Texas and New Jersey: perfect together.

No, really.

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers. And Campaign Spot readers.

The New Ledger sat down with Governor Rick Perry a few weeks ago, and in the course of talking about Perry’s success (and his working principles of governing) came this exchange:

TNL: …do you think Republicans will win if they embrace that sort of approach in other states with all their challenges? And what does that look like?

Well, look at a state like Virginia, where Bob [McDonnell] just won by doing something very similar. He said we’re going to stop spending irresponsibly, we’re going to cut taxes, we’re going to encourage and enable those who risk their capital — job creators — and having what I would describe as a progressive energy policy, where he’s going to drill offshore in a way that’s environmentally sensitive and happens to be supported by his two Democratic senators.

That’s all pretty simple. These are not complex things — they’re challenging, but they’re straightforward. It’s not about understanding what you need to do as much as it is about having the courage to do it.

You look at a state like California. There are going to be some really tough decisions that have to be made to save that state. If Jerry Brown gets up and says “I’ve figured out a way to make this less painful,” well, here, smoke this — because at the end of the day, it’s going to be painful. Because that’s a state that has for too long made the easy decisions instead of the hard decisions.

If you are a state that has just said yes all the time to everything, there is a comeuppance, a day of reckoning for you. It’s right now.

It’s ‘right now’ in New Jersey, too.

N.J. Transit to Cut Jobs, Salaries Amid Deficit

New Jersey Transit, the third- busiest U.S. commuter-rail service, will cut 200 jobs, reduce executive salaries by 5 percent and trim contributions into employees’ 401k retirement plans by one-third to help close a $300 million budget deficit.

The firings of both unionized and non-union employees will total about 2 percent of the workforce, the biggest one-year reduction in agency history, Executive Director James Weinstein said today in a statement. Plans to raise fares and cut service will be disclosed next week, he said.


N.J.’s Christie Calls for ‘Shared Sacrifice’ in Cuts

Christie, speaking today at the first meeting of his Council of Economic Advisers at Princeton University, said public employees received raises of 4 percent to 5 percent, free or low-cost health insurance and higher pensions as the private sector was contracting, cutting pay and salaries.


Christie has warned the state’s almost 600 school districts to plan for 15 percent budget cuts and said municipalities and social services may face similar reductions.

The governor has called for changing state public-union arbitration laws to give governments more leverage in negotiations.


Governor Christie: “Time to Hold Hands and Jump Off the Cliff” – Chris Christie For President?

…You know, at some point there has to be parity. There has to be parity between what is happening in the real world, and what is happening in the public sector world. The money does not grow on trees outside this building or outside your municipal building. It comes from the hard working people of our communities who are suffering and are hurting right now.

I heard someone in the legislature say two days ago that they wanted no fare hike in New Jersey Transit, no cuts in service, and no cuts in subsidy. And I was thinking to myself, man I should have made this guy treasurer. [Laughter] Because if you can pull that one off, you’re obviously magic.

This is the type of awful political rhetoric that people sent me to this city to stop.

I would love to be able to do that, but I can’t. I would love to tell you that municipal aid will stay level, but it’s not. And it’s not because we don’t have the money. So you need to prepare. You need to prepare for what’s coming down the line because we have no choice but to do these things.

The video of the full speech is here, and ladies and gentlemen: you will not find it dull. All in all, there are very real, very painful, and very responsible fiscal decisions being made in New Jersey right now. And how are the voters reacting to that?

Poll finds N.J. majority backs work of Gov. Chris Christie

A Fairleigh Dickinson-PublicMind poll released today shows 52 percent of the respondents support the governor’s policies.

Republicans approve by a ratio of 10-to-one. Thirty-eight percent of Democrats approve and 33 percent disapprove. Independent voters approve of the governor 43 to 17 percent.

New Jersey isn’t purple, ladies and gentlemen. It’s blue. And yet, registered voters in NJ are receptive to this governor’s program.  Keep that in mind.

Moe Lane

PS: If Chris Christie pulls this off he won’t be able to run to President: New Jersey Republicans will guard the border with sticks in order to keep that from happening.  Yes, indeed, much like they do in Louisiana.

