Politics of Pension Reform

The Manhattan Institute released a report today on reforms in public pensions since the Great Recession which, according to njspotlight,  cited New Jersey as an example where there has been meaningful pension reform.  It’s not.

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Christie Tracker

My first thought upon hearing Chris Christie’s latest cry for attention (full video at bottom):
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was that if we had this system for presidential candidates Christie would have gotten that tap on the shoulder months ago.

My second thought:
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Restoring COLAs Will Not Bankrupt NJ Pension System

By any reasonable measure the New Jersey retirement system is already bankrupt so it is not the $1.2 billion in restored Cost-of-living-adjustments (COLAs) that concerns politicians:

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) told The Star-Ledger’s editorial board Thursday that a victory for the retirees and the restoration of COLAs would bankrupt the pension system, but he predicts the state will prevail.

It is what overturning the COLA theft means for future ‘reforms’ which, if not allowed, WOULD move the system to pure pay-go.

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Fawlty Understanding

Picture the general public as Manuel, Chris Christie as Basil Fawlty, and Donald Trump as the hotel guest:
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Basil Fawlty tried speaking a language he was ill-equipped to communicate in and wound up embarrassing himself.

So it was when the subject of carried interest came up this week.

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Grading Christie

I see that Chris Christie has a shallow understanding of the public pension crisis in New Jersey as he cherry picks villains and ignores inconvenient facts depending on how it would impact him politically.

I suspect the same on the stances he has taken on other issues as they come up, including the stock market crash/recovery/crash/???? we are in right now. Were his audience not trapped diners tolerating his musings but Nobel Prize winning economists paying attention he might get what he deserves*:
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The closest we can get these days:
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Christie Flops

John Kerry was portrayed as a flip-flopper in 2014:
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But looking at Chris Christie’s latest presidential ad which has nothing to do with what he said would be a centerpiece of his campaign:
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got me to thinking about his stance reversals but, in his case, it was all flops:

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Christie No Stern

Why is Donald Trump packing stadiums while Christie’s people are checking out Denny’s breakfast specials to anticipate the size of his crowds? Maybe it has to do with the Howard Stern effect:
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Chris Christie was on Face the Nation this morning guaranteeing a top-ten placing for the next debate – video link – and giving his entitlement reform spiel – no video link on the CBS website since there was nothing new and people either don’t want to hear it or understand that Christie is getting it wrong.

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