of the sacrifice. With all the fiscal problems facing this nation -- none with easy or painless solutions -- that mantra will have to be adopted in Washington sooner or later.

By Jonathan Capehart  | July 28, 2010; 5:09 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

Gimme some truth!!!!!

I’ve had enough of watching scenes
of schizophrenic, ego-centric, paranoiac, prima-donnas. All I want is the truth now.
Just gimme some truth. - John Lennon

Posted by: slatt321 | July 28, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Clone this man Christie. What a novel ideal to cut expenses, face off with the unions, instead of raising taxes. Natch that he's a Republican instead of spend crazy democrapper.

Posted by: mightyheidi | July 28, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Natch that he's a Republican instead of spend crazy democrapper.

Oddly, when it comes to tax cuts for those making over $250,000 per year, we hear a different tune out of these fiscally conservative Republicans....
If we make them sacrifice a bit...the entire economy may tank!!!
If it's good enough for the teach, it's good enough for the CEO, at least that's the Democratic line of argument.

Posted by: dijetlau | July 28, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Everyone got a tax cut under Bush. The top rate went from 39% to 35%, but other rates in lower tax brackets decreased by more than 6 or 7% from what they were. Obama now wants to take from everybody (yes - you, if you have a job!) because he is desperate to pay for his social programs.

I am hoping that conservatives and moderates stay centered and steer our great nation back to workable bipartisanship. Obama has shown no such inclination. We had it in the past and need to go there again. No more "we won the election and we are going to shove it in your face". There are lots of serious problems to be solved and it is no wonder that people are giving the politicians such poor approval ratings.

Posted by: 2012frank | July 28, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Christie also ended a tax surcharge on $1M+ taxpayers, as the Repubs always do.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65J1NQ20100620

"The tax would raise $637 million that the state would use to fund rebate checks of up to $1,295 for some 600,000 senior citizens who would otherwise face steep increases in their property taxes during fiscal 2011.

According to the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services, a retired couple living on a fixed income of $40,000 would see an increase of $1,320 in taxes under the governor's plan while a family making $1.2 million would receive a tax cut of $11,598."

Posted by: pgeagle | July 28, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Um, no, everyone did NOT get a tax cut. Everyone who paid federal income taxes got a cut in their income taxes. For many of the working poor who do not make enough to pay federal income taxes (then or now), the only income-based federal tax they paid - payroll taxes - stayed the same. And for many people who do pay federal income taxes, the payroll tax takes a higher part of their income.

And for everyone, while federal income taxes were cut, state and local taxes went up.... and even Republican governors who refused to raise taxes found a way around it by raising every fee they could find - like license fees for small businesses, driver licenses, etc. So add up all the federal, state, and local taxes and "fees" that get paid, and the rate went up for many people. Plus we still get a situation where the poor and middle class pay a higher percentage of their income in all taxes/fees than do the rich and super-rich.

Posted by: tjs_dc | July 28, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Also, for those who think only Repubs make cuts-
http://maryland-politics.blogspot.com/2010/04/whos-big-spender.html
General fund Spending-Maryland
FY2003-Glendening's Last yr $10.4M FY2007-Ehrlich's Last yr $14.2M (+37%)
FY2011-O'Malley Fourth Yr $13.2M (-7%)

Posted by: pgeagle | July 28, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Everyone who paid federal income taxes got a cut in their income taxes under Bush. The top rate went from 39% to 35%, but other rates in lower tax brackets decreased by more than 6 or 7% from what they were. Obama now wants to take from everybody (yes - you, if you have a job!) because he is desperate to pay for his social programs.

I am hoping that conservatives and moderates stay centered and steer our great nation back to workable bipartisanship. Obama has shown no such inclination. We had it in the past and need to go there again. No more "we won the election and we are going to shove it in your face". Obama and Pelosi have got to go! There are lots of serious problems to be solved and it is no wonder that people are giving the politicians such poor approval ratings.

