Chris Christie

While Republicans in Congress are falling short of their promise to cut at least $100 billion in spending for the rest of the fiscal year, Republican governors are starting to address the root cause of many of our states teetering on becoming the American equivalent of Greece. They are changing unsustainable terms for benefits and pensions of public employees.

Chris Christie of New Jersey has become just about the most popular politician in the country during his first year as governor by pursuing austerity in the state budget. Now, a new crop of governors including Rick Scott in Florida and John Kasich in Ohio are following similar paths. Rick Scott has turned down billions of dollars in federal taxpayer money to subsidize building of a high speed rail line which would ultimately cost the Florida taxpayers billions and for which there is no demonstrated economic need.

But the fastest rising star among the new governors is Scott Walker of Wisconsin whose challenge to public employee unions sparked protests by government employees in Madison, the state capital. All fourteen Democrats in the state senate have fled the state in order to deny Republicans a quorum to vote on Walker’s proposed bill. President Obama has again entered the debate on a state issue by attacking the side voted into office last November and defending public employee unions. Governor Walker’s response to Obama has been that the president should be focused on the deficit in Washington. Effectively he told the president to mind his own business.

Here is Governor Walker explaining what he is doing (via The Right Scoop):

Walker is standing by his proposal which still offers terms to public employees more generous than those enjoyed by most employees in the private sector. He also insists that there have to be some limits on the public unions’ collective bargaining rights so that state and local governments can meet the demands of the voters of Wisconsin and eliminate government spending they cannot afford.

We desperately need in Washington the clarity on the issues and resolve to address them that governors like Scott Walker and Chris Christie bring at the state level. Will Republican leaders in Congress join their freshman colleagues who were elected with Tea Party support and draw a firm line on cutting federal spending in every area including entitlements and defense?

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New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, the leading Republican non-candidate for president, today talked at the American Enterprise Institute about “doing the big things.” And he doesn’t mean the phony “investments” in high-speed trains and other nonsense that President Obama advocates. He discusses how both Democrats and Republicans in Washington are too timid to talk about entitlement programs and don’t understand the need to be specific:

Here is the truth that nobody is talking about: You are going to have to raise the retirement age for Social Security! Whoa! I just said it and I am still standing here. I did not vaporize into the carpeting. And I said it. We have to reform Medicare because it costs too much and it is going to bankrupt us. Once again lightening did not come through the windows and strike me dead. And we have to fix Medicaid because it is not only bankrupting the federal government, it is bankrupting every state government. There you go. If we are not honest about these things – on the state level about pensions and benefits and on the federal level about Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – we are on the path to ruin.

Christie argues that people today are ready to hear the truth and will reward straight talk about what needs to be done. He talks about the need for a leader to come out first and propose a plan, not wait for his opponents to stick out their necks. A leader has to have the spine to take risk. What a contrast to President Obama who said yesterday that he would start talking about entitlement reform if Republicans go first.

Too bad Governor Christie honestly does not want to run for president, at least at this time. The nation needs a leader like Christie rather than the current occupant of the White House.

Click here to watch the full hour-long video of Christie’s talk at the AEI.

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More clear talk from the governor that knows how to turn around a basket case government:

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Watch these two clips of President Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Both talk about compromises they have made. Obama is angry, negative, thin-skinned and already attacks the Republican he made a deal with:

And here is Chris Christie announcing a compromise with a Democrat legislature in his quest to return New Jersey to fiscal sanity. He is confident and positive about what was accomplished and has stuck to his principles and magnanimous to his political opponents who stand beside him as he announces their achievement.

What a contrast in leadership. No wonder Democrats are afraid of Chris Christie. The governor has been adamant that he will not be a candidate for president and there is no reason to doubt his sincerity. New Jersey’s gain, America’s loss.

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Former Washington, DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee talks to Neil Cavuto about education and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s efforts to reform New Jersey’s schools and government.

Rhee makes the important point that over the past decades spending on education has increased enormously without yielding results and that reforming our schools is not about spending even more. Rhee has been successful in standing up to teacher unions in Washington, DC. She fired incompetent teachers and has delivered measurable improvements in DC’s public school system. The teacher unions managed to oust the DC mayor who appointed Rhee and she recently resigned from her post, but Michelle Rhee remains an important voice about education reform that works.

Michelle Rhee is featured in a recent documentary on the dismal state of many of America’s public schools: Waiting for Superman

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