I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

America, Now You Know What NJ Is Stuck With

So last night was the big debut on the national stage for Chris Christie. I'm actually surprised at the number of poor reviews - and not just from liberals:
Fox News host Chris Wallace had nothing but nice words for Ann Romney's speech at the GOP convention on Tuesday night, saying that it was "effective" and that "everyone afterward was buzzing" about it.
But New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) convention speech? Not so much.
"I have to say, personally, I thought it was one of the most off-key keynote speeches I ever heard," Wallace said.
He noted that Christie said the word "I" 37 times, "Romney" seven times, and "jobs" one time.
"[I]t seemed sometimes as if he was promoting his own candidacy more than he was Mitt Romney's," Wallce added. "People liked the speech, but not nearly the kind of intense reaction to it and intense listening to it that there was for Ann Romney.
Understand this about Chris Christie, folks: he is an egomaniac of the highest order. It's always about him and his "courage." Those of us stuck with him weren't surprised in the least that last night's speech was so self-congratulatory.

But aside from the politics of the speech (here's a transcript), there are a few things to note:
They said it was impossible to cut taxes in a state where taxes were raised 115 times in eight years. That it was impossible to balance a budget at the same time, with an $11 billion deficit. Three years later, we have three balanced budgets with lower taxes.
We did it.
Uh, no. You only balanced the budget because you skipped pension payments, and you pushed through a law (with plenty of Christiecrats in tow) that allows you to skip full payments for seven years. You also effectively raised taxes on the poor by slashing tax credit programs. And by shifting more of the burden away from the state and toward localities, Christie has overseen a huge hike in property taxes
They said it was impossible to touch the third rail of politics. To take on the public sector unions and to reform a pension and health benefit system that was headed to bankruptcy.
With bipartisan leadership we saved taxpayers $132 billion over 30 years and saved retirees their pension.
We did it.
Uh, no. You, Governor, were a blatant liar in the 2009 campaign when you told teachers you wouldn't touch their pensions. You remain a blatant liar when you deny what you knew about the impending pension crisis back in 2009. And you haven't saved the pension system at all: it's still a mess.
They said it was impossible to speak the truth to the teachers union. They were just too powerful. Real teacher tenure reform that demands accountability and ends the guarantee of a job for life regardless of performance would never happen.  
For the first time in 100 years with bipartisan support, we did it.

Uh, no. The tenure bill was closer to the proposal of the NJEA than any other draft plan out there - including yours. In fact, most of the proposals you floated over the last two years were removed from the final law.   
We believe that the majority of teachers in America know our system must be reformed to put students first so that America can compete. Teachers don't teach to become rich or famous. They teach because they love children.
We believe that we should honor and reward the good ones while doing what's best for our nation's future — demanding accountability, higher standards and the best teacher in every classroom.
Uh, no. You have misused the good will of teachers to create an argument in favor of cutting teacher compensation. Personally, I think it's probably one of the most damaging things you've done to education.
They believe the educational establishment will always put themselves ahead of children. That self-interest trumps common sense. They believe in pitting unions against teachers, educators against parents, and lobbyists against children.
They believe in teacher's unions.
We believe in teachers.
Uh, no - you clearly hate teachers. That's why you have insulted them - not teachers unions, but teachers - over and over again.

Egomaniac, liar, promise breaker, incompetent... no wonder the GOP picked him to be their standard bearer last night. Remember:


Ken Houghton said...

Not exactly off-topic but Joel Klein and Condi Rice have just released a CFR report on how our education system is endangering national security.

My irony meter is too impaired to read something from Klein on education or Rice on national security. Sadly, I fear it falls into your purview...

czarejs said...

I expected him to actually be good last night and was surprised that it really was a poor speech. Angry, didn't say anything, and certainly didn't help the candidate (which is o.k. by me). The thing that really disgusts me is that twice today I had people tell me that they heard teachers actually saying how much they liked his speech. Unbelieveable

Deb said...

I was also expecting more but perfectly happy he did not do his best. His canned mother speech usually came at the end of town hall meetings as a means of humanizing a man who probably had just come across as an angry bully during the town hall. Christie looked nervous, out of his comfort zone and on the verge of passing out sometimes to me - with a ton of make up that made him not sweat. All that aside, I was struck by this line

"Real teacher tenure reform that demands accountability and ends the guarantee of a job for life regardless of performance would never happen."

It seems to me he tried to imply that he got rid of LIFO - that he made the statement just vague enough to imply that might be what happened. Maybe I am reading too much into it, but it was indicative of the entire speech - obfuscation to down right lies.

Thanks Duke, for calling on them. I have a feeling it can get tiresome, but we need to do it every single time.

czarejs said...

Vagueness and blatant lies seem to be the only thing coming out of Tampa.