Posted by: 2012frank | July 28, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Christie rocks.

Posted by: DaMan2 | July 29, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Capehart, you've got to be kidding. Sure asking for an inflation adjustment when there is no inflation is a bad call. But the overall point is the teacher wants a decent salary for the job. If she were getting that she's also be a better consumer. Christie getting on her case for wanting a decent salary is just blaming the person who is already getting the shaft and ignoring the shafter.

Posted by: TomCantlon | July 29, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm a Democrat who is liking what he sees from Chris Christie so far. I'm with him 100% on the shared sacrifice and I think he has it about right when it comes to the unfairness of sheltering teachers from the ravges of the recession while everyone else suffers.

But, I think he has to deliver the exact same message to the cops and firefighters who also receive those exact same entitlements, lest he look like a hypocrite. And so far he hasn't done that, which I find regrettable.

Also, we still have to watch him because he can't just balance the budget by deferring mandatory payments to the state pension funds. Until those contracts are renegotiated -- which they certainly should be and will be -- those are legally binding obligations on the state. So they can't just be swept under the rug and to not pay them today means just having to pay them back with interest tomorrow. And as Bush taught us, running up your Visa card sure isn't a path to fiscal rectitude.

Also, Christie is a NJ Republican. His politics won't play well in parts of the country more motivated by hot-button social issues. And, NJ is one of the healthiest, most educated, and affluent states in the nation, so he can afford to take the high road because the voters there get it. Again, that won't play well elsewhere.

Posted by: SkyBeaver | July 29, 2010 4:07 AM | Report abuse

@TomCantlon:

The teacher in question makes over $70k/year, if I recall correctly. That's for working a school year, which isn't a 52-week job. The teacher in question makes >$86k/year, and complains that she isn't getting paid enough. See the video clip from which MSNBC pulled its soundbite, as well as Mike Shedlock's analysis (including his reasearch on the teacher's pay) at http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/05/can-chris-christie-fix-new-jersey.html

Posted by: wrs4 | July 29, 2010 4:23 AM | Report abuse

I've seen him promoted by some GOPer pundits which usually means there's something wrong with him. Wait for it.

Posted by: Puller58 | July 29, 2010 5:03 AM | Report abuse

There's hope for you yet Jonathan.

Posted by: hz9604 | July 29, 2010 5:41 AM | Report abuse

Everyone has to be part of the sacrifice? Well where are the tax increases on the well-moneyed?

Posted by: fudador | July 29, 2010 5:41 AM | Report abuse

You get what you pay for, they can't complain about the quality of education if they don't want to pay teachers decent money. That's the real bottom line. Christie's right in that he's expressing the choices that he's making, but he's not honest about what they cost.

Posted by: Nymous | July 29, 2010 5:57 AM | Report abuse

Chistie reduced the budget by about 3 billion dollars (no small accomplishment), but the 11 billion dollar figure you and so many others mention is not accurate.

Posted by: RK11 | July 29, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Two points - Christe's comment leaves out the main data point. Is teachers total compensation comparable to that received by people in other professions with comparable education and experience? Until you have that figure, you are just spouting propaganada.

I live in NJ. Because of Christie's policies, my local tax bill went up $500 which is the amount state aid was cut. He is willing to raise eveyone's taxes, but not to get the very, very rich to pay their fair share. He knows which side his bread is buttered on.

Posted by: lensch | July 29, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

I guess Capehart is not a total idiot.

