Slightly to the Right in New Jersey

Conservative comments on New Jersey

Chris Christie, from nothing to 51 ways to fix New Jersey in less than three months. (Continued)

Hey kids, it is time to continue the analysis of Christ Christie’s 51 ways to fix New Jersey.  In the last episode, we examined the first 10 of these way, and found a lot lacking in them, lets see want the next 10 look like.

  • 11. I will require a “sunset” provision of four years on any new or expanded program and veto spending for any new (or expanded) program that doesn’t include such a provision. I’ll measure the performance of each and every government program. If a program isn’t serving taxpayers efficiently and effectively, I’ll eliminate it.  Now this one sounds great on the surface, but can anyone out there see the first flaw in this promise?  If anyone said the “FOUR YEARS” you get a cookie!  He will eliminate any program that is not serving the taxpayers, but only if we give him another term after the first one.  I guess in his mind this is a great idea, but what if he is elected and just plain sucks?  Do we give him another four years just so he might eliminate some programs?
  • 12. I will require a 2/3 majority vote to impose any new tax, or to increase existing taxes.By passing a State Constitutional Amendment, we can prevent massive tax increases in the future, like the 103 tax increases passed during the Corzine/McGreevey administrations.  Talk about a promise he could never keep!  He will require a 2/3 majority vote!  The only problem with this is he knows as well as anyone out in Internet land knows, this can only be mandated via an amendment to the constitution, and the chance of that happening, at least in the first four years are “slim and nil, and slim went to lunch!”
  • 13. I will save taxpayer dollars and end political cronyism by eliminating political patronage jobs.  Once again, a great idea, but he would only have control over those jobs he has direct control over.  Further, his previous history of giving out no bid-contracts to friends and associates does not bode well for him keeping this promise.
  • 14. I will lower overtime costs by reducing the number of state holidays and eliminating those not recognized as federal holidays.  Now this is a real interesting statement.  The only holiday I can think of that is a State holiday and not a Federal holiday is Lincoln’s birthday.  OK, he can eliminate that one, but except for non-contractual workers, he would have to negotiate this at contract time.  Once again, a hurdle that he cannot even think of addressing until contracts are up.  Great promise, but once again a fix he cannot possibly do in the first two or three years, and it would be open to backlash from the unions.
  • 15. I will increase efficiency and lower costs by changing to a single, unitary approach to state public employee compensation, benefits, and work rules – ending the separate statutes governing health benefits, antiquated civil service rules, and the collective bargaining agreements.   Again, big promises, but very little chance of doing.  Each union has it’s own negotiating committee and contract wants.  To say he will change to a single, unitary approach is just a wild dream.  Anyone who is in business and has to deal with multiple unions knows this (hey, it’s that business background again).  Just go ask a CEO of an airline how difficult it is to negotiate with multiple unions.  Getting any one union to agree to anything is a problem, but getting two or more to agree is just plain impossible.  Nice idea, but no chance of getting it done.
  • 16. I will fight pension abuse, starting with the removal of more than 300 political appointees who are a part of the pension system by virtue of being paid to attend monthly meetings of boards and commissions of which they are members.  This is one he actually might have a chance to accomplish.  The problem will be if those 300 political appointees are ones that the governor directly appoints.  If so, he could terminate their appointments and let them walk with the pension benefits they had accumulated up to that point only.  The one problem though, is if these people have been appointed by other entities, he will have no chance what so ever of getting rid of them.
  • 17. I will increase fairness and reduce costs by bringing state public employee compensation and benefits back in line with employees who have defined contribution plans (such as federal government employees) by closing defined benefit plans for new employees, and replacing them with defined contribution plans.  Once again, big words, but until contract negotiations begin, the existing contracts remain in effect and he cannot change them.  When the time does come though for contract negotiations, why will this only apply to new employees?  Why not stand tough and make it mandatory for ALL employees!  This is a change that will bring labor in New Jersey into the real world, the one that the normal taxpayer lives in.  It is going to be very interesting to see that negotiation being done by a person who has never negotiated any labor contracts.  I wish him luck, he is going to need it!
  • 18. I will eliminate pension and health benefits for all part-time employees and political appointees. Only full-time employees should qualify for a public pension.  Again, big words, but he can only eliminate those pension and health benefits for appointees that he appoints, not ones made by other people or agencies.  This is just another promise that has little if any value.
  • 19. I will require all new state hires and state employee retirees to contribute to their health insurance costs. Big promises again, but again, open to current contracts provisions and not something he can just do overnight.  It would take time until contracts come up for renewal and will be subject to negotiations.  Plus, why is it only new state hires, and retirees?  How about the current employees? 
  • 20. I will implement aggressive economic growth strategies via public-private partnerships like the “New Jersey Partnership for Action.” The Partnership for Action will save taxpayer dollars by consolidating Trenton’s many inefficient and ineffective fragmented economic development activities into one single agency.  Why do we need any of these economic development groups, strategies or an agency.  If a real business climate was developed in New Jersey, one that featured extremely low, or no corporate taxation, companies would be fighting each other to move to here!  Just look at states like Nevada, that have zero corporate taxes, their business growth is phenomenal!  This “promise” is nothing more than a smoke screen which would be like a shell game.  Move the pea around and then try and find it.  Here, move the activities around and see if anything changes. 

Well that wraps up another 10 of the 51 ways Chris Christie will fix New Jersey.  Right now, it looks like a lot of nothing and very little fixing.  But, we still have 31 more ways to investigate.  So stay tuned for the next episode of Chris “THE WHOPPER” Christie does New Jersey!

Hey Chris, you might have 51 ways to fix New Jersey, but don’t ever forget, “IT’S TAXES, STUPID!”

christiegovwhopper2

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April 12, 2009 - Posted by | Borrowing, Budget, Chris Christie, Christie, Conservative, Corzine, Debt, democrats, Governor's Race, Lawyers, Liberals, Lonegan, New Jersey, Pay for Play, Property Taxes, Republicans, RINO, Taxes | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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