I grew up in New Jersey, and I can assure you this: all over the state, suddenly-embattled Democratic legislators and apparatchiks are now routinely referring to Gov. Christie as “that fat [insert expletive here]” – with a wide range of choices for the expletive. Why?
Because that fat [insert expletive here] just told the unions that elections have consequences, and he’s one of them.
Governor Christie tells legislature NJ is in financial crisis
To summarize: Christie is executive-ordering out 2.2 billion from the existing NJ budget to make up for the shortfalls from the previous administration (while noting that the days of optimistic estimated revenue projections from the state government were over); the centerpiece to this is a reduction of school aid by half a billion, tied to existing surpluses in districts – essentially, a spend-what-you-have program. This – coupled with a subsidy cut to NJ Transit, with an explicit instruction to the entity that it’s going to have to revisit its union contracts – is of course infuriating the union wing of the NJ Democratic party, particularly since Christie is not calling for offsetting tax hikes*. Christie’s response?
“I’m trying to provide the leadership that’s necessary to say, ‘This is a new day, and we have to do it differently,'” Christie said. “If I can do that by cooperation, I’m happy to do that by cooperation, but at some point we have to get real.”
So if you were wondering whether your support of that fat [insert expletive here] last summer after the primary was going to turn around and bite you: well, so far… nope, it hasn’t. Right now, he’s ticking off all the right people.
*That last bit is possibly the most crucial: a large part of the Democratic domestic policy strategy lies in convincing people that public programs default to being absolutely necessary, absolutely urgent, and absolutely eternal.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.