Chris Christie on Jobs
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 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 where 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.
CHRISTIE: If you think it's bad now, you should've seen it when I got there. The fact is, in the 8 years before I became governor, taxes and fees were raised at the state level 115 times; spending was increased 56%; and there was zero net private sector job growth in New Jersey. Zero. For 8 years. So, what did we do? We came in, we balanced an $11 billion deficit on a $29 billion budget by cutting over 800 programs in the state budget. We brought the budget into balance with no tax increases. In fact, we vetoed 5 income tax increases during my time as governor. And, what's happened since? 192,000 private sector jobs in the 5 years I've been governor. We have a lot of work to do in New Jersey, but I am darn proud we've brought our state back.
(VIDEO CLIP) CHRISTIE: I'm tired of hearing about minimum wage. I don't think there's a mother or father sitting around a kitchen table tonight in America who are saying, "You know, honey, if our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my God, all our dreams would be realized."
Q: For people who are making $7.25 an hour, the minimum wage now, they say getting increase of $10 an hour would make a big difference in their lives and that you were being cavalier about it?
CHRISTIE: I'm saying it exactly as I see it. What we need to do in this country is not have debate over a higher minimum wage. We have to have a debate over creating better-paying middle class jobs in the country. If that somehow doesn't comport with what people in the political elite want, well, I'm sorry.
Our pension system is burdened by some who collect disability retirement because they claim they are "totally and permanently disabled," but who are now working full-time. So we've established by Executive Order a special unit to prosecute pension fraud. Let's go even further to solidify our pension system and reduce costs by reforming our disability retirement system to end this fraud and abuse. This will also help us to reduce property taxes.
Christie's number is in the ballpark. Let's look at the Republican governor's numbers and whether Corzine is truly to blame for those lost jobs. Both the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and NJ Department of Labor show NJ had 3,209,900 private-sector jobs in December 2009. A year prior, the state had 3,325,600 private-sector jobs. That's a net loss of 115,700 jobs.
Next, we need to determine whether Corzine really is to blame for those lost jobs. The first half of 2009--Corzine's last year in office--was marked by recession. The governor not only can't take all the credit for job gains, he can't pin blame for loss solely on another administration when there are other factors at work.
Our ruling: Since the governor's number is off slightly and the claim implies that Corzine is to blame for those job losses, we give Christie a ruling of Half True.
S-2972 expands the ERGG program to make growth areas in the Meadowlands eligible for ERGG grants, adding the Meadowlands to the other areas of the state where growth is encouraged and eligibility for ERGG grants is already provided, including State Planning Areas, Pinelands growth areas, transit villages and closed federal military bases.
In addition, the legislation also makes several changes to the Urban Hub program: increasing the credit for residential projects from 20% to 35% of eligible costs over 10 years; and allowing the tax credits to be carried forward for up to 20 years.
Christie responded, "And, you know what it is to hire illegal immigrants."
Lonegan said the state would be better off without a unionized workforce.
Christie said he wanted either unionized state workers or employees working under a civil service system, but not both, which sometimes have differing rules.
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