So a state court orders Chris Christie to make the state pension fund payments he agreed to. Christie says a liberal activist judge is overriding the "will of the people." But the real problem, as repeatedly documented by David Sirota at the International Business Times, is that Chris Christie tripled the NJ investment management fees. (Including paying the company that employs his wife.)
Did he do it to build up Wall Street support for his presidential run? (Gee, what do you think?) If he hadn't, he could easily make the payment:
Christie has said the pension cuts were necessary to balance the state’s budget and that “there are no alternatives” to such reductions. At the same time, he has backed record amounts of new corporate tax subsidies -- some of which flowed to Republican campaign contributors. He has also vetoed legislation to increase taxes on income above $1 million. That legislation was projected to raise $1.1 billion, which proponents said would have allowed the state to make its required pension contribution.
Christie’s spokesperson, Michael Drewniak, told the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Once again liberal judicial activism rears its head with the court trying to replace its own judgment for the judgment of the people who were elected to make these decisions. This budget was passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor with a pension payment. The governor will continue to work on a practical solution to New Jersey's pension and health benefits problems while he appeals this decision to a higher court where we are confident the judgment of New Jersey's elected officials will be vindicated.”
You will see many, many news stories saying poor New Jersey is broke and has to cut expenses, that the state pension system is imploding. It's the teacher unions, and their selfish healthcare costs!
I say, not so fast.This is bullshit. Why is Christie not renegotiating the investment management fees? (Which, geeze, are awfully high for such crappy returns.)
There are no alternatives, he says. Yet he vetoed legislation to raise the income taxes on those earning more than $1 million. He shovels copious amounts of money into the pockets of Big Business.
Whenever a Republican politician starts screaming about public union pension costs, you can be pretty sure that money went instead to pad the pockets of Wall Street.