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Top Dem Blasts Christie’s Shrinking Government Boast [POLL/AUDIO]

During many of his major, high-profile speeches, Governor Chris Christie highlights the fact that he has reduced the size of government.

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He mentioned the statistics in his State Budget Address last Tuesday.

The top Democrat in the General Assembly thinks the Governor should not be bragging.

“I think the Governor is trying to demonstrate that one of the ways he has saved the taxpayers’ money is by reducing the size of public employment, but I don’t think it should be worn as a badge of honor,” explains Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver. “You should see some of the services that are now not provided and I think police and fire is numero uno.”

Christie says New Jersey is turning around and growing, but what is not growing is the size of government.

“Today there are 5,200 fewer state government employees than when we took office,” says the Governor. “In fact, there are over 20,000 fewer government employees across all levels of government. We promised smaller government to our people and we delivered.”

The Speaker feels the state’s unemployment rate is 9.6-percent in part because of the public sector job cuts during the Christie Administration.

“Let’s talk about something else,” says Oliver. “Let’s talk about 168 police officers that had to be laid off right here in the city of Trenton. Correlate that to the number homicides and other violent crimes you’ll see in this community.”

Christie’s budget proposal does include money for new State Police recruits. The Governor does not shy away from the fact that he is shrinking government, but he also has numbers on his side when he talks about private sector job growth.

“Since January 2010, New Jersey has added 103,000 new private sector jobs,” explains Christie. “The last two years – 2011 and 2012 – have been the best two years of private sector job growth since 1999. We have defeated New Jersey’s jobless decade through fiscal responsibility and pro-growth tax policies.

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NEXT STORY: NJ Republicans Hope to Ride Christie's Coattails

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