Posted by: ravitchn | July 29, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

The thing that troubles me about the premise that teachers and by extension other municipal workers are greedy and undeserving of the salaries and benefits they receive is that these salaries and benefits are negotiated.They weren't given to them just because they wanted them or had a sense of entitlement.The government was on the other side of the table,they didn't decide what to pay themselves, these wage increases and benefits were bargained for and agreed to by contract. So how is it now that they're being greedy for asking that the contract be honored. When the Governor says they go into it knowing what the pay scale is does that not include the raises and benefits that were previously negotiated? Who wouldn't be upset at being vilified for standing up and asking that your contract be honored. This is not to say that there isn't a need for sacrifice or a lack of understanding that circumstances change and that the previously negotiated salaries and benefits may no longer be affordable. But when Jonathan talks about speaking the truth, what about the "truth" that these people are being used as scapegoats for the governments mistakes.Also,it seems to me that the Governor goes out of his way to be snarky and sarcastic at this womans expense for his own political gain and to burnish his conservative cred as evidenced by all of the bows and the premature victory lap he's taking. One final thought, why is it that when public money is involved wall street employment contracts with bonuses are sacrosanct but relatively low paying union contracts don't matter?

Posted by: dnf42580 | July 29, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

You get what you pay for, they can't complain about the quality of education if they don't want to pay teachers decent money. That's the real bottom line. Christie's right in that he's expressing the choices that he's making, but he's not honest about what they cost.
Posted by: Nymous
-----------------------------

But then why do kids even in Vietnam do better than US kids on Math? Does Vietnam have higher salaries? :)

The truth is that American kids do not study, too many teenagers are into sex, alcohol and video games, and too many parents are breaking up (or were not together in the first place).

America is a land of all rights and no duties, and we are seeing the results.

Posted by: rohit57 | July 29, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

New Jersey is facing an exodus of business owners and wealthy taxpayers due to the staggering taxes extracted from every quadrant of life. What I see is the governor asking all citizens to share the burden of keeping the state running. If the teacher in question really wants answers, she should look to her own union. Unlike the prior respondent I do not view teachers' unions as a necessary or even beneficial cog in the process. -from a prior high school teacher

Posted by: novaescapee | July 29, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Funny, given Christie has a larger staff than the previous governor... and what is their pay and benes?

Posted by: newagent99 | July 29, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

The governor said "Teachers go into it knowing what the pay scale is." Hooray! He is absolutely right. Teachers have complained about their low pay for as long as I can remember (I am 50 years old.) No person teaching in America now could possibly have gone into that job thinking that the pay was going to change.

Now if only every policeman in America would take that to heart. And every soldier. Hey troops - you don't like the pay? Do what I did...get another job.

Posted by: peacenik4 | July 29, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

The governor said "Teachers go into it knowing what the pay scale is." Hooray! He is absolutely right. Teachers have complained about their low pay for as long as I can remember (I am 50 years old.) No person teaching in America now could possibly have gone into that job thinking that the pay was going to change.

Now if only every policeman in America would take that to heart. And every soldier. Hey troops - you don't like the pay? Do what I did...get another job.

Posted by: peacenik4 | July 29, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

As a long term DoD employee, I would offer three comments:

a) When the economy is booming, your fellow workers in the private sector consider you an idiot for working for lower wages than they get, In hard times, like those today, they envy the security of a federal job. Just the way it is.

b) The Gov said it right - when you take a Govt job you know - more than you do in the private sector - what the pay scale is so you are making an informed choice. Leave if you don't like it.

c) He mentioned health care costs for state employees. Until we get health care reformed, we are not going to solve the rest of our fiscal problems in govt or in the private economy. It is a huge tax on our economy in every aspect compared to costs in other countries. Don't know if the 'Obamacare' is the right/final solutions, but it does start us moving away from a bloated and unsustainable situation.

Posted by: mgferrebee | July 29, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Christie is a realist, libs always bring up the elimination of the millionaires tax. But he has the perfect explanation, just ask the governor of MD, NJ doesn't need the best tax rates, just better than their neighbor's! MD added a tax on rich people and the result was LOST REVENUE, they left the state. Christie wants to keep NJ better that NY so people don't flee, especially the really wealthy Wall Street crowd.

Posted by: mgochs | July 29, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Tell us more Gov, speak the truth, like why you prefer giving tax breaks to millionaires. I thought we tried this experiment at the national level for the previous 8 years, and look how well that worked out.

