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

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

His Masters' Voices

Thank the lord NJ got rid of Jon Corzine, a Wall Street insider, and replaced him with Chris Christie, a Wall Street insider:
Bob McCann, the head of UBS Asset Management, and who held a fundraiser for Christie at his house, introduced him to the audience and happily disclosed his love of the Gov:
"I had a fundraiser for Christie at my home and yes, I did vote for him. Now that I've gotten that out there, let me say that events like this are very important to the kind of company that we want to be at UBS... and that is a company that takes the very best thinkers in the world and makes them available to our clients and our partners. And that's what today is about."
Then Christie got up to speak. During the course speech, Christie got two full standing ovations and a third from some guy up front who enthusiastically jumped up as soon as Christie took the stage.
Because NJ has deferred paying into the pension for so long, there is a slew of money scheduled to start flowing into the funds. Christie also wants to jack up teacher contributions into the pension fund by another 60% after a 10% increase in 2007 (from 5% to 8.5% of base pay). His cap allowed for exemptions of pension payments, and his toolkit clearly suggests he will pay for that by making it easier to lay off workers and capping the salaries and benefits of those who remain (whether he will actually get substantial savings from that is another matter).

In other words: he wants to feed the pension funds by jacking up public employee contributions, slashing benefits, and paying employer contributions with money hopefully saved by gutting services and destroying employee protections.

If I were a soulless Wall Street stooge, I'd be jumping up and applauding too. All that tasty money flowing into TriBeCa; all those fees. And fewer worries about actual performance, because the fund won't have to pay out as much to retirees. It's enough to bring a tear to the eye of any Master of the Universe.

But not only that (thanks to Crazy Uncle Paul):
This problem was obvious last year when Christie was a candidate. Then, he called the borrowing by past governors "unconscionable" and he promised not to do it if elected. He told the voters that he knew how to refill the trust fund without raising the gas tax.
"We should go pay-as-you-go with current budget funds," said that candidate in a debate last year.
Christie won the election. And the state is now funding road construction on a pay-as-you-go basis out of current budget funds.
So what’s the problem? The problem is that last week the governor asked the Democrats who control the Legislature for permission to borrow another billion bucks to fill the fund. The Democrats promptly threw his campaign promises back in his face and said they wouldn’t let him borrow the money. Christie responded by shutting down highway construction. [emphasis mine]
And don't forget about the Wall St. connection to charter schools, Christie's new pet project: "Just Smell the Money!"

This guy is a bankster's wet dream: bashes taxpayers, makes taxes more regressive, borrows when he said he won't, and forces public employees to shove more money into a pension fund that will have to pay out less than was promised. He's everything they ever wanted in a leader.

Lovey and I give Christie another standing O!

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