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

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The "Passion" of Chris Christie

Our governor just can't understand why, after two years of relentless teacher bashing, broken promises, and slashed salaries, anybody wouldn't want to go into public service:

I think for those people who are feeling discouraged right now, because they're going to have to pay a percentage of their health insurance premium, or they're going to have to pay one or two points more towards a lifetime pension, then I would suggest to you respectfully that those people have completely lost touch with reality, and probably didn't have the passion to begin with.
See, all you cops and firefighters, you've got to understand that you can't expect to make salaries in the high five-figures just because you do a job where people point guns at your head or you run into burning buildings. And teachers, you should be thrilled that you work 5/6 of the time but get paid 2/3 as much as other college graduates. But don't worry - Christie wants you to make more! He can't say how much more, because he won't say where he'll get the money, which you'll only get if your students pass a test you can't see that has huge error rates...

Also, be prepared for when you become a teacher and your governor tells a room full of teenagers that you don't care about them. That's the sort of prestige you get when you pursue a career in education. Ready to sign up?

Now, it is true that the governor wants to break the promise that was made to you to have a modest COLA on your pension, because he needs the money to keep taxes low on millionaires (apparently, they create jobs, although no one knows where these jobs are right now...). So, yes, the value of your pension will degrade every year, even though you are now paying more than ever and Christie still won't pay the state's share, putting the solvency of the whole thing in grave doubt.

And, yes, you public servants are taking pay cuts of up to 10% or even more to pay for increasingly crappy health insurance with larger copays and larger deductibles, and nothing is being done to rein in outrageous cost increases while contractors like George Norcross reap untold millions of dollars off of your hard work.

But if you have a problem with any of this... it's YOUR fault! YOU aren't passionate enough! And if you need an example of how to be passionate, look no further than your governor, Chris Christie!

Yes, friends, Chris Christie also had a passion as a young man: corporate lobbying! He felt so passionate about his "life's calling" that he made the sacrifice of becoming a very, very rich man living in a very, very big house with a wife who works part-time yet pulls down half-a-mil a year.

So, all you young people who are looking at a career in public service: follow your hearts, just like Chris Christie! Live your dreams, even if that means sacrificing decent health care for your family and a modest pension. I mean, look at all Chris Christie gave up...

Chris Christie says: "Look at the sacrifice I made to follow my passion! Why can't you cops and firefighters and teachers do the same?"

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