OK, once again: the Office of Legislative Services did an analysis of Christie's proposed freeze. Right on page 25, it says, and I quote:DIANE SAWYER: We have seen all the high-octane debate. Debate is a polite word sometimes for what's going on about education in New Jersey. I was looking up and I saw the ad running now that has been taken out, which talks about you and keeps saying, "Chris Christie is making the wrong choices for New Jersey." [Critics say] that larger class sizes put the children at risk, that cutting funding for the schools over $1 billion, in fact, is going to cost the children in what they learn.CHRIS CHRISTIE: Well, listen, we left $1 billion in federal funding. And I can't print money like the federal government.DIANE SAWYER: Is it gonna cost the children in what they learn?CHRIS CHRISTIE: I don't think so. It doesn't have to. And, you know, what I said to the teacher's union a year ago was if they had been willing to take a pay freeze for one year we wouldn't have any larger class sizes, 'cause [we] wouldn't have had to lay off teachers. But instead, they chose to continue to get their salary increases rather than be part of the shared sacrifice, Diane. And they weren't. And they say they're for the kids. They should have taken the salary freeze. They didn't. And now, you know, we had to lay teachers off. [emphasis mine]
In summary, it is estimated that if all school districts took these actions, they would still have to address a budget shortfall of at least $849.3 million (77.9 percent of the proposed aid reduction).Look, this is really simple. Suppose you ran a business. Suppose your business made a billion dollars less this year. Suppose you turn to your employees and say, "You are all going to have to take a pay freeze so I can make up the billion dollars that we're short."
Would that make any sense at all? No, because even if your employees took the freeze, you'd still be down a billion dollars!
There are many other things wrong with Christie's claim. But anyone should be able to see through the sheer illogic of what he's saying here. Why couldn't Diane Sawyer?
But here's the deal. The deal is that, first of all, I didn't cut taxes on millionaires. [Democratic ex-Gov.] John Corzine did. He let the millionaires' tax expire. And I inherited government, Diane, with a 10 percent unemployment [rate], where the top 1 percent of the taxpayers in New Jersey already pay 41 percent of the income tax. I think they're paying their fair share. [emphasis mine]As anyone who's read even a little about economics knows, the reason the top 1 percent pays so much of the income tax is because they make so much of the money. It's especially bad in New Jersey, where the top 1 percent has basically taken all of the economic gains of the last 20 years for themselves.
Does Diane Sawyer not know this most basic fact?
Uh...CHRIS CHRISTIE: Listen, I don't want to get rid of tenure. I just want to make it better. Tenure doesn't work, Diane, in a state like New Jersey, the way it's set up now when, in the last 10 years, out of over 150,000 teachers in New Jersey, 17 have been terminated for incompetence. Now, do we really believe that there are only 17 incompetent teachers in New Jersey?DIANE SAWYER: But the union said it's willing to accommodate--CHRIS CHRISTIE: They'll have more incompetent lawyers and--DIANE SAWYER: The unions have said that they're willing to make some adjustments.CHRIS CHRISTIE: No, what they said was instead of having an administrative law judge hear it, they're willing to have an arbitrator hear it but not change any of the rules. [emphasis mine]
• Under the current statute, the process takes between 6-12 months or more to be adjudicated by an Administrative Law Judge, with a lengthy list of checkpoints to allow for additional discovery, disputes over sufficiency, and Commissioner’s final decision with respect to the judge’s ruling.
• Under the NJEA proposal, a hearing must be held within 60 days of the case being assigned to an arbitrator, and the arbitrator’s decision – which is final and binding – must be rendered within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing, for a total of 90 days.
The interview goes on to further deal with tenure, which I'll get to at some other point. But, for now...
Let's just take a minute now to bask in the unadulterated dishonesty that is Chris Christie, shall we?