While storms and fires can’t be ignored or missed as we go through the motions of our daily lives, one of the biggest threats to the well-being of our state was silently ignored – or even enhanced – by the folks supposedly in charge for the 8 years preceding Governor Christie’s election. When Governor Christie took office our state was on the precipice of insolvency. Governor Corzine and the folks leading the legislature – Barbara Buono amongst them – continued, either blindly or incompetently, to steer us toward utter disaster. Some of you public workers still upset over the pension and benefits reforms that helped to dramatically turn our outlook around? Get real. The only alternative would have been huge, economy-strangling tax increases, or insolvency. You don’t want to imagine the negative impact on your pensions – or our state’s economy – had that outcome become reality.
Yet that is exactly the outcome Governor Corzine and the Democrat legislative leadership were opting for. Barbara Buono herself voted against the unquestionably necessary Christie administration reforms that have helped save our state. She was also the Senate Budget Chairperson that authored resoundingly irresponsible budget after budget during the Corzine era – digging the hole deeper every step of the way.
Senator Buono blatantly demonstrates that, if elected, she would take us right back to the boldly naive, if not downright dishonest, and disastrous policies of the past. Take her recent roll out of education policies. Some of the policies she is advocating would leave our poorest students stuck in some of the most dismal, failed schools in our state. The cost of her – substantially misguided – policies would run into the billions of dollars – and Buono’s plan doesn’t include where the money will come from. We must remember – since Senator Buono apparently doesn’t – that every penny of additional spending on anything – no matter how worthy – will come out of our pockets and will have an impact on our ability to pay our bills and grow our economy.
To pay for her education package Buono says she would rely on a “millionaire’s” tax – completely ignoring that she and her Democrat legislative cronies have made promises to spend any new revenue over and over again. Another problem with her plan to raise taxes is that we already have higher taxes than other states. The people whose wallets Buono supposedly targets can easily transfer their taxable residency to other, lower tax states. When they do so their NJ tax rate is cut – to 0 – which results in an increased burden on all of us non-millionaires. Oops. Buono also fails at the math of her proposal. The tax increase she relies on will only generate around $600 million. The cost of her pie-in-the-sky proposal is around $3 billion. It’s fiscally irresponsible thinking like this that almost destroyed New Jersey when Senator Buono and Governor Corzine were in charge.
Buono’s other big pitch is that Governor Christie has neglected women’s health care. This is a shameful, bold-faced lie that is easily refuted. We have made positive strides in women’s health care under this administration. Every time I challenge the purveyors of the women’s health care fiction to introduce me to women being denied care – there is no response. They haven’t produced even 1 person. Anyone making this pitch is shamefully trying to play on the emotions of the women of New Jersey – and those of us who care about them. Governor Christie – who has a wife and two daughters he loves dearly – falls into the latter category by the way.
Governor Christie has competently and bravely guided us through more than our share of disasters during his first term – and helped us avoid others. We should send a message with our votes that we support those who tell us the truth and face tough challenges head-on with policies that make sense. Those votes should include Republican legislative candidates right below the Governor on the ballot. We have come a long way under Governor Christie, but the work isn’t done. We have an opportunity right now, as never before, to fix our state. It is time to turn control of the legislature over to Governor Christie’s partners so we can finish the job. If we fail to take advantage of this opportunity we may not get another – until it’s too late.