Saturday, January 28, 2012

Christie Welcomes the 1% With Open Arms

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With the floundering slate of candidates we have to hear from every day, is it any wonder people are pining for better choices? We see Romney and think that we could do better with Marco Rubio. We watch Gingrich and think that Mitch Daniels is more formidable. But they all pale next to Chris Christie.

Christie has shown what it means to be a conservative and has done so with wide-ranging actions but also explaining his actions in words that describe what he's doing, why he's doing it and where he plans on us being soon. We're starting to see the fruits of his labors.

Garden State Gov. Chris Christie has a message for the top 1% of income earners: Please occupy New Jersey. "I'm going to start going after a lot of these hedge-fund guys who are in Connecticut and New York and say, 'You're going to get a better deal with us,'" says the country's most important Republican not running for president.

Mr. Christie's new tax-reform plan also offers an improved deal to the bottom 99%, which is why he may be able to move it through New Jersey's Democratic legislature: a 10% cut in tax rates across the board.

The governor is two years into a four-year term. In 2010, he told the Journal's editorial board that the Garden State represented America's best example of a "failed experiment" in rising taxes and bigger government. As he returns to the Journal for another visit, it's time to check the results of his counter-experiment.

Politically, so far so good. A recent Quinnipiac poll gives him a 53% approval rating among the state's registered voters, and Mr. Christie says that private polls show him "in the low 60s."

Economically, unemployment in the state has fallen to 9% from a high of 9.8%. With almost 3.9 million people working, New Jersey has added almost 60,000 private-sector jobs since he took office, while shedding more than 21,000 government jobs. Reforms of the pension and health programs for government employees will save taxpayers an estimated $120 billion over the next 30 years. A new limit on local property-tax increases appears to be working.
Christie came in and faced serious heat for cutting back school funding that was absolutely mandatory to even attempt to bring the state's finances into order. It hit people hard with increased property taxes at the township level to make up the shortfall and became personal when school boards sulked and instituted costs for playing sports and joining school clubs.

But all along, Christie explained his thinking and said that once we got our financial house in order, we could examine where we need to spend and what we need to spend money on. He went against the unions (some of the most-entrenched in the nation) local newspapers (extremely liberal) and fought back against a tough state legislature that tried to stop him at every turn. He preached austerity and conservative fiscal policies in ways that were easily understood and argued the case that lower taxes spur job growth and increase revenues in a way no one has done since Reagan.

More importantly, he pared state government and returned the money to schools that had learned to reduce costs out of necessity. He now presides over a governing body that is in the position of being able to offer tax cuts and attract businesses back to the state. Christie gets the simple mantra that those with money and the will to take risks will lead us back to the America we once were before Obama alienated those who create jobs.

Instead, we have the architect of Romney Care and a man who took money from Freddie and Fannie as our standard bearers. How pathetic.

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