Maybe you and Donald Trump should get a reality TV show -- The Biggest Egos

Posted by: ebabin | July 29, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm confused. Yes, this teacher "went into it knowing what the pay scale is" (including benefits, increases, etc.--and specific pay for earning advanced degrees, which is a straight up deal between employer and employee) and now she's objecting that he is trying to change the pay scale.

That seems fairly rational and businesslike. It doesn't mean her point of view will prevail -- it won't -- but I don't get his idea that however he changes her pay now, somehow she was supposed to clairvoyantly know about those changes in advance, back when she went into the job.

Cut her pay or reduce her expected increases or benefits if you must, but why gratuitously insult her on top of it? This very frequently played clip (hardly exclusive to Morning Joe!) just seems like pointless grandstanding that sounds good until you parse the "logic".

Posted by: fairfaxvoter1 | July 29, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, he is tough on the little guy but you did not mention the fact that he, like all Repugnants, cut the taxes for the wealthy. This is when he says everyone has to make fiscal sacrifices? He is a rising star? More like a one term governor who will crash and burn.
And Millionaires are not leaving the state, they do what they always do, buy another house and establish residency to avoid the state income tax. Only the rich can do this as we in the middle class cannot afford to move from our families and jobs if we have one.

Posted by: beachbum1938 | July 29, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Christie on the teacher issue. The teachers in NJ made a big mistake when they, with some exceptions, didn't agree to some freezes. And Christie makes a good point about selecting a career.

But Christie is dishonest when he talks about shared sacrifice. When he stops giving a free ride to the wealthy then he'll have some credibility. Capehart should have pointed out this glaring inconsistency rather than just singing his praises.

Posted by: rramos01 | July 29, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Christie is the type of politician we need. Public sector pay and benefits now far exceeds the private sector with better job security as well. Its an unsustainable travesty.

Posted by: bruce18 | July 29, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

"Everyone's gotta be part of the sacrifice" Sounds like a good idea. Yet the village idiot Paul Ryan would exclude every Social Security recipient age 55 or older from his draconian reform plan. That is totally unfair.

Posted by: GeraldDice | July 29, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Someone said: Everyone has to be part of the sacrifice? Well where are the tax increases on the well-moneyed?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Has to happen at the federal level, state taxes on the rich just cause the rich to move or cheat. Look at Kerry and his yacht. Also Maryland tried a millionaires tax to help it's fiscal issues in 2008 and it lost the state money. They lost $100 million ($100,000,000) in tax revenue on millionaires in 2008. The state had 3000 millionaires in 2007 and only 2000 come 2008. Rich people can just move where they want just like mega corporation when they move from California to Virginia when taxes on them get our of hand. Christie knows a millionaires tax will just cost him money at the state level.

If the tax rate goes up on the federal level millionaires have no where to go; at the state level they just move to another state.

Posted by: flonzy1 | July 29, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Nymous, it would be nice if we DID get what we're paying for. But increases in education spending haven't resulted in smarter kids. In 2007, the average was $11,000 per pupil.
-----------
Nymous wrote:
You get what you pay for, they can't complain about the quality of education if they don't want to pay teachers decent money. That's the real bottom line. Christie's right in that he's expressing the choices that he's making, but he's not honest about what they cost.

Posted by: lug21 | July 29, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

So, Mr. Capehart, does that mean that you support letting the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans sunset so that they can share in the sacrifice?

Posted by: laughternforgetting | July 29, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I luvs me some Gov. Christie.

How did this man get elected in a state like New Jersey?

Posted by: ContrarianLibertarian | July 29, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

For all posters who believe the "super rich" don't fact tax increases, you need to understand a little more about the AMT. As local and State taxes continue to increase dramatically, their deductibility is removed by the AMT. In other words, people always seem to concentrate their anger over the "rich" getting a 35% marginal tax rate--but the parallel, required tax calculation of the AMT means that most people who pay property taxes and local income taxes do not get anywhere near the benefit of the lower rates. Every year the Congress has to "fix" the AMT thresholds because, not having been adjusted or amended since its inception in the late 60s, it's catching increasing numbers of the middle class in high-tax states.

