September 13, 2015

GOP presidential contender and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie seems to believe that promising to go after everyone's pensions and social safety nets is going to help his waning poll numbers in the GOP primary race, because that's exactly what he was promising the voters during an interview on this Sunday's Meet the Press.

After pointing out that New Jersey is ranked 50th for business tax climate, 47th for doing business, 46th for growth in 2014, has an unemployment rate above the U.S. average and has has nine recent credit downgrades, host Chuck Todd asked Christie why Americans would want what he did in New Jersey for the rest of the country.

Christie of course proceeded to blame everyone but himself and the condition the state was in when he arrived, and said anyone can cherry-pick a single issue to try to make things look bad. Chuck Todd actually pushed back on the credit downgrades and pointed out that they were at least in part due to Christie cutting taxes too much and leaving the state without enough money to pay their bills.

Christie proceeded to attack those dirty hippie union thugs and the pensions that those greedy moochers would like to see honored:

CHRISTIE: That's simply not true.... You know what it is Chuck? It is these public sector unions who refuse to do even more compromising on pensions, and that's creating... if you look at the credit downgrades, they are all about long term pension problems.

Now we saved $120 billion in the pension system over the next 30 years on what we've done already. But the unions continue to want more and more and more and in a Democratic state like New Jersey, it's tough to get them to even push even further. But think about this. What the last credit report said was, if the pension problem were fixed, New Jersey would be in good fiscal condition.

And that's because we cut spending, $2.5 billion from '16, lower than it was in fiscal year '08. So this is not about not having enough revenue. The government was too big. We've made it smaller and if the pension system continues to get better, we'll be fine.

TODD: Except... alright, if you haven't really been able to fully solve the crisis and make Democrats do what you want them to do in New Jersey, how are you going to do it in Washington?

CHRISTIE: Now wait a second. We took a pension system that was absolutely ready to go under and we've now put together a pension system that's paying its bills and in fact has done better over the course of the six years that I've been governor than its done in the two decades before. So the fact is, you doing and making progress.

But here's the bottom line. We got a senate Democratic president to be able to sit down and sponsor a pension reform bill that cut COLAs, that raised the retirement age. Does it sound familiar to things we need to do in in Washington D.C.? And I got the Democrats to do that in the face of ten thousand union protesters on the front steps of the State House.

So I have absolutely no doubt that I can come down to Congress, not cave like other people have done and get the job done.

While it is true that Christie inherited a mess when it comes to the pension system in his state, like all Republicans, he's always more than happy to solve it off of the backs of working people rather than the donor class that pays to keep him in office.

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