Christie’s Obscene* Gesture

Tonight’s Ask the Governor program offered nothing of substance outside of one gesture that summed up Christie’s governing style:
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The Q&A itself you’ve seen before.  A governor talking about working with the other party and yet nothing constructive ever seems to get accomplished.  Perhaps that is because of a dearth of genuine respect despite what is proclaimed publicly.

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Full video of pre-taping activity:
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* Granted Christie did not flip Sweeney off but indicating the Senate president is a blowhard could be interpreted as “offensive to accepted standards of decency“.

11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on March 24, 2015 at 1:48 am

    Quoting …”The Q&A itself you’ve seen before. A governor talking about working with the other party and yet nothing constructive ever seems to get accomplished. Perhaps that is because of a dearth of genuine respect despite what is proclaimed publicly.”

    Or, perhaps because the OTHER party (typified by our the Democratic Legislature) is UNION-bought-and-paid-for, and refuses to go along with the ONLY reasonable solution (given that NJ is ALREADY the highest-Taxed State in the nation), and that is, VERY maternal pension & benefit reductions for the FUTURE Service of all CURRENT Public Sector workers … just as the NJ Pension Commission has recommended.

    And VERY material healthcare reductions for ALL current and retired workers …. to a level no greater than the employer-sponsored healthcare benefits TYPICALLY granted Private Sector workers/retirees by their employers.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Anonymous on March 24, 2015 at 4:31 am

    Sweeney already took a chance and when he did, he was hated for it. He realized now that Christie can not be trusted. But I believe TL trusts Christie out of her desperation. I can think of any other reason she would trust him. she seems intelligent enough to realize he hasnt told the truth. Although Christie already saved the system in 2011, according to his own words. We should thanking him, also according to his own words.
    And pension payments will be law and will not be missed according to his own words. His own words are not words of truth, just ask Brett Schundler.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 24, 2015 at 11:24 am

      This has nothing to do with trusting Christie, or ANY politician (as NONE can be “trusted”) … is has to do with “solving” a huge financial problem, ………

      Reply

  3. Posted by Anonymous on March 24, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Pension & health benefits funding problem is real, plenty to blame, now leadership needs to stop grandstanding and come up with a compromise solution that’s in all concerned’s best interest – now!

    The following proposals, if provisional agreed to by all stakeholders, should satisfy any pending lawsuit(s) pertaining to the currently suspended COLA and could address the recent court ruling on the ARC payment deficiencies. I should add the “double dipping” and the ability for career part-time public employees to receive pensions must stop immediately.

    1. Reimplement the COLA by offering “drop down” menu options which would result in a reduced base allowance based on the option selection and age(s) of the retiree and beneficiary, if applicable. For current retirees, the age(s) used would be the statute effective date. Possibly consider requiring retirees currently receiving a COLA to opt into the reduced base allowance or risk losing their accumulated COLA to date.

    2. Implement a premium based (not actual claims driven) medigap insurance for all retirees 65 and older with no premium share, to maximize economies of scale put out a new RFP for a single payer national carrier to administer the plan which could limit possible vendors. This should result in reduced claims, as Medicare would be primary, and reduced overhead costs for the State’s selected secondary insurance provider. I’m not knowledgeable on the GASB requirements for recording unfunded health benefits liability and if the calculation is different for estimated enrollees of claims driven (Horizon’s NJ Direct) versus premium based (traditional HMOs) and if the State would benefit from a reduction in the unfunded health benefits liability by implementing a premium based medigap plan for all medicare eligible retirees.

    3. Implement a premium share for all non medicare eligible retirees similar to active members for the current baseline coverages (NJ Direct 10/15) and if a retiree chooses to select a high deductible plan there would be no premium share.

    4. All current defined benefit plans must remain in the State’s possession and control for obvious reasons. Any new defined contribution plan could be turned over to employee’s respective unions but serious precautions must be stipulated to insure the funds’ safety and viability. Any State, Local, or Quasi- Governmental employee receiving or entitled to receive a public pension from NJ would be excluded from any potential governmental match into a defined contribution plan, no exceptions.

    5. Possibly consider a graduated offset of pension benefits based on retirees full social security benefits upon eligibility ranging from 0% to 100%, the reduction would be based solely on the retirees pension benefit not to include any other sources of income.

    6. A constitutional amendment must include a dedicated revenue stream, in addition to redirecting all health benefit savings, to insure the State’s willingness and ability to meet its ARC going forward and must not diminish employees statutory right to accrued benefits earned. All parties would agree to drop the lawsuit ruling including any appeals and the recent ARC payment deficiencies would be amotized into the future payment schedule.

