New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is very fiscally responsible. To balance the state budget he's been slashing public school funding, working to cut compensation to teachers, police, and firefighters. The usual stuff.
Cost cutting is for the poor only of course. He went to his son's baseball game the other day and arrived in a new $12.5 million helicopter. Normal people would walk the 100 yard distance from the helicopter to the stands. But walking is for the rabble. Christie had a limo waiting near the landing to drive him. He sat in the stands flanked by his security detail. When he left he got back in his limo for the 100 yard drive to the helicopter and off he went.
The fiscally irresponsible might be someone like Governor Jerry Brown in California. He also has a state budget crisis to deal with, but he's less prone to solving it on the backs of the poor. He had to get from Sacramento to Los Angeles for his first trip as Governor. So he drove himself to the airport and bought a coach ticket with Southwest. He didn't feel like paying the extra $16 for "business select" seating. He sat in the back with the rabble. Not only did he do it without an entourage. He didn't have a single companion.
Maybe the thinking is that Christie's extravagant expenditures will trickle down.
I've always found stuff like this silly. Like when Arnold Schwarzenegger promised to give up his salary all in an effort to "be fiscally responsible". Or when politicians unite to stop pay their raises, or whatever. All of that stuff is PENNIES, actually not even a penny to the budget. It's meaningless. It's all symbolism. What really matters is the policy differences. Of course it gets all the sheep motivated and excited, but real policy analyst ignore it for what it is - politics in the form of symbolism with no real meaning.
What really matters is policy differences. And what are the policy differences between Chris Christie and Jerry Brown? Chris Christie, in order to balance the budget is trying to cut the wages of some of the highest paid government workers - firefighters, cops and teachers. Jerry Brown, on the other hand, is looking to cut the wages of some of the lowest paid government workers of California - nonunion workers (see here). Jerry Brown also, in order to prevent these budget cuts, is looking to raise the most regressive taxes of all - vehicle registration and sales taxes (see here).
But it's presented as Jerry Brown being the fiscal responsible one, and Chris Christie the spender.
It's part of Christie's policy. Making up for budget shortfalls is done at the expense of the poor and underprivileged. That means he doesn't contribute. Brown's policy is that the poor and rich make up the gap. So he contributes.
They're all cutting spending almost across the board. What Brown wants to do that Christie doesn't is make up for half of the shortfall with tax increases. That means the rich shoulder some of the burden as well.
This illustrates a theme that I think is important. Talk of free markets and fiscal discipline means free markets and fiscal discipline for the weak and poor. For the rich? Nanny state.
Jon will never get it. First and foremost - education is not and has never been the responsibility of government - NOT ever. It is unconstitutional for the gov't or the state to involve themselves in education - that is a fact. Like all Liberals like Jon they run to the problem only to stare at it without a single correct answer to fix it.
#1 - communities that work, understand hard work, dedication and such they fund their own schools by passing mills, passing direct taxes to cover expenses and if the community has the ability they pass and the school remains funded. Fund raising, pay to play - whatever it takes then you have private and charter schools they are NOT hurting whats so ever because of the community. The only people affected here are the poor o poor and what I say now is too damn bad. The good ones make it out of poverty and make something of themselves the rest are useless. I will allow my tax money to go to schools only if my rules are implemented. Strict rules and performance is #1 - if a kid doesn't want school then bye bye and remove the nipple, otherwise I think Christie is 100% right.
Jon will probably site some crazy poll saying NJ residence think Christie sucks or something, problem with polls is tha they don't offer the demographic of the voters. Political position aside - working, tax paying citizens only what do they think? And yes Jon before you ask, non contributors do not, should not and eventually will not have a say.
No comment on the nonunion government workers wages being cut vs the union workers? That's also a fundamental difference.
Oh and, what about my comment regarding the type of "tax increases" Jerry Brown is suggesting - sales tax, vehicle tax - being significantly regressive taxes? No comment on that?