Here's to hoping that Christie starts to expose some light into the public employee union problems; we're never allowed even to question automatic raises and benefits always revealed (independently) to be vastly superior to those in the private sector. ("Don't make our kids suffer to help millionnaires!!") You can raise taxes on what you consider 'the rich' all you want, and God knows this Congress and White House will attempt to do just that. But that populist maneuver will not deter those of us who think that the public employee unions, and their stranglehold over all public policy, needs to be exposed and rethought at every governmental level.

It might also be helpful if our "leaders" acknowledge that the Bush tax cuts took more people off the Federal tax rolls than ever before; that over 45% of citizens have no skin in the game relative to Federal spending and the bizarre promises for social programs they make for us; that the Treasury never took in so much money before as it did during the Bush era--and Congress spent it and so much more; that when the "rich" don't do well, they don't spend--and that means that our entire tax base suffers as a result; and that the European model of high income taxes in addition to highly regressive VAT "national sales taxes" hasn't quite worked out to be the stable economic utopia the media and this Congress want us to think it is.

Again: the Bush tax cuts generated plenty of money. Plenty. Tax cuts don't cause deficits. Tax cuts without corresponding spending decreases or controls cause deficits. The entire problem goes back to the Congress and its patent dishonesty and complete lack of integrity. And we continue to send the same people back every election. We're going to do it again, too.

Posted by: whnew1 | July 29, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

A new study by Harvard ecnomist professor Chetty supports the position of teachers that excellent early education translates into higher salaries in adulthood (and probably more satisfying and interesting lives). This was reported in the NY Times but so far not in WaPo, I believe. This puts to lie to Christie's outrageous statement that teachers know their payscale when they go into teaching, and if they don't like it they should do something else. Well, guess what Christie (who confuses himself with Christ) and the rest of you idiots who can't think past yesterday, the best teachers will, in New Jersey, if Christie is successful in not only busting the union but destroying civil service altogether, go into the private sector or university teaching. Christie wants to destroy public interest employment and let the private sector take over. In two years that's what we will have in New Jersey, and then let's see how well our middle class students are doing in school, how likely it is that they will go to college, and how our sisters, brothers, children, and friends who currently work in the public sector are doing trying to find work in the lean and mean private sector. I used to care, but at 65 with no kids to worry about, I don't give a rats ass anymore.

Posted by: douard1 | July 29, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"the Bush tax cuts generated plenty of money."

Tax cuts do not increase tax revenue. The CBO has computed that the Bush tax cuts have reduced tax revenue by about $2 Trillion dollars.

Greg Mankiw, a very conservative economists, has computed that a dollar of income tax cut stimulates the economy so as to increase tax revenue 13 cents, making a net loss of 87 cents.

whnew will say revenue increased after the tax cuts. This is a logical fallacy the Romans called "Post hoc ergo propter hoc." In English, if B happens after A, the A caused B. Today we say correlation does not imply causality.

Posted by: lensch | July 29, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Nymous wrote:
You get what you pay for, they can't complain about the quality of education if they don't want to pay teachers decent money. That's the real bottom line. Christie's right in that he's expressing the choices that he's making, but he's not honest about what they cost.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Money in is not the only factor, DC pays the most per student in the United States and has a horrible quality rate. Fairfax county is number one in the nation and it is somewhere in the middle when it comes to costs despite being the second highest median income level in the nation.

Money spent does not equal quality in public education that is a proven fact.

Also lets get real outside of state workers unions who else in America does not pay part of their medical? The private sector saw a decrease in salaries across the board last year, most people in the real world did not get pay increases.

