In an era when many Republicans are trying to gain political traction by complaining that Democrats want to cut Medicare, it warms my soul to see a blue-state Republican, Gov. Chris Christie, actually making inroads into fixing the financial chaos of one of our great states. Like California, New York and other problematic states, New Jersey is being eaten alive from within by its public employees and by a tax and regulatory structure hostile to business. As many of you have heard, the NJEA has (quite literally) been praying for Christie’s death (they have apologized but, of course, no one got fired).
The WSJ has a nice piece on Christie’s efforts to cut taxes and reduce spending. The story gives some illuminating details. I particularly like Christie’s candor on the difficulty of trying to return sanity to the state budget:
“We’re such a long way away from a message,” Mr. Christie says, “because, you know, the message might be, ‘Look at that poor SOB. There he is lying dead on State Street in Trenton. It’s over. OK, everybody back to our corners and let’s go back to the normal game.’ . . . I hope, that if we’re successful, [the message] can be . . . that you can do this.”
As a former Garden State resident (as well as being BMI-challenged myself), I tip my pileus to Governor Christie. He might end up being a one-termer, but its fun to see him putting feet to the fire.