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When it comes to holding the line on spending, Chris Christie is all talk and no action. If you still think he's presidential material, or some kind of conservative, consider this.
He imposed a hard 2% cap on municipal, county, and school district budget increases. Because, he said, taxes are killing us here in New Jersey.
So imagine my surprise when he took to the Assembly chamber today to present his annual budget address. We already knew he was gonna cave on Obamacare. But nothing prepared me for the full extent of his duplicity.
His budget proposal calls for a record $32.9 billion in spending, a 4% increase over last year, with pretty much every line item seeing an increase.
More money for education? Check.
More money for public employee pensions? Check.
More money towards Obamacare? Check.
More spending on Hurricane Sandy relief? But of course.
More borrowing for transportation funding? Sure. Why not? Everybody else did it.
Then he has the unmitigated gall to say this:
He urged the Legislature the pass bills that would close loopholes allowing towns to exceed the cap by instituting user fees and eliminate sick-leave payouts.
"Those who were supposed to be responsible for controlling taxes and spending before we came to office fundamentally deceived the people of our state," he said. "They said yes to everything — yes to higher taxes. Yes to more spending. We must not return to that era of recklessness and deceit."
Curiously, the income tax cut he promised last year, and failed to provide, is missing this year. And property tax rebates are pushed back. Again.
So here's Chris Christie. Saying yes to higher taxes. And saying yes to more spending. Increasing our debt load. Exceeding his own cap. But somehow we are no longer in the era of recklessness and deceit.
What a putz.
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