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JakilaTheHun (99.93)

The Best Governor in America: Chris Christie?

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May 14, 2010 – Comments (9)

For a long time, I've been meaning to make a post on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, so here is my short introduction to Christie for all my fellow CAPians.

Here are a few articles on Christie:

New Jersey Governor Sets Tone for US

Christie Declares State of Emergency

In NJ School Cut Debates, Insults Overshadow Issues

Chris Christie Takes on the Situation

NJ Gov Chris Christie Admired

 

In a few paragraphs,  what Christie has done is the unthinkable in American politics --- he has single-handedly forced the state of New Jersey to move towards eliminating its massive multi-billion deficit hole.  The long-term plan is to (a) cut expenses, (b) balance the budget and eventually (c) lower taxes when it becomes feasible.  His basic belief is that if New Jersey acts first, it will be ahead of the rest of nation and able to take advantage.   

I'm not an anti-tax ideologue; realistically speaking, we have to pay some appropriate level of taxes for our system to function optimally.  But our taxes have drifted too high and we receive too little in return for them.  This is especially true in states like New York and New Jersey, where voters pay some of the highest taxes in the nation and don't seem to receive all that much in return.  It's also true on the Federal level, where we have overspent on the military since the Reagan Administration and Social Security is one of the most wasteful and inefficient programs around.  So I think Christie is absolutely doing the right thing here. 

In order to accomplish his goals, Christie has taken on the overcompensated teachers' unions, which have demanded salary above-market salary increases and receive benefits unheard of in the private sector.   I have nothing against teachers or public schools --- we need both for the good our of society, but we can't give teachers 4% - 5% salary increases when the rest of our nation is taking pay cuts and losing jobs.  That's ridiculous and the end result is that middle income workers with private-sector jobs end up subsidizing their public sector counterparts. 

 

This practice has dragged the state of New Jersey down economically and given it some of the highest tax rates in the nation (it was occurring before the crash in reality as public sector wages have been outpacing the private sector in NY and NJ, except at the high-end).  It has also created a massive budgetary hole that needed to be fixed and Christie has done it, in spite of the fact that it clearly has hurt his poll numbers.  But it's the right thing to do; even if it wasn't easy. 

Politically, I consider myself somewhere between progressive and Libertarian, but more than anything, I like policymakers who are willing to aggressively take on tough problems with realistic solutions.  Chris Christie fits the bill.   He's one of the few American pols I can respect right now. And maybe (like one article suggests) he is the American version of David Cameron

If the GOP moved more in the direction of Christie, I could probably support it.  As is, I've never voted for a Republican in my life; I've mostly alternated between Libertarians, Greens, and the occasional Democrat. 

9 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On May 14, 2010 at 2:52 PM, outoffocus (23.17) wrote:

Regardless of party I think this country, heck the WORLD, needs more politicians that are willing to make the hard decisions, even if it means they will not be re-elected.  Mayor Michael Nutter, Democrat, has been doing the same for Philadelphia.  He's been making the hard and unpopular decisions (raising taxes, cutting services) in order to balance Philadelphia's budget.  The man is not perfect but I respect someone who can see past popularity to get the job done. These are the traits I'd like to see in a Presidential or Congressional candidate; but sadly I have yet to see that in any of the candidates for the upcoming midterm elections.

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#2) On May 14, 2010 at 2:56 PM, kdakota630 (29.62) wrote:

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#3) On May 14, 2010 at 2:57 PM, JakilaTheHun (99.93) wrote:

P.S. On a similar note, IMF Chief Economist Raghuram Rajan says the future outlook for global economies is bleak and specifically mentions rising deficits, inefficient use of public resources (band-aid programs rather than programs that provide long-term value), and a rising gap between the haves and have-nots as major concerns.

Link below:

Outlook for Global Economies is Bleak

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#4) On May 14, 2010 at 3:08 PM, JakilaTheHun (99.93) wrote:

Outoffocus,

I totally agree. I'm not really encouraged by the onslaught of "anti-establishment" rage candidates either, who are mostly advocating easy solutions and pointing out easy scapegoats.  The only way out of our mess is to make some very difficult decisions that aren't going to be popular with everyone. 

 

Kdakota, 

Great video.  That's one of the reason I love this guy! 

I think he also took a subtle jab at the Congressional Republicans in there --- for trying to find some excuse to hold up the Kagan nomination --- that's yet another reason why I basically never vote GOP.  They are a party of obstruction; not solutions.  I hope Christie can move the GOP in a more productive direction. 

The GOP should be about lower taxes, efficient use of government resources, market-oriented solutions, and pragmatic foreign policy.  The modern GOP tends to be more about militarism, religious zealotry, anti-intellectualism, and hypocrisy (spending trillions while claiming to be "small government").  

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#5) On May 14, 2010 at 3:11 PM, kdakota630 (29.62) wrote:

It was funny, as I just watched that video about 2 minutes before I read your blog, so I had it handy.

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#6) On May 14, 2010 at 4:12 PM, ocsurf (< 20) wrote:

+1 for the video...that was great!

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#7) On May 15, 2010 at 12:36 PM, Ghaffy99 (< 20) wrote:

Hi Jakila... I saw your post on CREE that you liked the LED "sector" a lot... I've been trying to find a supercheap LED stock, and have looked hard, but haven't found any... do you have any LED stocks that you like?  thank you very much

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#8) On May 15, 2010 at 1:38 PM, JakilaTheHun (99.93) wrote:

Ghaffy, 

I don't know of any supercheap LED stocks right now.  I'm sure there are probably some obscure ones out there that are headquartered overseas --- but I'm willing to wager they're expensive, as well.

LEDs in '10 might be the equivalent of solar in '07 and '08.  Everyone viewed it as a "growth industry" (which it is), but not a commoditized industry (which it also is).  Commoditized industries are very cyclical depending on supply and demand and those massive earnings can turn negative really really quickly when oversupply hits the market. All the same, revenues will increase and growth isn't dependent on subsidies for LED companies, so they won't get hit as hard as solar. 

Even though CREE is best of the bunch, I'd be afraid of oversupply issues in '11 and '12 --- absurdly high profit growth is already priced into the stock and a big margin hit would make that even more difficult to achieve. This might even be more true for lesser competitors.  

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#9) On May 15, 2010 at 8:27 PM, ajm101 (32.55) wrote:

I take it you're not from NJ.

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