Also teachers are not starving, the average teacher in the NJ system is making more as an individual that the average family (2 incomes) makes annually nation wide.

Posted by: flonzy1 | July 29, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

as a former NJ resident and former teacher, i say - go gov.!

but if you really want to cut expenses in NJ - end county governemnt!

just let the state absorb the county courts and jails. sell off all county assets. end county contracts.

2 levels of government w/i each state is enough. since all towns in the state are incorporated and have their own government, run their own schools, take care of their own roads and have their own police forces, the county system is now antiquated - left over from the days when individual towns had no government and the county was - local government.

it is an expensive useless drain on the economic resources of the state.

the county system is also the heart of corruption, graft, and contracts with organized crime disguised as overpriced construction and maintainance contracts.

go for the gusto!!

Posted by: boblesch | July 29, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

For the record: Gov Christie did not do away with the so-called 'millionaires' tax in New Jersey. The tax expired on December 31, 2009, before he took office. Gov Corzine (D-NJ) declined to extend it; and the Democratic-controlled Legislature refused to bring it to a vote before Gov Christie took office in January 2010. The politics was clear: Reinstate the tax and we can claim you raised taxes after campaigning that you would not do so. Don't reinstate it and we can claim you're protecting the wealthy. Typical Joisey politics!!

Posted by: jnbwolf | July 29, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Teachers unions support Democrats. Should it be a surprise that Democrats "negotiate" sweetheart deals with the public employee unions including teachers? Part of the deal makes it virtually impossible to weed out the unproductive. If throwing money at teacher unions equated with student success we'd have the smartest kids on the planet. I don't hear that claim very much.
Douart1's hilarious comment about the best teachers going into university teaching(like they wouldn't already be there if they could be) or God forbid into the scary private sector tells you a lot about the public union mindset.

Posted by: herb3 | July 29, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Good for Christie. Folks on the public payroll, including teachers, and especially federal employees, all seem to have this delusional idea that they are actually entitled to their cushy packages.

As for douard1, suggesting that public school teachers will just go take their educations and teach at a university is actually pretty funny. I know so many PhD's struggling from one badly-paid sabbatical-replacement gig to another, cobbling together existences as adjuncts and private tutors - and those are the lucky ones who actually do find some kind of work in their field. Many are actively trying to get jobs teaching at the high school level, because even at private schools, the pay, benefits, stability and working conditions are so much better than at universities.

But the same thing could be said about most jobs in the private sector.

Posted by: Itzajob | July 29, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Christie is great with the snappy rhetoric, but please...

He seriously has the audacity to talk about greed?? He's a member of the bloody Repulican Party!

He is simply interested in the the redistribution of "greed." As long as the money and power keep funneling to those who already have more than enough he's fine.

Isn't it funny that as the "Greatest Generation" is dying, their children and grandchildren are backing the very same political movements they gave their lives to defeat in WWII...

It's like nobody can recognize a fascist anymore. Do we need them to dress up in jack boots and carry riding crops to know who they are? Do we need some inglourious baterds to cut swastikas into their foreheads? How long until they pick their scapegoats? AH! Too late... poor families,
"socialist" teachers, labor unions, brown people, college professors, and Jews. Yeah Jews.

Make no mistake people. These people and their ideas have been around a long, long, time. They are still here, and they have a propaganda machine that Josef Goebels would have died for at their disposal.

READ YOUR HISTORY! We are dooming ourselves to repeating it.

You don't have to dig deep. You don't even have to see parallels or analogies. Much of the stuff Christie, Bush, Cheney, DeMint, and the rest are using as talking point is pulled right out of Nazi speeches.

Posted by: arbiterveritas | July 29, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Everyone's gotta sacrifice? When's the last time you heard anyone, regular voter or even a governor, say that they personally were willing to sacrifice in order to lower taxes and deficits? I haven't heard politicians telling voters they were asking for votes that sacrifices are necessary. They just say they'll cut taxes and that government will sacrifice. Just tellng off a teacher complaining about their pay is a token statement. We do pay teachers too little, but no matter. Let's heard the guv tell voters at large that they will all have to make sacrifices.