    It’s understandable no one likes to have something earned and promised taken away due to no fault of their own but everyone needs to be realistic to the inevitable alternative which would be devastating for all concerned. If freezing the defined benefit plan is part of new pension reforms, at a minimum the compromise point should be freezing nonvested members. The unfortunate reality of the situation requires reasonable compromise by everyone, the problem can’t be solved by just taxing or cutting and the longer we wait the problem continues to grow exponentially!

    Few factoids that may have already been mentioned, not looking to take sides, just trying to encourage dialog towards a workable compromise solution!

    Law enforcement do not pay into social security and therefore pay at a minimum 2% more into their respective pension fund which is why I suggested a graduated SS offset based solely on pension amount.

    Local PERS is better funded than State PERS so it can’t just be a benefit problem, the State has pulled the classic do as I say (make your ARC paments locals) not as I do (while we skip or short change our ARC paymdnts ).

    TPAF is in a similar funding crisis as State PERS because the State’s PTRF (GIT collections) funds most of the local share of pension & health benefits and like State PERS, ARC payments have been skipped or short changed.

    This problem started with Governor Whitman and has continued with all Governors, legislative bodies, and the citizens of NJ, because the majority of us elected these individuals to make the critical decisions for our State.

    I knew then, as well as others I’m sure, the pension bonds was a bad deal because it has perpetuated decades of mismanagement which has brought us to this point.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 24, 2015 at 11:53 am

      Thank you for taking the time to put forth these suggestions. All are interesting and have merit, but would woefully inadequate in total, likely producing well less than 25% of the savings needed from reductions in the current pension & benefit structure…… and leave NJ’s Public Sector workers with pension & benefits MUCH greater than those typically granted their Private Sector counterparts (which is why/how we got into this mess in the first place).

      As one example, where you suggested …”If freezing the defined benefit plan is part of new pension reforms, at a minimum the compromise point should be freezing nonvested members.” ……if you mean that the Freeze should ONLY apply to those not yet vested (i.e., 5 years of service), you have already wiped out well over 50% of all the saving from the NJ pension Commission’s proposals.

      And why (a) free medigap coverage for 65+ retirees, and (b) “a premium share for all non medicare eligible retirees similar to active members” …….. when Private Sector taxpayers typically not NOTHING in employer-sponsored retiree healthcare coverage ?

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on March 24, 2015 at 1:37 pm

        I’m still wondering why taxpayers have to pay for public health benefits and pensions to begin with

        Reply

  4. Posted by truthnolie on March 24, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    And….in other news….on May 12th back into court the football goes….

    http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/03/judge_sets_may_hearing_in_nj_battle_over_2016_pens.html

    NJ/Christie not only needlessly prolonging the decision but purposely doing so to kick the can down the road, trying to avoid the issue while running for president and making boatloads of money for his lawyer buddies.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 25, 2015 at 1:33 am

      Needlessly ???

      Earth to Truthnolie …. there is no money.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on March 25, 2015 at 3:59 pm

        No money? Where did the $680 million in investment fees come from? (And a shitty return as we’ll – would have done better buying indexed funds with 0% management fees)

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 25, 2015 at 7:10 pm

          These absurdly generous pension & benefit promises CANNOT be met w/o very substantial tax increases.

          Why should Taxpayers agree to that ……. so Public Sector workers can CONTINUE to get FAR more than necessary, just, fair, or affordable ?

          Reply

  5. Posted by Anonymous on May 24, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    TL and devout followers; individuals presenting a right wing conservative perspective based on half-truths and lies.

    TL continual posts repetitive misinformation citing sources with extreme ideology. Yet sumarial dismisses other posts with conflicting opinions and sources.

    Specifically, purposely misstated the tax status of public pensions in the following post; https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/christie-curses-out-nj-media/#comments When called to task tried to double talk their way out of it. Standard operating procedure for most of their commentary.

    Fair and equal for all is the mantra. Fair enough, but not when I suggest Federal workers and members of our beloved Armed Forces be part of the bigger conversation. The response, they’re different. But why, because they risk their lives like first responders at home. Their DBP are paid with Federal tax dollars as opposed to State or Local. Everyone knew the job risks when they accepted employment. But they also knew what their salary, pension, and benefits were supposed to be.

    To blame and demonize public workers for the current situation is unfair and untrue. Do politicians make “deals” with unions that don’t always have the taxpayers best interest? I think everyone knows the answer to that is yes. But politicians are always making “deals” it’s what they do. Just ask the various segment market corporations; defense spending (lucrative contracts), farming (subsidies) and the list goes on and on.

    Your bully tactics and demeaning attitude only motivate me more to push back your parties ridiculous vision for NJ and America. Yes I’m sure John knows all of our IP address, so you and your business name can be exposed as well.

    The purpose of continually posting this comment is to allow the counterpoint perspective to be heard. I will no longer personally engage your comments tit for tat.

    Reply

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