That was the theme of Governor Chris Christie’s keynote address at this year’s New Jersey Chamber of Commerce-hosted ‘Walk to Washington’ dinner in Washington, D.C., Save Jerseyans, and the Big Guy didn’t mince words when he discussed the ramifications of the Assembly’s failure to pass a renewed arbitration cap.
This wasn’t a fluffy “thanks for the invite” speech, although he did take the time to crack a few perfunctory jokes related to select attendees.
Additional pension reforms were also on the Republican executive’s mind, invoking the specter of Detroit for the second time in two days only hours after vetoing DRBA minutes which would’ve hiked that authority’s benefits costs.
“Is there anyone who really believe we’re going to ‘grow’ out of a $50 billion under-funding of our pension system?”
“This is not a problem we’re going to grow out of everybody,” Christie lectured the packed banquet hall. “And let me be clear to you. This is not about politics to me, because I’m never running in this state again. I’m done, and I can muddle through the next couple of budgets, and make due, and leave this mess for the person. But that’s been done too many times in this state.”
The Governor’s remarks were delivered with a backdrop that no one could’ve predicted back in 2009 when he declined to “take the train” to Washington to avoid the appearance of courting special interest groups. Scandals, elections and renewed Democrat confidence have changed Trenton’s governing dynamic such that it’s hard to imagine many legislators heeding the charismatic GOPer’s words since they seem resigned to wait him out.
Harsh realities didn’t stop Christie from giving a patented Christie lecture on his favorite major fiscal topics. “This is about the next person, whoever he or she is, and what we’re going to leave them to do it. So we can ignore it, if you, but it’s not going way, and it’s going to impact each and every one of you, and your businesses, and your employees,” Christie continued with a lowered voice and sharper tone.
It was him at his best, folks. We’d be in a different world right now if he had a legislature that had an incentive to listen. C’est la vie!
Click here to watch his full speech.