Chris Christie’s Demands Versus What He Accepts [AUDIO]
Governor Chris Christie is revered by many because of his tough talk and direct style.
He’s reviled by others for his tough talk and direct style. Still, Christie has shown a willingness to agree to bi-partisan compromises to the point where he does things he vowed he would not.
Before signing a statutorily mandated 2% cap on property tax increases in July of 2010, Christie said he would accept nothing less than a constitutionally mandated cap that he originally set at 2.5%. While Democrats agreed to lower the limit they did not give the Governor what he said he had to have and he signed the cap law anyway.
For well over a year Christie has been demanding the elimination of huge, end-of-career payouts for public employees’ unused sick and vacation time. The Democrats sent him a watered down bill that capped cash-outs at $7,500. He vetoed the bill and has yet to get what he wants. Christie continues to say, “Zero means zero.”
While on the campaign trail, Christie promised to reshape the State Supreme Court because he feels justices are legislating from the bench. The Governor often cites the Abbott school funding decisions as evidence of an activist court.
Referring to reshaping the high court after becoming Governor, Christie said, “This is a long term process, but maybe not as quite long as people would think. I’m going to have the ability to nominate four justices out of seven on the Supreme Court in my first term.”
Democrats have rejected two of Christie’s first three High Court nominees.
Christie sometimes seems to take a victory lap before the race is actually over too. While not rising to the level of President George W. Bush’s now infamous, “mission accomplished” line, in the past few weeks Christie has said, “Here’s the one thing I know for sure; you’re going to get tax relief in 2012…I now have Democrats arguing with me about which tax to cut not whether to cut taxes anymore. We’ve turned Trenton upside down.”
Democrats have delivered a budget and related bills to Christie. Nowhere to be found is a guaranteed tax cut for 2012. There is money set aside for a to-be-determined tax cut in January of 2013, but only if revenues match Christie’s projections.
The Governor said he would not negotiate a budget with Democrats unless he also got a tax cut. He now has the budget bill, but not the tax cut. That’s an odd position for Christie to be in because in the past he has said, “When I say I’m going to do something, I do it and when I say I’m not going to do something, I don’t.”
Compromising in bi-partisan fashion or even settling for less than he ever said he would accept is not necessarily a bad thing. Even critics laud Christie for the property tax cap and the landmark public employee pension and health benefits reforms he ushered through with the help he needed from Democrats. Most pundits thought those two proposals would never become realities.