Value of Chirsitie’s Pledge

Four years ago as part of a reform of public pensions in New Jersey Governor Chris Chritie pledged to make the predetermined contributions into the pension system.  That didn’t quite work out.

On Tuesday he made another pledge.

According to a northjersey.com story:

Three years ago, Governor Christie dismissed the idea of signing a pledge that he would never raise taxes. He insisted that his own record of vetoing income and corporate tax hikes spoke for itself.

“I made a pledge to the people of the state not to,” Christie said in Asbury Park that August. “I don’t need to make a pledge to anybody else.”

Presidential candidate Christie had a change of heart Wednesday, signing the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge for the American People” promising that he would oppose and veto any tax increase if he is elected president.

And the Americans for Tax Reform folks were bragging:

“Governor Chris Christie has vetoed more tax hikes than any other Governor in modern American history,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. And he made those vetoes stick. Without the Christie governorship, New Jersey would be somewhere between Detroit and Greece.

New Jersey does happen to be geographically directly between Detroit and Greece but the problems these three bankrupt entities face have little to do with taxes and everything to do with debt which at one time (earlier this week) seemed like a Christie priority as well.  Not any more:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie caused a stir back in April when he unveiled his plan for reducing the long-term debt through cuts and reforms of Social Security, Medicare and other fast growing entitlement programs.

He predicted that his proposals would reduce the growth of entitlement spending by $1 trillion over the next decade. The reaction was mixed, from high praise from budget watchdog groups to condemnation by seniors’ advocacy organizations. Yet few could dispute that the tough-talking governor had laid down a serious marker for future discussion if he managed to win the GOP presidential nomination.

“While other politicians are running away from the issue, Christie is running towards it, and not only starting a straightforward discussion about the need to reform entitlements, but also offering real specifics,” Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said at the time.

MacGuineas and other deficit hawks are less sanguine today about Christie’s seriousness in containing the $18.3 trillion national debt. That’s because earlier this week he became the ninth GOP presidential candidate to sign the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to oppose any tax increase while in office.

Christie’s action was good politics if not necessarily responsible public policy. Lawmakers and politicians for years have been hounded by Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, to agree to the tax policy straightjacket or face retribution at the polls.

“Governor Christie understands that government should be reformed so that it takes and spends less of the taxpayers’ money,” Norquist said in a statement. “He will oppose tax increases that paper over and continue the failures of the past.”

If elected, it will be mathematically impossible for President Christie* to both honor his pledge and pay off that staggering debt.  However, what is possible is for him to either go back on his word, repudiate those obligations, or some combination (which is the road he has tried to take in New Jersey).

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I know.  I gagged a little too in writing those two words.

25 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on August 13, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Christie has a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming America’s next president. So how about getting back to the original focus of your blog …. how to address the HUGE current under-funding of NJ’s Plans, and how to STOP it from continuing to grow larger.

    And all while recognizing the increased taxation to CONTINUE a pension structure that is ALREADY (and UNFAIRLY) FAR FAR more generous than those granted Private Sector workers, is a non-starter.

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on August 13, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      Still the idiot, start your own blog you moron!

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on August 13, 2015 at 6:39 pm

        Assuredly you must be one of the Public Sector’s “best and brightest” that taxpayers are told they must pay so much for …………. pathetic.

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on August 13, 2015 at 11:08 pm

          Hold on tight TL, next comes a democrat in the governors mansion and massive tax hikes! oh how she asked for this by doing nothing for the past 8 years. Hey TL when are you going to get married? I bet you are too scared or selfish to do so.

          Reply

          • Posted by dentss dunigan on August 14, 2015 at 12:19 pm

            Massave tax hikes …. I think not .The Democrats are already trying to lower taxes on boat purchases in southern New Jersey because boat sales are going to Maryland .Democrats are scared to death to raise taxes ,they know it’s a job killer and a business killer .

        • Posted by Anonymous on August 15, 2015 at 10:07 am

          Just trying to live up to some of the private sector’s bottom of the barrell perverted barrage against public workers.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on August 15, 2015 at 11:40 am

            So Anonymous,

            You believe that EQUAL Public /Private Sector “Total Compensation” (cash pay + pensions + benefits) in jobs with comparable risks, education, knowledge, skill sets, and experience requirements is …….. “perverted barrage against public workers” ?

          • Posted by Tough Love on August 15, 2015 at 5:32 pm

            Christie likely saved NJ from a financial disaster by ending the tunnel project.

