As a former resident of New Jersey, I’m ecstatic to see what current Governor Chris Christie is doing for the state. New Jersey residents finally have a Governor with chutzpah and fights for taxpayers interests. However, in an effort to continue measure to return the Garden State’s economic vigor, the dreaded Corzine Democrats has re-established themselves and are threatening to shutdown the government, which still hasn’t agreed on a budget due July 1st. Gov. Christie has rightly called them vampires, but as we all know, Mr. Christie doesn’t go down without a fight.
For over ten years my family paid $20,000 a year in just property taxes, so when we moved to Pennsylvania, let’s just say we were relieved. Across the river we saw the good work this governor was doing. He signed in sweeping pension reform, which would save $122 billion dollars over the next thirty years. New Jersey’s pension fund has a $54 billion dollar unfunded liability and the system, without reform, would have gone broke by 2018. Now dealing with a Democratic legislature in a blue state, Mr. Christie needed to compromise, but it’s a move in the right direction for the Garden State. The deal Gov. Christie and Democrats signed off on
would raise the retirement age for new workers to 65 from 62, and increase pension contributions to 7.5% from 5.5% for state workers and to 10% from 8.5% for public safety officers. The legislation would also suspend annual cost of living adjustments until the fund reaches a more healthy status. This provision alone could reduce retirees’ pension value by 30% over the next decade.
Once the plan is 80% funded, new employee-employer pension governing boards would be authorized to modify contribution rates and pension formulas based on the recommendation of actuaries. This would theoretically take pensions off the bargaining table, and these boards could hardly do any worse by taxpayers than the current unholy alliance of lawmakers and the public unions that finance their re-election
However, these Corzine-ites want to stop progress at all costs. At a recent town hall meeting, Gov. Christie warned the attendees of their resurgence and their ineffective economic policies that resulted in New Jersey residents’ taxes and fees being raised every twenty-five days for eight years. The types of Democrats who think you’re not worthy of your hard earned money and who tax, tax, and tax some more to increase the government and regulatory apparatus in Trenton. They’re back. Mr. Christie warned of their promises of putting money away for a tax cut in January, in which Christie responded, would lead to perpetual waiting at one’s mailbox because “it ain’t coming.”
Sadly, it looks like Mr. Christie will have to take another “wooden stake and put it through this type of Democrat’s heart” in the coming weeks in order to get a budget passed and maintain New Jersey’s path to fiscal health. A path that generated 17,600 new jobs in May, which was the largest gain in seven years.