Posted by: Sutter | July 29, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I am still waiting for any of the 'anti-tax
increase' crowd to give us a way to solve our fiscal crisis without reducing spending and increasing revenue (taxes). Many of the
anti-tax people stood by without saying a word as 'borrow and spend' went on for years and especially under Bush and the GOP congress. Borrowing and spending is even worse than taxing and spending in the long term as we are now seeing. Neither is an acceptable way to run an entity be it a home, city, state or the federal government. Not increasing taxes at some time in the future will necessitate defaulting on the nations debt and that will lead to a worldwide economic disaster.

Posted by: jslivesay | July 29, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm from NJ and moved down here 3 years ago. Why? More jobs and lower taxes. Yes, the taxes in NoVA are about half as much as what I would've been paying in the most rural and exurban part of the state of NJ.

That's how bad it is there. As a young, college-educated, engaged white-collar worker, i couldn't afford to own a home there, and could barely afford the stratospheric rent. When I got a buyout offer I jumped at it and found work down here (private sector no less).

Why is it so bad? Everyone likes to blame the teachers nowadays, but it starts with every SINGLE NEW JERSEY TAXPAYER. These people refuse to consolidate the 600+ municipalities(YES, over SIX HUNDRED municipalities) in the state. When home rule and consolidation comes to a vote, they ALWAYS cry about it even though that is the only way to reduce the tax burden in the state. Every town has a police force, a school board, a mayor, an ambulance squad, etc etc. Hell, every township has one, even if there are only a couple hundred people living in it.

Either get on board with ditching home rule, or move out. I moved out, because the people in NJ will never learn. They made their bed, now lie in it. I hope Christie rams consolidation down there throats.

Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads | July 29, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

This is remarkably superficial. Did you spend 5 minutes thinking about and looking into the issues before posting this? I may or may not agree with the tenor of Christie's remarks (I do like his can-do, no-nonsense no-bullshit style) but I would hope all sides of an issue would be examined and looked at in context before you rush to vouch for it. For example, what effect does humiliating teachers and reneging on contracts have on the educational system and our kids? Is this the way to cut the budget? How does their compensation compare to other professionals in the state/country and to the relative pay structure in countries who do a good job educating their kids? Improving our schools is a lot more important to our long term finacial interests than saving a few bucks. Why has he singled out teachers? Is it because they're women (does he think their husbands are the family breadwinners so we can pay them less than men?)? Or is it because he thinks the public blames teachers for the problems in our schools (and/or that they're sexist) and thinks the public will support him? Does he have the nerve to treat cops, firefighters and teamsters this way? Has he requested cops and the others accept cuts to their contracts, pay and benefits? What about cuts to pay and benefits from elected reps in the NJ legislature, from lawyers who work for the state in the ag's office and other professionals who work for the state? On the other hand, he's right that government workers' pensions and benefits are no longer in sync with the private sector and the state should be aggressive in negotiating new contracts that acheive the right balance of public policy and budgetary goals.

Posted by: wswest | July 29, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I heard just a little of what the Governor said on Morning Joe. I have to say what I did hear was a complete lie. He stated that the NJEA did not want to take a pay freeze or contribute the 1.5% towards their healthcare. I know many district in South Jersey who agreed to the pay freeze and the 1.5% for insurance. This is a issue for individual districts since they are all seperate contracts. I was amazed how the Governor could tell such a lie. They were told if they took the pay freeze it would curtail layoffs. Then he told the people of N.J. not to vote for the budget if they didn't consent to the freeze. Some district were in the middle of their contracts and needed to vote to open up those contracts. I have no respect for this governor. He has only told one side of the story and it is filled with half truths. New Jersey has many funding problems with education. These problems need to be addressed. The state has a habit of mandating and then they do not fund. Special Education is a major funding problem. Smaller district can not carry the cost of their education. They pay the first $55,000.00 to send a child out of district. Blaming the teachers is just an easy fix.