            Why ? Because it was NJ, NOT the Port Authority, NOT Amtrak, and NOT the Federal Government who would be “responsible” for any and all COST OVERRUNS.

            What Public Works project of such magnitude doesn’t wind up with HUGE cost overruns ?

            Example ….. Boston’s “Big Dig” (putting their roadways underground), was budgeted to coast $6.0 Billion, but actually cost $14.6 Billion ….. with BOTH figures expressed in year 2006 dollars to avoid timing distortions.

            Thank goodness that Christie had the good common sense to NOT let NJ fall into that very common trap.

          • Posted by Anonymous on August 15, 2015 at 7:50 pm

            Christie NJ’s saviour, who, as you’ve previously indicated (not quoting or intentionally misstating) is toast on his run for POTUS!

          • Posted by Tough Love on August 15, 2015 at 8:11 pm

            Oh I agree that Christie has a VERY small chance of getting the Republican nomination, let alone getting elected President, but THANK GOODNESS he is standing his ground against the insatiably GREEDY NJ Public Sector Unions and workers.

            The ANSWER to NJ’s pension mess is NOT increased taxation, but ….. as the NJ Pension Commission recommended …… a freeze of all of NJ’s DB Public Sector Pension Plans for the future service of all CURRENT (State and Local)
            workers (replaced for their future service with a MODEST “Cash Balance” Plan comparable to what LUCKIER Private Sector workers get from their employers), and a very material reduction in active and retiree healthcare benefits …. now so absurdly generous, that they are often referred to as “Platinum+” coverage, and will shortly subject NJ to a significant Federal excise “Cadillac” plan-level tax.

      • Posted by Anonymous on August 13, 2015 at 7:34 pm

        Such a smug P.O.S!!! Telling the blogs creator what to do on his blog!!! Arrogant, egotistical and a jealous pain in the arse!!!! TL….. Making waves everywhere she goes!!!! Lol!!!! Good luck with that approach!!!!

        Reply

    • Posted by BH on August 13, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      Wow!!!…..just Wow!!!! You really are incredible TL!!!!
      I agree…. Go start your own blog!!!!

      Reply

      • Posted by BH on August 13, 2015 at 7:39 pm

        The rest of us enjoy the varying viewpoints that sometimes indirectly relate to NJ pension concerns. Topics about our current governor are both relevant and needed. They assist the reader in making sound decisions. We all know john is of the mind that pensions need reform. We can either agree or disagree. But at least he isn’t one tracked and one sided. I appreciate that. Even though I don’t always agree with some of his ideas. I’m free to seek my reading elsewhere….

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on August 13, 2015 at 8:13 pm

          Yes BH, we are all entitled to …”varying viewpoints “.

          Mine …. Scott Walker for President , and an end to Public Sector Union Collective Bargaining and Dues Collection.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on August 13, 2015 at 11:11 pm

            bwahahahhaahahahhahaha, TL dumb enough to thing Scott Walker can win. Scott Walker who wants a law which would kill women.

    • Posted by Anonymous on August 15, 2015 at 8:02 am

      Why don’t you start your own blog?

      Reply

  2. Posted by Tough Love on August 13, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Anyone else see the similarly between the comment from Anonymous time-stamped 7.34PM and the comment form BH time-stamped 1 minute later at 7.35 PM …….. sentence construction and extreme use of exclamation points ?

    BH, is that your shadow, your echo, someone with whom to echo your anger ?

    Reply

    • A lot of blog posters like to favorably rate or comment upon their own lame posts. BH is apparently one of those. I also love how he keeps commenting how he is “private sector”. What a joke. These drones really make it hard to retain even a scintilla of empathy for the fact that public sector pensions nationwide will be begging for federal bailouts over the next 5 to 10 years. Heaven forbid they try to compromise before that sad (for them) day.

      Reply

  3. Posted by S Moderation Douglas on August 13, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    “If elected, it will be mathematically impossible for President Christie* to both honor his pledge and pay off that staggering debt.”

    “Everybody knows”, that if you decrease tax rates, revenues will increase. It’s a tautology.

    I think I heard one of the Presidential hopefuls repeat that at the debate. Can’t remember which one. And aren’t there two (at least) who want to put several million accountants, lawyers, (I don’t know if actuaries are affected) out of work by implementing either a flat tax or a fair tax?

    Reply

  4. Posted by Anonymous on August 14, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Democrats are scared to raise taxes, dont worry millionaires you money is safe with the democrats in office!

    Reply

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