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, February 25, 2011

Mallomar Update

Haven't checked in for a while on the soft, squishy center that is Al Doblin:
Lonegan once drove through The Record’s Hackensack parking lot in a vehicle towing a large fake pig. The pig symbolized excessive government spending. If he brings the pig down to a rally peppered with Wisconsin natives sporting foam cheddar hats, it could be ham and cheese for all.
Can you believe he gets paid to write stuff like this?
No doubt some of the anti-union gubernatorial actions are designed not to reduce budgets as much as to destroy unions. But for all of Christie’s anti-union bluster, he is advocating for reasonable reforms. 
“I propose that by 2014, the state should pay 70 percent of the cost of employee health benefits, and the employee should pay 30 percent,” Christie said Tuesday.
Is it "reasonable" to ask every teacher in the state to take a 12% - 20% pay cut? Because that's what we're talking about here, Al. Let's not hide behind the term "benefit reforms" - these are teacher pay cuts, straight up.

All across America, anti-unionism is growing. Some of it is pure envy. More Americans are finding themselves without pensions and affordable health care. They want what public workers have and if they can’t have that, neither should public workers. But some of the push-back isn’t petty. It’s math. 
Property taxes, as they say in New York, are “too damn high.” Whether pension and health benefits for public employees are too generous or not does not matter. They are financially unsustainable. That’s the essence of Christie’s speech. 
Dear lord, that's such a shallow understanding of this entire issue. Americans are paying historically low taxes, but the middle class is still getting squeezed because all of the gains of the past 20 years have gone to the top 1%. Basing so much of our revenue stream on property taxes feeds into this, because property taxes are so regressive.

The "essence" of Christie's speech fails to address these very basic facts. You would think a journalist like Doblin would believe that part of his job is to inform his readers of these facts so they can make informed decisions about the merits of Christie's plan.

Instead, he fills his column with this tripe:
Americans have heard governors speak. They have heard unions speak. They have not heard themselves. As the debates spread from state to state to state, it is time for all the people who are not governors, legislators, union leaders, public employees or relations of the brothers Koch to realize they, too, have a voice.
Wow - the people should realize they have a voice. What an insight...

Al Doblin (staff photo)

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