Christie the Artist?

New Jersey Democrats are about to resurrect the idea of a tax on millionaires in the state and a spokesman for Governor Christie , in a statement, says

“increasing taxes on New Jersey families to pay for public employee entitlement programs is a very confused way to argue for strengthening the economy.”

There is also the question of how effective the tax would be but what is relevant here is the underlying hypocrisy of Christie taking a completely contrary view on a related issue that nobody seems to have picked up on.

In his Entitlement Reform Proposal Centered on Fairness prospective presidential candidate Christie argues for a tax on two-hundred-thousand-aires, which would amount to 100% of their Social Security benefits, proposing that:

“Americans pay into this system throughout the course of their life knowing it will be there if they need it to support them, but if they are fortunate enough not to need it, they will have paid into a system that will continue to help Americans who need it most.”

To explain the dichotomy Christie might avail himself of the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote:

“An artist is someone who can hold two opposing viewpoints and still remain fully functional.”

with possibly the insertion of one word.

42 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on April 29, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    No earth shaking news here, probably best to wait for a deal or the ruling or both before we have another blog fest otherwise we’re sounding like the broken record politicians we’re all complaining about!


    • Posted by Anonymous on April 29, 2015 at 7:16 pm

      The idea that a millionaire who could move out previously would move out for an increased rate is insane. These are the business owners. They can’t move out because their is taxed at the individual rate.

      I can’t even fathom how it is humanly possible for this governor to believe that it is better to cut a deal with hundreds of thousands state employees over millionaires. Then again, I guess no one will get Social Security under the governor’s plan either.

      The governor needs to review American history. This already played out a hundred years ago.


      • We moved out, sold our house, sold our business property and never looked back. Took our money elsewhere as did our NJ born and bred adult children on our advise. Friends and family visit frequently throughout the year down south. We now have a lot more disposable income to spend on travel. NJ can suck it for all I care. We come back to visit with friends and family, who all want to get out as soon as they can. Do love the beaches here but nice to not have to pay to enjoy them. Oh right, you still have beach tag fees……get off of your high horse, those with brains and business sense and financial means will always find a way to make it work somewhere else for a lot less hassle and expense. We enjoyed our time in NJ bu the time came and went. Glad we sold when we did got full price for our house. It is my understanding that real estate in NJ is really tough right now. Good luck I hope it all works outs.


        • Posted by Tough Love on April 30, 2015 at 12:31 pm

          Yes, services will suffer and taxes will continue to rise, not just this year, but the next, and the next, …. with the ROOT CAUSE of the problem EASILY traceable to the grossly excessive pensions & benefits promises ALL Public Sector workers.

          Must the Taxpayers ride a decades-long annual reduction in services and tax increases just so that the State’s, and City’s workers can CONTINUE to accrue pensions ROUTINELY 3x-4x (4+ times for safety workers) greater than those of comparable Private Sector workers who retire at the SAME age , with the SAME years of service, and with the SAME cash pay?

          And who but Public Sector workers gets employer-sponsored retiree earthenware subsidies any longer ?

          This financial “mugging” of the Taxpayers must end … FULLY, and not with more of the itty-bitty tinkering around the edges.


          • Posted by dentss dunnagan on April 30, 2015 at 2:08 pm

            I don’t think the millennial’s want any part of this mess ,there was a story in the Press last week that every person in NJ owes 29K and growing ….that’ll keep away

          • Posted by S Moderation Douglas on April 30, 2015 at 3:15 pm

            You copy and paste without proofreading?

            Or do New Jersey workers actually get an earthenware subsidy?

          • Posted by Tough Love on April 30, 2015 at 4:09 pm

            S Moderation Douglas,

            And you troll with distortions, misstatements, omissions of material facts and lies.

            Oh …. my apologies for not spell-checking.

  2. Posted by Tough Love on April 29, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    “Confused” was the wrong word ….. “idiotic” or “counterproductive” (when these Millionaires move out of NJ) would have been a far better choice.


  3. Posted by Eric on April 29, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    If someone is not “entitled” to receive his or her contributions back since he or she makes $200K or more in retirement, is that not theft of the contributions? At the very least, what had been deposited throughout a lifetime of earnings, should be returned to the contributor. I do not favor means testing. This is a sick joke to reward failure and punish success. What about rewarding Yankee ingenuity, hard work and sacrifice?
    Also, did not cc indicate that he could not “print money” like the feds., so therefore he did not have the funds available for the full pension payment?
    As president, he could use printed money since he now is the chief executive of the US. These programs are federal, and money could be printed as we do everyday to finance endless wars around the globe.


    • Posted by Tough Love on April 29, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      Printing money has limitations …. such as pissing off China which could start selling about $Trillion in US Bonds.


  4. Posted by marbs on April 29, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Love the link to what kind or artist he is…….you could have printed con artist and been family friendly. LOL


  5. Posted by Eric on April 29, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    Tough Love:
    I think it pisses China off more to state that the South China Sea is within our sphere of influence, and to pay for that “influence” by printing money for the warships on patrol there, than it would to pay for some old folks who earned and paid for their promised “entitlements” that should have been placed in what Al Gore famously called a “lock box”.


    • Posted by Tough Love on April 29, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      The “risk” associated with China’s US Treasury investments rises directly with the quantity of U.S. money printed.

      I believe they look at THAT (very real) concern independently of political issues.


