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Poll: Chris Christie’s Budget Address – Empty Sound Bites or Real Solutions?

The governor says he can fix what ails New Jersey's finances – Does his message resonate or is it the same old story?

Gov. Chris Christie released his initial 2016 budget proposal on Tuesday, calling for a $33.8 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. But he spent most of his budget address telling the Legislature that the pension-liability crisis is the biggest problem ailing New Jersey and that he had a plan to fix it. He boasted of agreements with the state’s largest teachers union, the New Jersey Education Association, and pledged he would approve no new taxes.

What do you think of the governor’s message?

  • He’s right. The looming pension and health-benefits crisis is the biggest problem we face and he’s tackling it head-on. His pension commission has released a report that outlines how we can navigate our way out of this mess, and he has the NJEA talking at the table. This problem was not of his making and at least he’s trying to fix it.

  • It was a great speech but a little light on details. While Christie has put more money into the pension system than any previous governor, it’s simply not enough to make up for past misdeeds. Just like any other pension, the less time money has to grow, the more money has to be put in at the end. I just hope we can get a deal now to solve the problem, but it’s going to be up to the players.

  • Christie gives a great sound bite, but it’s what he doesn’t say that tells the real story. He’s like the magician who diverts your attention with a bright shiny ball. No mention of the Transportation Trust Fund, which will be empty at the beginning of the next fiscal year. No mention of true investment in New Jersey, which is falling behind neighboring states economically. No details on the so-called agreement with the unions or how a smaller pension system will be funded. And no mention of the judge’s order to find an additional $1.6 billion in this year to fund the current system.

  • Christie really threw the NJEA under the bus by waving around its supposed agreement to his plan, which has little substance. Now the other unions are up in arms and they aren’t buying his story -- why should they? He’s already burned them once. The fact is, he’s now complaining about a law that he not only signed, but which also launched his career nationally. Sometimes it's hard to follow through on promises but most of us learn as kids that its something you need to do. I guess Christie was absent that day.

  • I am sick of being held hostage to this guy’s ill-fated presidential ambitions. These problems are fixable. No one likes tax hikes. But a millionaire’s tax and an increase in the gas tax would go a long way to solving these problems, as well as making New Jersey more competitive and stable. The longer we avoid addressing the problem, the bigger it becomes. A real leader would put the state before his own career aspirations.

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