City Journal Summer 2014

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Summer 2014
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Nicole Gelinas
Chris Christie’s Second Act « Back to Story

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The NJ legislature is democrat-dominated. That has to change first.
Mr. Schaben: As an NJ licensed attorney who does (among other things) transportation work, I occasionally get calls from out of state truckers who get their vehicles impounded by roving New Jersey tax assessors, until the trucking company pays what New Jersey calls a "jeopardy assessment." It's basically an on the spot assessment of what the owner of the trucking company allegedly owes for the privilege of doing business in New Jersey.

I've never been able to find out how the estimated taxes are calculated, but the assessments are usually big numbers - some in the mid-five figures - but always seem to just under the worth of the vehicle(s) impounded. I once described it to an unamused Texan trucker as New Jersey's version of the southern sheriff.
Those who find themselves subject to a JA usually swear off doing business in New Jersey. Just one of many (MANY) ways the Garden State does all it can to make sure business is not welcome here.
Christie talks tough, but I don't rust him. He selected a radical Muslim to the bench in his state.
New Jersey should be doing just fine. We own one truck and live in the State of Nebraska We are required by NJ to pay $1000 before driving on its highways. NJ should have plenty of money from trucking companies
Great article but one of the items you missed was the extraordinary difficulties that Christie is working under - among other tings when it comes to the media he is literally in the belly of the beast, and has to face an unbelievably hostile environment - the networks (except for Fox) and major newspapers all against him, and he has both houses of the legislature unalterably opposed to virtually anything he does.

He also has an electorate that has been beaten down by decades of abuse. At one time New Jersey has no sales tax and no income tax - in fact, the income tax was sold to the voters as a cure for what was, in the '70's high real estate taxes. Now, of course, the situation is far worse - homeowners in New Jersey face both high income taxes and practically confiscatory real estate taxes. My father was forced to sell his $600,000 home in South Orange because of yearly taxes of $21,000. For this reason, an aide to a Senator from another State rightfully described New Jersey voters as masochistic, for re-electing the same people year after year.

You shouldn't expect anything different in a State next to epicenters of pro-Democrat media in New York and Philadelphia. If anything, what is happening in New Jersey is illustrative of the power of the pro-Democrat news/entertainment complex - led of course by the traditional major networks and the New York Times and Philadelphia Enquirer. None of these news organizations have questioned the inherent conflict of interest that exists when public sector unions are allowed to make campaign donations to the very politicians who determine their wages and benefits. And, of course, there are now so many public sector workers that they constitute a major voting block - in fact, in New York the public sector unions have a separate political party, ironically named the "Working Families Party." It is only a matter of time before the unions in New Jersey form a similar type of organization, funded, indirectly or directly, by taxpayer money.

And of course, there is corruption, much of it uncovered by Christie when he was a U.S. attorney - but it clearly is still out there, and much of it is institutionalized.

In view of the foregoing, Christie has a monumental task - he has to face off against Democrats and their media allies, and in fact, in the New York metro area the Democrat party and the media can be better thought of as two departments of one organization - something that is now also true on a national level, but this model was perfected in New York before moving national. but, Christie also has had to fight Republicans in New Jersey, who are thoroughly browbeaten by years of battle with the Democrat/media complex. Republican leaders in New Jersey have in the past couple of decades taken a "go along, get along" approach, in an effort to save the last few areas of Republican control. It's a losing strategy, but Republicans have been so demoralized that it has seemed the only way to go. Christie is trying to change this attitude but it is slow going. And remember, Christie's predecessor, Jon Corzine, injected millions and millions of dollars of his own money into the local Democrat party county organizations. Being outspent and facing an incredibly one sided media, is it any wonder that many Republicans in New Jersey had more or less given up before Christie came along?

Hopefully, Christie can breath new life into New Jersey. The alternative is grim - what New Jersey faces is an ever lowering of living standards, and an ever shrinking population. Sometimes an effective leader can make a profound difference, and for the people of New Jersey - especially the public sector workers who will kill the goose if things don't change, it is imperative that Christie succeeds.

Note to BS - the effect of a millionaire's tax is simply that the millionaire's simply move away and you end up collecting even less taxes than you did before imposition of the tax. indeed, that has happened in New Jersey where $80 billion worth of wealth has upped and left in the past few years.
@johsil
It wasn't the public employees that created the crisis, nor have they refused to share the pain. Demonizing unions is a political strategy, not a practical solution.
Woody Allen (or actually his character in 'Sleeper'), was asked at one point in that film if he believed in God. Allen replied that he believed that "there is an Intelligence that guides the universe, except in parts of New Jersey".
Only someone who has grown up and spent most of his adult life, raised a family, and retired in that state (this writer) can appreciate the truth in that supposedly humorous statement.
Its true. Take my word for it.

Howard S.
He juggles with rotten eggs; any drop, a big stink. And that will mean egg on his face. It had better not be all bravado after the solid start that excited citizens in other bankrupt states.A prayer for him is a prayer for us all.
It seems that public employees think they are much put upon and there are unlimited numbers of "rich" people who aren't paying their way. It may be the case that both the rich and public employees benefit at the expense of the rest of us.
The governor is taking his victory lap, hoping that the nation is ready for an obese president, but time has a way of changing things. As the first Republican president suggested, you can't fool all of us all the time. Cutting budgets, services and jobs won't solve our economic problems. See how decreasing revenue wears the GOP's no tax/no spend meme thin over the next year.
You have missed the boat here. Last year, the governor had the opportunity to restore 1 billion in taxes on the wealthiest citizens which they were already paying in December. He kept driving his "we must all share the pain" speech. What additional sacrifices have the wealthy made since his inauguration? NONE. How has the state benefited from this break? Hardly at all, except for the wealthy. And he wants to pay for this break on the backs of teachers, police, and firefighters. Disgusting. He wants to cap EVERYTHING regarding public workers, yet has instituted no regulation whatsoever on out of control health care costs (ie 30% insurance increases in a single year, as an example). Chris Christie is no more than true government representation: "of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich", AT THE EXPENSE OF EVERYONE ELSE. And the scary thing is the public is buying the garbage.