It was only a few months ago that hardly anyone outside of New Jersey knew who Chris Christie was. In fact, if you were like me, you knew he existed but only in a partially negative way. I remember during the New Jersey primaries his name was being bandied about but it was mostly because Conservatives were mad that a “pseudo-Conservative” beat out the “solid-Conservative” in the primaries. However, Christie DID win that primary and after convincing GOP leaders to support him, he went on to defeat the horribly corrupt Governor Corzine in a stunning political upset. A Republican Governor in New Jersey? That just couldn’t happen and, if it did, it certainly couldn’t be a Conservative Republican! Could it? Christie was actually the FIRST Republican elected in New Jersey to any statewide office in 12 years.
Yet, the battles for the new Governor Chris Christie had really just begun. He entered the New Jersey Governor’s office with a state that had the highest property taxes, the highest unemployment, the largest deficits, the biggest union benefits, the highest number of state employees, and the highest ranking state in corruption and scandals! His state was in huge trouble. New Jersey was sinking fast and was quickly becoming a pimple on the face of the United States map.
For a state accustomed to being last on the list of greatness and used to the consequences of being in the middle of a liberal cesspool, I’m not sure anyone expected the housecleaning that would follow the election of Chris Christie. In the short five months since he’s been sworn in as governor, he’s declared a state of emergency by signing an executive order that froze state spending, thereby alleviating $13 Billion in just 8 weeks. His first budget presented to the state legislature cut more than 9% in state spending. He is privatizing as much government as possible and is projecting at least 1,300 government layoffs. He’s capped property tax increases after watching them rise by 70% in just the last ten years.
The teacher’s unions hate him and you know the old adage, “You can tell a man by his enemies!” He’s cutting school budgets by 5% and they are incensed. Nobody wants to see spending cut on education but when a state has dug itself into a hole that is quickly resembling a grave, radical steps have to be taken. He has proposed that teachers accept a one year wage freeze in order to avoid any more cuts. That was like pouring fuel on a raging fire! What you won’t hear on the news is that while New Jersey has lost more than 112,000 jobs, teacher’s pay increased by more than 5%, DOUBLE the rate of inflation. Does that add up to you? I don’t think so.
Taxes in New Jersey were raised 115 times in the last eight years! 115 times!! Studies have shown that the top 1% of New Jersey’s citizens were being strangled by paying 40% of the tax burden causing them to leave the state in droves. That’s simply unsustainable and Christi knows it. He’s determined to do what he must in order to slash taxes, cut state spending and give relief to the hardest working citizens of his state. In a budget address he said, “If we make the tough decisions now, we will be one year ahead of 80% of the states in the race to economic growth. If we fail to act, we will fall even further behind. By going first, we can become first.”
Recently he’s led the charge for school vouchers which would also greatly alleviate state spending. It was passed unanimously. This would set up a five year pilot program that would also provide tax credits to businesses who donate to the scholarship fund. Every low income student in a district with a failing school would be eligible for this fund. Private or public schools who accept the student would have to accept from the scholarship fund for their tuition. Schools would either be forced to improve their performance or they will lose students and the funding that is attached to each student. More than 4,000 students will be positively affected by this common sense program in just the first year.
The list goes on for Governor Christie’s performance thus far! His no-nonsense approach to entrenched interest groups, corrupt unions and years of liberal governing is a huge breath of fresh air! But none of that is what put Governor Christie on the public radar this week. Instead, it was simply a two minute video clip where Christie ripped into an obnoxious liberal journalist after the journalist accused him of being “confrontational.” Conservative hearts all over the world went thumpity-thump during those short 2 minutes! After telling the reporter he was the “thinnest skinned guy in America,” he went on to teach the rest of America what he was elected for and hopefully other Republican politicians and future candidates were listening and taking notes.
He proudly noted that he wasn’t there to play the game of politics or to be UN-confrontational. He reminded the group that he was elected because of his political beliefs in smaller government and individual freedom and it was those beliefs that he would fight for. He threw all caution to the wind and lamblasted the reporter for thinking he was moving in this direction with only a thought to future elections instead of solving the current crisis.
This clip went viral almost immediately and it’s because America is hungry…STARVING… for real leadership. Those of us who saw it were cheering and sharing this wonderful phenomenon called Guts with everyone we could forward it to. We are tired of the namby-pamby political games, each politician vying for what they can personally get out of each deal. We are tired of Republicans running on Conservative platforms only to cave almost immediately to the political pressures of Washington. Most people get elected and BECOME influenced, while few get elected and ACTUALLY influence.
This should prove to every Republican politician and every future candidate that battle scars from fighting on the fields of principle are wounds worth carrying proudly. Nobody remembers the wimp and statues are never erected to those who govern with their tails between their legs.
We’ll continue to watch Chris Christie and will cheer for him and any other Conservative leaders that begin to step forward and lead with solid conservative values. In doing so, we’ll continue to give fair warning to those who step off that narrow road and into the one that is often more easily traveled.