American Elephants


Test Cases On a Very Large Scale. by The Elephant's Child

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie paid a visit to the offices of the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, and he had a message for the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.  He  advised GOP leaders to reject funding requests from Governors like him.

“Say no to us in terms of more money, said Mr. Christie. “We’ve got to walk the walk as Republicans… and now that we’ve got 29 Republican Governors, we shouldn’t be lining up with our hands out saying, “We know what we said, but come on, give us a little help here.”

He said that if the new House majority is to be successful, they must define success differently, so that a Representative is no longer measured and valued based on how much federal funding he rings home to his district.  He said he was delivering his message directly to the new Speaker of the House John Boehner.

The earth didn’t shake and lightning didn’t strike, but it is not exactly usual for a governor to suggest that Congress appropriate less money and write smaller checks.

___________________________

Late on Tuesday night, Democrats in the Illinois house and senate rammed through Governor Pat Quinn’s 67% hike in the state income tax and a nearly 50% jump in the state corporate tax.  The increase will add $1,400 to the average family’s tax bill, and it will probably not help job creation in a state that has lost 374,000 jobs since 2008.

Governors in close-by states, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Mitch Daniels of Indiana are happy to welcome Illinois’ departing businesses.  The higher income tax and the increases taxes on small businesses and corporations will make Illinois one of the most expensive places in the world to conduct business.  It does not repair the state’s $150 billion unfunded pension problem, and it authorizes nearly $4 billion in new debt to fund the state’s pension payments this year.

This was all accomplished in a last-minute lame duck session before the newly elected legislature could be sworn in.  It might not have passed if newly elected Republicans were sworn in.

Be a good idea to keep an eye on Illinois, California and New York.  It may well turn out to be an important case study, if the House refuses bail outs, as they should. If you reward mismanagement, you’re apt to get more of it.–



Governor Chris Christie Talks About Accountability. by The Elephant's Child
June 17, 2010, 12:47 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Education, Politics | Tags: , ,

Here is Governor Chris Christie at a Town Hall meeting in Perth Amboy, New Jersey on June 15, 2010.  How refreshing to hear someone talk to people as if they were grown-ups.  I can’t get enough of this man.  He speaks from the heart without a stutter or a stammer, says here are our problems and here’s how we can solve them together.



Leadership and Straight Talk! A Remarkable Idea! by The Elephant's Child
April 21, 2010, 6:38 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Conservatism, Economy | Tags: ,

The News from New Jersey:  Last week, Governor Chris Christie urged voters to reject school budgets in districts where teachers refused to freeze their pay to help the beleaguered state keep spending in check.

Yesterday, voters in over half of the state’s school districts did just that. New Jersey voters usually approve more than 70 percent of the school budgets. Voter turnout was high.

Governor Christie took his case to the people.  He made no excuses or apologies for what he is doing to return New Jersey to fiscal health.  Democrats whine.  Teachers’ unions prayed for his death!  But the voters responded.  This will strengthen Christie’s hand with recalcitrant legislators.  This is called  Leadership, and it’s working in one of the bluest states.  People respond to straight talk and honesty.

(H/T: Ace of Spades)



Making Adult Decisions in the Face of a Crisis. by The Elephant's Child
April 14, 2010, 12:03 am
Filed under: Conservatism, Economy, Education, Health Care, Taxes | Tags: , ,

New Jersey is in very bad shape.  Gross mismanagement and foolish taxes have left New Jersey with a $10.7 billion gap on a total state budget of $20.3 billion.  That’s a very big gap.  New Governor Chris Christie’s answer is clear and simple: “a smaller government that lives within its means.”

Governor Christie is not going to solve the problems of New Jersey by increasing taxes. He’s going to do it by cutting spending.  The Wall Street Journal’s Bill McGurn says “Governor Christie is “offering the voters a dose of Reagan Republicanism — with a New Jersey twist.”

Cutting spending in not only not easy, but it usually results in a lot of screaming. It has been a long time since anyone in New Jersey has been serious about cutting spending and cutting $11 billion  gets a lot of screaming.

The Governor has asked the teachers’ union to take a pay freeze for one year, and to contribute 1.5 % of their income  towards their health insurance. Currently, teachers receive free family medical, dental and vision coverageFree, for life.  Comes the screaming!

The head of the teachers’ union sent out an email to all teachers in the state, asking them to pray for the death of Governor Christie.  They also wail about “the children.” As if the quality of the children’s education depends on the teachers’ not having to contribute a little to their own health insurance.

The Gormogans are also smitten.  This kind of straight talk gets a lot of respect  They have a clip of Governor Christie on “Morning Joe” that is very worth every second of your time. The governor has a long way to go yet before New Jersey is in the black, but you really have to admire what he is doing, and his straight talk, and straight thinking.

And the example he is setting for governors all around the country.  When he gets through with New Jersey, maybe we can get him to move here?

ADDENDUM: Gov. Christie is taking $65 million, the entire allocation, from the state’s global warming fund, and $9.5 million, from the toxic waste site cleanup program, to help close the over $10 billion deficit in his $29.3 billion 2010-2011 budget, the state environmental protection commissioner said Monday.

Commissioner Bob Martin said he hopes the loss of the $65 million funding, for the state’s role in a regional effort to combat global warming, will only be for one year.  The DEP staff, he told the committee, will continue to attempt to work against global warming and so-called greenhouse gasses despite the lack of money.  I expect the DEP staff will be just as effective this year as they were last year.
(h/t: Moe Lane)



Massachusetts Isn’t Alone by American Elephant
January 20, 2010, 6:47 am
Filed under: Democrat Corruption | Tags: , ,

While all eyes were on the epic upset by Senator-elect Brown in Massachusetts yesterday, another seismic political event was occurring with little notice just a few states down the Eastern Seaboard: Republican Chris Christie was inaugurated Governor of New Jersey. Another deep-blue state fighting back against Democrat corruption and their command and control policies.

Congratulations and Godspeed to Governor Christie. New Jersey is a mess, and he has his work cut out for him!




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