I have to give a high-five to Gov. Chris Christie. The New Jersey Republican was on “Morning Joe” today and showed why he is not only a rising star within the GOP, but also a model of leadership for politicians who have lost touch with their spines.Yeah, Christie is such a visionary leader, isn’t he?
A clip of a back-and-forth Christie had with a teacher over benefits contributions and a wage freeze was shown. In it, the governor says things that far too many politicians wouldn’t dare. When she claims, “You’re not compensating me for my education and you’re not compensating me for my experience,” Christie was blunt. “Well, you know what then?,” he said, “you don’t have to do it.... Teachers go into it knowing what the pay scale is.” His tart retort was met with applause.
As noted here…
To close a deficit that he asserted was approaching $11 billion, Governor Christie called for the layoffs of 1,300 state workers, closings of state psychiatric institutions, an $820 million cut in aid to public schools, and nearly a half-billion dollars less in aid to towns and cities. He also suspended until May 2011 a popular property-tax rebate program, breaking one of his own campaign promises.And of course, this gave Christie the opportunity to pretend to be above it all, or something, saying “The defenders of the status quo have already begun to yell and scream” (of course, being a typical Repug, all Christie cares about is zombie-like compliance, which, happily, he is not going to get).
Democrats were quick to characterize Mr. Christie’s proposal as falling disproportionately on the backs of the middle class, the poor, the elderly, schoolchildren, college students and inner-city residents, while leaving largely unscathed the wealthy and most businesses.
And as noted here (in the matter of “Everybody’s gotta be a part of the sacrifice” – unless they belong to the “pay no price, bear no burden” investor class)…
"They made a political judgment: it was either raise the tax, or we could have the issue to use against a Republican governor," Christie told reporters, referring to Democratic Party lawmakers.Read this well, all those in PA who would support Tom Corbett for governor. He would represent at least as big a mistake as the one now in charge of the Garden State (and by the way, to do something in response to Corbett, click here – Onorato has problems on the issue of drilling for natural gas, but he’s the least worst option IMHO).
"They chose the issue over the revenue," he added. "Well, they got the issue. They're not getting the revenue."
Well, if by “on the right track,” you mean extending the tax cuts for the rich into infinity and getting rid of those for the middle class (as noted here), I would have to agree (and by the way, to help Kendrick Meek – and he needs it against “Democrat” Jeff Greene based on this – click here).
With speculation growing that he’ll join the wide-open 2012 Republican presidential field, South Dakota Sen. John Thune plans to roll out a sweeping proposal Tuesday to remake the congressional budget process.Um, about that “10 percent” claim, TPM tells us the following (here)…
Thune’s budget plan would create a joint House-Senate panel on cutting government spending, call for a line-item veto and mandate that 10 percent of the deficit be cut each year until it is eliminated.
Appearing on Fox News, Thune and host Greta Van Susteren discussed the bill's call for the creation of a Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, tasked with reducing the deficit 10 percent year over year.Of course, funny math from Thune is not surprising, seeing as how (as noted here) he rewarded his former lobbying client by allowing them to apply for a $2.5 billion appropriation after he was elected. Also, Thune once introduced the Freedom from Government Competition Act (S. 1167), in which Thune claimed that “studies” found that the government could save $28 billion.
"It would be required to find 10% in savings -- 10% of the deficit in savings every budget cycle," Thune said.
"So in 10 years we wouldn't have a deficit?" van Sustern asked.
"Theoretically, yes," Thune replied. "10% Is a floor. Obviously -- you can go beyond that."
This is what's known in think tank (and Twitter) circles as a #mathfail.
According to Thune's plan, "the new Joint Committee must introduce legislation that eliminates or reduces spending on wasteful government programs and achieves a savings of at least 10 percent of the previous year's budget deficit." Because the deficit would decrease yearly, the actual returns on 10 percent annual savings would diminish over time, such that it would take decades to reduce the deficit to one percent of its current level. Forty-three years to be exact. For those who remember Zeno's paradox, it would actually be impossible to ever completely eliminate the deficit under the Thune plan.
But for the help of Jeff Gannon’s dirty tricks against Tom Daschle in 2004 and Bushco’s influence in keeping Ellsworth Air Force Base off the fiscal chopping block, Thune would be little more than a good-looking shyster trying to ply his wares for the highest bidder. As it is, he’s a United States Senator with particularly bogus notions of fiscal management.
And I realize that that makes him eminently qualified to seek the Republican Party nomination for president (and I don't know what it says about South Dakota politics that Thune is unopposed, but it can't be anything good).
Update 10/1/10: Don't blink, or you'll miss Thune running away from his TARP vote (here).