Christie: “There’s no one left to pay for this problem”

Or, as Allahpundit notes, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

(Obama should take notes.)

(Didn’t the Greeks say this a few months ago?)

Who would’ve thought last November that Christie would end up the statesman that he is?  Rich Lowry says it’s a combination of principle and pragmatism.  I agree.  He writes:

Christie has just concluded a six-month whirlwind through Trenton that should be studied by political scientists for years to come. In tackling a fiscal crisis in a state groaning under an $11 billion deficit, he did his fellow New Jerseyans the favor of being as forthright as a punch in the mouth. And it worked.

Christie traveled the state making the case for budgetary retrenchment, and he frontally took on the state’s most powerful interest, the teachers’ union. He rallied the public and split the Democrats, in a bravura performance in the lost art of persuasion. At the national level, George W. Bush thought repeating the same stalwart lines over and over again counted as making an argument, and Barack Obama has simply muscled through his agenda on inflated Democratic majorities. Christie actually connected.

He matched unyielding principle (determined to balance the budget without raising taxes, he vetoed a millionaires’ tax within minutes of its passage) with a willingness to take half a loaf (he wanted a constitutional amendment to limit property taxes to 2.5 percent, but settled with Democrats for an imperfect statutory limit). He’ll need an Act II to get deeper, institutional reforms, but New Jersey is now separating itself from those other notorious wastrels, California and Illinois.    

Allahpundit has the numbers on the pension showdown in NJ.  I admire Christie’s attitude (and fortitude).  When liberals persist in the meme that only liberals care about people–in this case, the state pensioners–they do more harm than good; liberals have driven the state into near-bankruptcy and the pension system into insolvency, all in the name of “caring” with automatic nine percent annual increases.  Want to see caring in action?  Watch Christie.  Yes, there will be some sacrifice; but he wants to ensure that the pension system survives for those to whom it was promised.  The payout won’t equal the liberal fantasy promises of politicians long since passed, but which is better: all, nothing, or something in between?

UPDATE: linked by Pundette.  Muchas Gracias!

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