"At the expense of the poor and underprivileged" is a bit of a misnomer. After all, Chris Christie isn't taking away more from the poor necessarily, he is just giving them (other peoples money) less.
I don't see the relevance. Your link says he's proposing cuts to non-union state workers. It doesn't actually say that those are the highest paid. Are state lawyers union? But I'm conceding he's doing things that make everyone share the burden, where Christie isn't.
Sales tax is regressive. But it's not as regressive as cuts exclusively to the bottom earners. Firefighters, cops, and teachers are highly compensated? These are not the people that come to my mind when I think of high compensation. I look to politicians, lawyers, physicians, city managers, superintendants, etc. A sales tax on cars, while regressive, still results in the majority of the actual dollars being paid by wealthier earners that can afford more expensive cars and can afford more of them. Christie's plan is MORE regressive than Brown.
That's consistent with Christie's behavior. It's helicopter rides and limos for him. Cuts for cop pay. Well, he's not taking anything from cops. He's just giving them less of other people's money. OK.
As far as government workers goes, the highest workers do tend to be the union workers - firefighters, teachers, and cops. Didn't you atleast read the link I provided when I mentioned "highest paid government workers"? It spells it out.
Remember, this isn't a claim that firefighters, teachers and cops are the highest paid among the private sector - it's a claim that they are some of the highest paid among government workers.
You write, "Sales tax is regressive. But it's not as regressive as cuts exclusively to the bottom earners." Again, did you read my link? The third link lists other cuts that Jerry Brown is planning to cut:
Gov. Jerry Brown will unveil a stark budget plan for California on Monday, proposing to slash welfare spending in half, cut nearly 20% from the state's university system and reduce healthcare coverage for the poor -- while aksing that voters approve an array of tax increases.
Specifically, the budget plan would cut:
• $1.5 billion from welfare
• $1.7 billion from Medi-Cal
• $500 million each from the UC and CSU systems
• $750 million from services for the developmentally disabled
• And $200 million from the state bureaucracy.
These aren't cuts 'exclusively to the bottom earners'?
I know you don't like reading links from those you disagree with but you should try - it's what dialogue is all about.
Yeah, I read your links. None of them spelled out how union workers make more than non-union. The first link talked about some public sector people that as a family make decent money. Does that mean firefighters make more than lawyers and doctors?
Not only did I read your links, I read your posts. Do you read mine? You respond to me like I'm unaware that Brown is cutting services to the poor. I already acknowledged that. I said he's making everyone share the burden, poor and rich. That means the poor do have services cut.
So you apparently post links you haven't read or don't understand and you don't even read what I write. Then you criticize me as if I didn't read your links. But I did. Maybe you should read them. This is a very strange dialogue. You don't read me and you don't even understand what you post.
I'm curious Jon - what doctors would you say are government workers?
You respond to me like I'm unaware that Brown is cutting services to the poor. I already acknowledged that. I said he's making everyone share the burden, poor and rich. That means the poor do have services cut.
So let me get this straight:
Jerry Brown is making drastic cuts to medi-Cal, welfare, State Universities, services for the disabled AND looking to raise sales and vehicle taxes (the two most regressive taxes around) and you consider that "making everyone share the burden, poor and rich".
Okay - maybe it's a semantics difference between us then. Because from my perspective, that doesn't look like the rich are sharing any real part of the pain.
Brown has a variety of tax increases he's pushing, including an increase in income taxes. Also cuts in business credits. Sales taxes are regressive, but as I say they do at least ask the rich to contribute.
Among the highest paid government workers are doctors.
So let's recall what you said:
As far as government workers goes, the highest workers do tend to be the union workers - firefighters, teachers, and cops. Didn't you at least read the link I provided when I mentioned "highest paid government workers"? It spells it out.
Where is this spelled out at your links? It's pretty unbelievable to me that you criticize me for not reading your links when from what I can see I'm the only one that did. You didn't.
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