Posted by: shasha831 | July 29, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

whnew1: "It might also be helpful if our "leaders" acknowledge that the Bush tax cuts took more people off the Federal tax rolls than ever before; that over 45% of citizens have no skin in the game relative to Federal spending and the bizarre promises for social programs they make for us"

It might be helpful for YOU to acknowledge that you are plain wrong here. You are only looking at federal INCOME taxes. Poor and middle class workers who pay little or nothing in federal INCOME taxes STILL pay payroll taxes, and they do so at a higher rate than the rich (since a. payroll taxes stop at a certain point so if you make more than that you are paying a lower percentage of your income in payroll taxes and b. payroll taxes are only taxed on wages, while the rich and super-rich make much of their money through dividends, interest, and other non-wage methods).

So Bush did not remove ANYONE from the tax rolls. All those people you mention were still paying payroll taxes, and for many people payroll taxes take a higher proportion (then and now) of our income than do income taxes.

And with payroll taxes (along with other federal taxes - gas tax, phone tax, etc.) we ALL have skin in the game, as you put it.

Posted by: tjs_dc | July 29, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Tax cuts don't cause deficits. Tax cuts without corresponding spending decreases or controls cause deficits.

========================================

That needs to be repeated again. People are willing to pay more taxes if it would solve something. But they will revolt if they feel that politicians will simply pee it away.

Posted by: bbface21 | July 29, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm a registered independent, and generally lean a little to the left. But on this, I've got to agree. Generally, teachers, firefighters, and other public servants sacrifice some pay for very generous benefits. Citizens have to be prepared to pay for the services they receive, and if they aren't, you can't run deficits forever.

Posted by: dmlawrence83 | July 29, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse


Uh oh, Capehart isn't doing his homework: Basing a column on just one appearance, he concludes that our Guv is a 'rising star' and a 'model of leadership.' You wouldn't write a favorable column like this just based on one interview with Mussolini, would you? [Wait for it, here comes the Hitler comparison!]

A more comprehensive background [Google, Lexis/Nexis – you do have researchers at the 'Post,' do you not?] regarding Mr Christie would reveal the weighty essence of the man --- surly, arrogant confrontational, vicious, and mean [just an opinion, of course].

A 'grotesque mediocrity,' as Marx said of Napoleon. He goes out of his way to find both grants and NJ tax money to keep Honeywell in the state, and to fund the white elephant Xanadu project [another gigantic shopping mall in a state already flooded with such pork.]

He's in favor of 'privatization' of every government function under the sun, even including state parks, but he wants to municipalize, and subsidize, a cetaceous section of Atlantic City. He proclaims an equality of 'sacrifice,' yet --- still cutting the fat --- refuses to tax the millionaire class to go along with his wage freezes and layoffs for every municipal worker he can lay his eyes on. At the same time [no flab in his whale of a budget], in leviathanic fashion, he cuts aid to hospitals, schools, municipalities, senior services, women's health services, aids programs, children's programs, 'Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera,' [King Mongkut], in spite of 'liberals' blubbering about his cuts. No one can say he's not all heart, but he can stomach anything.

If you pay attention, Monsieur Capehart, you will soon discover that Christie is developing approval ratings lower than whale scat.

This guy is pure 'mackerel in the moonlight. He both shines and stinks.'

jim crawford
Westwood NJ

Posted by: jamesmcrawford1 | July 30, 2010 3:11 AM | Report abuse

Not a Christie fan but I agree with him 100% about teachers and their beliefs that they should get raises no matter what. In some states their students are always at the bottom yet they don't see anything wrong with asking/demanding more money.

Also consider in some states - in fact most, this is not a 12 month job and they knew their salary when they took the job - underpaid yes but...

Posted by: rlj1 | July 30, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

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