Crossposted to RedState.


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  • Andrew says:

    The weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth has begun in VA. The ‘educators’ led by a bus driver organized a protest against education cuts marched into Richmond and shoved small children in front of the cameras to plead for their jobs.

  • FrancisT says:

    It applies in Europe too. Here’s a nice bit of British humor on the public employee issue:

  • Buck O'Fama says:

    Having lived in NJ for all of my 58 years, I thought this MUST be a typo. Did he say DECREASE spending? Yikes, what’s gonna be next, my Congressman suddenly speaking out of only ONE side of his mouth? What a concept.

  • Will says:

    The secret for Texas is very simple.

    1. Right to work

    2. Energy production a priority

    3. And most immportant SMALL GOVERNMENT – the Governor has limited powers, the legislature is mandated by the State Constitution to meet every 2 years for 140 days. They must complete their work before they adjourn. Many Texans feel the State Constitution has a typo and the intent was to have the legislature meet for 2 days every 140 years.

    It is amzing what can happen when you have limited government.

  • Jerseyite says:

    Listen, Christie has already impressed me. I figured him to be like another Christie (Whitman), but he is showing some backbone.

    Unfortunately, the “cuts” Christie has proposed so far is just pi**ing in the wind. The real cuts needed are perhaps ten orders of magnitude greater than those so far proposed. For this to happen he will need not only to overcome Dem majority opposition in the NJ legislature (which may take an election) he will need to push for new constitutional ammendments and/or many new judge appointments to stop spending that is built into the constitution (thorough and efficient education, pension guarantees, etc).

    Even Christie might not have the stomach for that (haha)

    When I saw your headline I was hoping that Texas was willing to merge with NJ so we could adopt their constitution (and their tax base)- now that would be a real solution. Barring that, NJ is toast without a Federal rescue (like CA, NY, MI, IL, etc).

    And this is exactly what Obama wants- he wants to contrast evil budget cuts that eliminate teachers and cops with him on his white horse spraying Federal money around to save the day. The only way to prevent this is for enough voters from responsibly run states (like TX, IN) to yell “enough”. Unfortunately they will likely be outnumbered.

  • The Monster says:

    “The real cuts needed are perhaps ten orders of magnitude greater than those so far proposed.”

    I don’t think you know what an “order of magnitude” is. “Ten orders of magnitude greater” would be an increase of a factor of ten billion. I don’t think the NJ budget is ten billion times what it should be.

  • toad says:

    Governors are important as Presidents, Senators, and Reps.
    A popular governor has coat tails and can increase the numbers of his party in the state legislatures. He can set the battle field so to speak for national elections. Strong governors from states with large populations are going to have a strong influence on who gets to be their parties presidential candidate. Also the fiscal conservative state governors and legislatures are starting to lay the ground work for Supreme Court federalism law suits. The disparity between the financial health of between bleu run and red run states is becoming more apparent to voters. So come 2012 there is a high probability that the Left will have nothing.
    Even their bunkers in the academic world will probably be getting cracked open, kiss your tenure goodbye.

  • abprosper says:

    Saw you guys on Mish. Nice to see folks getting out there in the world.

    I want to add one thing, to those states that often claim “small government” well yeah, kind of. Drug laws, vice laws and so on are also “big government”.

    Also with few exceptions (energy rich Texas) the Red states are mostly welfare queens who take in more in federal funds than they put in. I can guarantee it if the federal spigot were to be cut completely off save maybe for federal highways, none of those states would function long.

  • Mauther says:

    RE: Abprosper: “Also with few exceptions (energy rich Texas) the Red states are mostly welfare queens who take in more in federal funds than they put in.”

    This is a technical trueth. Most of those Federal funds however are either interstate infrastructure, farm subsidies, or defense spending. In non-agriculture entitlement spending, the blue states lead the charge.

  • Pixelkiller says:

    Nice speech, but I’m keeping my powder dry. I’ve heard this kind of thing before. (34 years in Doity Joisey)

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