  6. Posted by Anonymous on April 29, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    We need to reform P&B. We need national salary & benefit caps for ALL public and private sector employees. Why should anyone have to pay more for taxes, products, or services than what’s FAIR. Now all we have to do is determine what’s FAIR! My conclusion is we’d never come to an agreement and so continues the upward spiral know as CAPITALISM!


  7. Posted by Eric on April 29, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Tough Love:
    Read Dr. Paul Craig Roberts’ article:The Public Sector Is A Milk Cow For Private Enterprise.


  8. Posted by george on April 29, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    The Fed will save the day:
    Muni Bonds as AAA Bank Capital


    • Posted by dentss dunnigan on April 30, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      Who in their right mind would buy any of NJ’s debt ……According to a Bloomberg report, 2013’s worst state pension-funding gap was in Illinois, where state pensions are 39% funded. Kentucky (44% funded) and Connecticut (49% funded) weren’t far behind. New Jersey (64% funded) ranked 17th worst. But more recent 2014 data, calculated on a new accounting basis with less “smoothing” of investment returns, suggests that New Jersey pensions were only 28% funded.


  9. Posted by bpaterson on May 1, 2015 at 10:41 am

    years ago when the social security system got into the usual crisis funding mode that congress had to address, I had made the suggestion that the social security should be called ‘social security insurance”, that anyone with over $3 million in liquid assets or making $300k/year for the last 3 years should not receive the social security, that they are comfortable, don’t need it and the moneies were just insurance. it was just talk on the internet, should have sent it in to Torricelli or Lautenberg back then. But good to see the dialogue is here again.


    • Posted by Anonymous on May 1, 2015 at 11:44 am

      The “means test” you mentioned, not adjusted for inflation, is significantly higher than NJ’s GOVERNOR’S proposing but I guess it’s (an off the wall) discussion – just like his lies to the teachers and police & fire to get elected perpetuated by pension reform HE championed, then signed into law and now refuses to follow because HE (the ex-prosecutor) says it’s unconstitutional. RIDICULOUS!


      • Posted by Tough Love on May 1, 2015 at 12:01 pm

        What’s ridiculous, is for NJ to CONTINUE granting FUTURE service pension accruals (for ANY of it’s workers …. STATE or LOCAL) under the grossly excessive Defined Benefit Plans in place right now.

        These Plans are always MULTIPLES more generous that the retirement Plans granted Private Sector workers, are 80-90% paid for by Taxpayers, (NOT the workers), are VERY clearly unaffordable, and every day we allow them to continue digs the financial hole that NJ is now in, even DEEPER.

        The NJ pension commission recognized this, which is why it recommended that these Plans be FROZEN (zero future growth) and replaced for FUTURE service with a far more modest Cash Balance pension Plan as well as reductions to the workers’ current “platinum+” healthcare coverage.

        The decades-long financial “mugging” of NJ taxpayers by the insatiably greedy Unions/workers, and enabled by our Elected Officials whose favorable votes (on pay, pensions, and benefits) are BOUGHT with Union campaign contributions and election support, must end …… FULLY, and not with minor tinkering around the edges.


        • Posted by Anonymous on May 1, 2015 at 1:39 pm

          So full disclosure TL, what’s your background and position? Ex politician, actuary, financial services or insurance?


          • Posted by Tough Love on May 1, 2015 at 2:38 pm

            Financial services – management.

            With no vested interest or financial benefit to be gained (either directly or indirectly) by freezing these excessive DB Plans … or via any replacement retirement Plans.

            I advocate simply as a VERY knowledgeable Private Sector Taxpayer fed-up with the enormity of the current Taxpayer “rip-off”.

        • Posted by Anonymous on May 1, 2015 at 2:05 pm

          No one in their right mind can disagree with the need for reforms the problem is the lack of credibility the Governor’s exhibited and that you fail to acknowledge and address. Therefore you have ZERO credibility as well, you’re just another greedy GOP Christie chronie. Blog if you may but this blogger’s going away from you and this conservative based one sided blog.


          • Posted by Tough Love on May 1, 2015 at 2:44 pm

            Smart people say that they biggest failure is not trying AT ALL vs trying and failing.

            Gov. Christie is the FIRST Gov. who has fully acknowledged the depth of the pension/benefit-driven problem, and the FIRST to attempt to do something about it.

            A combination of a very poor economic recover in NJ and a Democratic Legislature beholden to the Public Sector Unions is a huge impediment to the much-needed pension/benefit reforms. He’ll succeed if they get out of his way.

            Why is Public Sector workers getting EQUAL but not better pensions & benefits not an appropriate goal ? THAT is what I have consistently advocated for.

          • Posted by Tough Love on May 1, 2015 at 4:18 pm

            I sensed in some of your early comments on Mr. Bury post titled “NJ Pension Case Scenario” that you were really a SUPPORTER of the pension status quo (and possibly a Public Sector worker/retiree), but attempting to disguise that (in your later comments). Short of a complete lack of financial common sense, who else would suggest (as you did) ……”to extend the unfunded liability amortization to rolling 40 year straight line method using pre GASB 67&68″.

            Now that you have been unable to sway those with better facts and a VERY thorough understand of this pension/benefit-driven mess, you’ve become frustrated, stomping your feet, and are heading for the door.

            Seems like we have exposed another charlatan.

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