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, April 14, 2010

Never Met a Camera He Didn't Love

All Christie, all the time on the tube these days. Couldn't wait to post them to his blog, either. Or advertise them on Twitter. Guy loves him his TV time.

Some highlights:

- Not on the video, Joe Scarborough greets him to the set with a "Hey, buddy!" Will he say the same to the NJEA rep he has on? Oh, wait...

- As I posted before, the thought of celebrity millionaire pundits being shocked that teachers get good health care benefits was enough to make me choke on my cereal yesterday. Of course, the thought that teachers pay nothing for their benefits is ridiculous:
"First of all, his statement is incorrect because many of our local districts.  About 70 percent  already pay something into their health benefits either in the higher premium... lower deductibles...  or lower plan," Keshishian said.  "Many already pay into their health plans.  We will be paying 1.5 of our salaries into the health plans starting next year."
- Scarborough is right about one thing: Scott Brown got elected in MA the same way Christie did: they both knew they could pander to the right because they would never be challenged by a failed media. And having a weak-kneed Democrat with little or no progressive instincts helped as well.

- The NJEA is a "racket" according to Joe. So I guess he'll be having reps on to rebut that, right? Right? (chirp, chirp)

- Oh, wasn't it cute how chummy Joe and Mika and Christie are? They're going to have a fun run together - for kids! CC hired a personal trainer. Hey, I'd like to hire a personal trainer on my mid-five figure salary as a teacher. You'd think I'd be rolling in dough, what with all this "free" health care I get...

As George Carlin put so well: it's a big club, and you ain't in it."

Then it was over to the Squawk Box:

- Let's talk about the "prayer" for Christie's death. It was really stupid. It was also evident to anyone with a Fifth Grade education that it was a joke in very poor taste. It actually has been floating around the Internet for a while as an Obama joke. Doesn't excuse it, doesn't make it right - but it also doesn't excuse Christie from reaching out to the union to reach an accommodation.

- Notice how the talking points here are EXACTLY the same as the ones on Morning Joe? Now, I don't blame Christie for that - he's a politician. But why aren't the "journalists" here ready for it? Why don't they have a union rep here to refute what's being said? Why didn't they at least get a statement from the NJEA?

Gee, you'd almost think they had a bias...

- About 3:45 in, he shows his hand. This is all about retribution for supporting Corzine in the election. It's as transparent as my back patio door.

- Notice how the conversation always revolves around spending - but it never gets specific. Why can't Christie identify spending where he would cut? Because he knows that would mean taking on the very same elite interests that put him in office in the first place. As the Super of Glen Ridge said, if you could stop the outrageous increases that health insurance companies impose, you would solve most of your problems. Has Christie shown any backbone for taking on the insurance companies? Please.

- I'm the Jersey Jazzman, so I'll reference the great Dave Frishberg's Blizzard of Lies for what happens at 4:45 into the Squawk Box Part II segment:

- "$70 billion in wealth leaving the state" - bull:
New Jersey is, quite frankly, a rich state. We all know that. In 2007, we had the second highest median household income in the country. We ranked third after the District of Columbia and Connecticut in per- capita personal income. And in the same year, New Jersey and Maryland tied as the states having the highest percentage of households (7.1 percent) with at least $1 million in assets.
- "Highest Property tax in America" - that's true. So why'd you cancel property tax rebates?

- "We have among the highest marginal tax rates..." A marginal rate is not a real rate, Guv. Did you sleep through math class? What counts is the real rate. We're 28th in the nation.

- "2nd highest sales tax rate" You have to look at what is taxed! We exempt all kinds of things, and we have some of the lowest gas taxes in the nation. This is just stupid.

- "6th highest corporate tax rate" ARRRRGGHHH!! We EXEMPT corporate dividends from taxes! $4.4 billion worth! Are you freaking kidding me?!?

- "Neighbors in PA have a top tax rate of 3.07%" ARRRRGGHHH!!! They have LOCAl income tax in PA that you have to add to that! They have sky-high gas taxes! Sales taxes! THEY SELL BOOZE IN STATE OWNED STORES TO RAISE REVENUE IN PA!

OK, this one kills me; it starts at 6:00:

- "The rate of state spending has grown 16% a year" I don't know if that's true - I don't believe a word out of Christie's mouth, but I'll give it to him. What caused it? "4% raises in teacher' salaries."

Ha wha huh?

Again, if Christie spent 1/4 of the time he's spent going after the teachers going instead after health insurance companies, he'd solve most of the state's fiscal problems.

- "3% student growth; 16% teacher growth" Hmm, what happened in education over the last 8 years? Thinking...
Oh yeah - No Child Left Behind! Unfunded mandates!

- At 8:00: "Greed." My lord. He's a genius. That special ed teacher; the chem teacher at the high school; the elementary art teacher: all greedy. On their average $64K salaries. Yeah, that's it - greed.

- 8:40 "I need to get people back to work." By cutting teacher salaries. Makes sense, if you're high...

You know, I can't even deal with the Fox nonsense. Where was the truth speaking to power in Christie's little tour of NBC?

I need a drink...

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