Our 2009 crop of new conservative governors have already made huge differences in their states.
Gov. McDonnell did the unthinkable and turned a multi-billion dollar deficit into a huge surplus with deep budget cuts and brilliant cost saving measures. One I would like to highlight is the way he incentivized public employees to save taxpayer dollars. Usually, public employees in leadership positions are pressured to spend all the money in their budgets, even if they don’t need to, because if they have money left over, it goes for naught. They may even face budget cuts as a result and are thought ineffective or poor planners by their own leadership and subordinates. McDonnell changed that fundamental dynamic by setting specific cost saving goals for public employees and incentivizing them to reach those cost savings with a percentage of the savings going to pay bonuses. At every level, those same smart people who found ways to spend money figured out ways to cut it instead. That is how you cut the fat. That is good governance. I call on all conservative governors and legislatures across the nation to imitate this common sense approach at all levels of government. It could be taken one step further as well – instead of merely increasing public employee salaries, the budget could include a “carryover” provision so that a percentage of unspent monies can go into the following year’s budget.
And in New Jersey, Governor Christie has also achieved the impossible. Despite a hostile spend-happy Democratic majority in the state legislature, he has found ways to cut the fat and reform education in New Jersey. He has taken his case for financial responsibility to the people and won. He is leading the way towards meaningful change in New Jersey. One measure I want to highlight is his recent, successful defunding of the abortionists. Instead of spending fungible, taxpayer dollars subsidizing abortion clinics and those who fund them, that money now returns to the people. Abortion sympathizers now have to close abortion clinics in New Jersey, have less money to spend against Pro-Life Republicans, and most importantly, lives are saved in the process. Christie is not a Pro-Life governor, but this is a great example of how fiscal and social conservatives can come together to stop leftist ideologues by preventing the waste of taxpayer dollars on their leftist agenda. This should be immediately imitated by conservative governors and legislatures across the country. Similarly, states like CA, MI, NY, WI, and IL, as well as the federal government, should stop funding liberal bad science like embryonic stem cell research, which despite not leading to a single cure despite billions in research, they push forward for its political wedge issue value.