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

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Haliburtonization of NJ

So Crazy Uncle Paul (tell me you don't have a relative like him - a smart guy who knows lots of things but just when he starts to make sense takes off in a direction toward Wackoville) points out that the Sierra Club is worried that the cap will create all kinds of patronage opportunities:

The Sierra Club is concerned that towns will be looking for ways to get around caps by charging separate billing for services like garbage, libraries and road departments.  Towns could also set up authorities for water and sewer and use these to get around the cap as well as public scrutiny. Instead of a town buying a new water truck, it will have the water department buy a new truck. Instead of hiring new sewer staff, it will have the sewer authority hire staff.  
As seen with Passaic Valley Sewage Authority, authorities become a dumping ground for patronage. There is little, if any, public oversight.  This cap will encourage more of these runaway authorities.  The legislation needs to have restrictions on independent authorities in order to really have a cap that’s not going to negatively impact the people of New Jersey. 
And then we get this:
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is proposing to privatize motor-vehicle inspections and state park services and stop government construction of pre-schools.... 
“What they have provided is a path for change that will benefit New Jersey’s taxpayers through improvements in the quality of public service programs and services delivered to our citizens without placing further burdens upon the State budget,” Christie said in a statement today announcing the report. “I look forward to further reviewing these recommendations.” 
Oh, I bet you do. This is right out of the Bush playbook: remember our good friends at Haliburton and their no-bid contracts? Remember how they gouged the price of gas in Iraq? And patronage jobs: who's going to be the "Heck of a job, Brownie" of this administration?

This is a set up for government kleptocracy at its worst, and - considering how the Christie term has so far mirrored W's presidency - it's the next logical step. Remember:

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