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Chris Christie on Budget & Economy


Let government shutdown occur, until Legislature is ready

Let government shutdown occur, until Legislature is ready On one occasion, there was a special session to pass a state budget because the July 1 constitutional deadline was not met. In political theater rare for him, Let government shutdown occur, until Legislature is ready Later, in mocking Corzine during and after a 2010 showdown with Democrats over taxes, Christie said if the state government ever shuts down because there is no budget he wouldn't drag a cot into his office.
Source: Rise to Power, by B. Ingle & M. Symons, p.128 , Jun 5, 2012

2011: 2% cap on most cities' municipal spending

[In 2010] Christie ordered the legislature into a special session to address property tax reform. The first municipal spending cap votes were held in April 2011, though few municipalities--only 14 of the state's 566 cities and towns--sought voters' permission to exceed the 2% cap. Christie's plan had worked.

After getting the 2% cap, Christie wasn't done with school spending. He put in place a salary cap on school superintendents' contracts--through a rule, without the legislature's input. It would mean $9.8 million in savings statewide for school districts, around 10% of the combined $100 million they paid in 2010.

Source: Rise to Power, by B. Ingle & M. Symons, p.198-199 , Jun 5, 2012

Erased $11B in budget deficit via spending cuts

After taking office in 2010, Governor Chris Christie erased an estimated $11 million budget almost entirely through spending cuts. Thanks to Christie's policies, by May 2011 New Jersey's economy was turning around, and the state treasurer projected the Garden State would rake in half a billion dollars in extra tax revenue.

And what was the reaction of the Democrat-controlled N.J. legislature? Did its members hail Christie for his fiscal rectitude? Of course not. In fact, they cited the unexpected windfall as proof that the state didn't need austerity. "The governor has balanced his budgets on the backs of the middle class, now this gives us an opportunity to undo that," said State Sen. Paul Sarlo. Eventually, the decision on how to use the extra tax revenue was largely taken out of Christie's hands; the New Jersey Supreme Court, apparently agreeing there was no need for austerity, ordered Christie to increase education funding by $500 million--the same amount as the estimated tax windfall.

Source: The Freedom Agenda, by Sen. Mike Lee, p. 3-4 , Jul 18, 2011

To make budget deal, must get leadership talking in one room

Q: What you're dealing with in N.J. is the big battle here in D.C. too. That is the debt, that is closing the budget deficit. What's the way out of this mess?

A: The first thing is that the president had to get involved personally. And what I found in New Jersey, was there is no substitute for the three leaders in the room having to look at each other and having to hash this out. And everybody's got to put skin in the game. I mean, I gave on things that I wanted. Obviously, the Democratic Senate president and the Democratic speaker gave on things they wanted, and we came to a compromise that didn't violate our principles. And that's the key. You can't ask people to violate their principles. And so there has to be a way to find principled outcome where people are also compromising. And what the specifics of that's going to be are going to be up to the president, the speaker and Sen. Reid. But they need to get in the room and finish this off.

Source: Interview on NBC "Meet the Press" , Jun 26, 2011

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Page last updated: Jan 15, 2015