Governor Christie: We Can’t Tax Our Way Out Of It
Governor Chris Christie announced the signing of Executive Order 161 to create the “New Jersey Pension and Health Benefit Commission” during his visit to Parsippany Municipal Building. He is creating a panel of experts to develop recommendations about how New Jersey can create a sustainable retirement and health-benefit system for the states employees. He said he will announce members of the commission in upcoming days so they can begin the job and start making recommendations as soon as possible.
For a copy of Executive Order 161, click here.
Mayor James Barberio welcoming the audience to Parsippany-Troy Hills, for Governor Christie’s press conference. He continued by saying “When Governor Christie decided to run in 2009, myself and my colleagues at the time, Councilman John Cesaro and Councilwoman Ann Grossi, pledged our support for the Governor. And Chris Christie and I shared the same ballot in 2009 and 2013, and I would like to say Parsippany delivered for the Governor, as I did. My family and I will never forget January 1, 2010 when the Governor administered the oath to me and the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills.
That was a very special day in my life, and my children’s life, and my wife. What I love about the Governor, we share similar things, we are both of Italian decent, calm and mild manner, and we very very shy, and one thing we always get is fair press coverage.” But on a serious note, when I think of Governor Chris Christie I think of leadership. I want to give you some points on why. When I was first elected in 2010 there was talk about a cap, and in 2011 it came that there was going to be a cap, and you know alot of Mayors at the time said this is going to be tough for us, you know I realized, I remembered going into my office and going to the Business Administrator, I don’t think we are going to make the cap. You know what that means. We were challenged. And that’s what leaders do. They challenge other elected officials to do the job. We did it. We came under the 2% cap every single year. Why? Because we had a Governor that had faith in us and trust in us, and I want to thank you for that, Governor. And you know the Governor has been a friend of Parsippany, and I go all the way back to certain events that took place in Parsippany, one that I go to right away is August 28, 2011. Hurricane Irene. There were a lot of issues in the lower Lake Hiawatha section of Parsippany and as a Mayor it hit my first storm, and I guess the Governor first storm. You really get to know the people of your town. We had an incident and situation in lower Lake Hiawatha where there was oil spills everywhere. and the DEP that was there, decided they weren’t going to stick around. They couldn’t. Well, we called the Governor’s office, and guess what, they stayed to the very end.That was leadership. Thank you once again, Governor. Governor Chris Christie in my household, is well respected. We look at his as a leader and for the State of New Jersey, and hopefully a great leader for our nation.”
Governor Christie said “Despite what you may hear from others, there is no level of available taxation that will answer this problem. The Legislature recommended this year $1.6 billion in additional income and business taxes to get to a payment of $2.25 billion this year.”
“But here’s the problem with that: next year the payment would be over $3 billion. The year after that the payment’s over $4 billion. And the year after that the payment is over $5 billion.
So, if you follow their logic, are they saying, are they promising the people of New Jersey a billion dollar-plus tax increase every year for the next four years?
And is that affordable and sustainable for our economy and for the citizens of this state? The common sense answer, of course, is no, it is not,” he continued.
“And if you need to look at what’s happened in this state before when we raised taxes to that levels, look at the $70 billion in wealth that left New Jersey between 2004 and 2008 after the (former Governor) McGreevey tax increases of 2002, 2003 and 2004. It is not sustainable.
So, the folks who come around to my events and hold up signs, asking for everybody else to pay more or the woman who was at my Belmar Town Hall meeting this past week and said she wanted me to promise that she would get everything she was promised, we don’t live in a fantasy world.
And the fact is that unless there are changes made to the system itself and the benefits that it promises, we cannot tax our citizens enough, even if we wanted to, to be able to pay for what’s down the road,” said Christie.
Christie ended the press conference telling the audience he will be taking a nine day vacation to California.
“Please, no messing around while I’m gone,” he told the audience.
If anyone has a question before his return on August 10, “Talk to the acting governor, Kim Guadagno. I’m not going to be here,” he said. “I will not be in the decision-making matrix.”
View the video of the press conference
“Governor Christie On Washington vs. New Jersey: We Do Our Job”
Governor Christie: I think it’s a very interesting contrast to look at what’s happening in Washington versus what’s happening in New Jersey. You know, you have a very complex, difficult, and important issue in the administration of the criminal justice system in New Jersey. We’ve worked on it together for two years, and we’ve put together a bipartisan coalition of folks I hope that will conclude on Monday with the passage of our reforms. A 31-0 vote, I think it was in the State Senate, no opposition to what we did in the State Senate. Believe me, you know what opposition was there before, and that’s only through leadership and hard work by the folks like myself, the Senate President, the Speaker, and others to be able to get that done, and I think that’s the kind of leadership that people would like to see happening in Washington, DC from the President and Republicans and Democrats in Congress and they don’t see it, and so, you know, I’m not going to get into each specific issue but I think it’s a very interesting contrast to look at the fact that we have tough issues to deal with here. We deal with each other in a very direct and tough way sometimes, but it does not prevent us from doing the job.
View the video of the press conference