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Way to go New Jersey!

May 26, 2011

As a kid who grew up and learned about life in New Jersey I have watched with horror from afar how Chris Christie has been attempting to destroy public sector unions in the state and how he has seemed to exhibit an extreme sense of vitriol to members of the teaching profession.  Few people know that the reason New Jersey and many other places have budget deficits (that are being blamed on public sector employees) is because for many years NJ has underfunded those very same state pension plans.  What happens when you are supposed to make contributions to a plan, and then you never make them?  Any thinking person knows the answer to this question:  Your pension fund has shortfalls, these shortfalls are then conveniently blamed on “greedy” teachers and other public sector union employees.  This is how a “straw-man” is constructed by those intent on destroying the middle class in America.

Enter, New Jersey and Chris Christie.  In an article in the NYTimes the Supreme Court of the great state of New Jersey has ruled that Governor Christie’s 500 million dollars worth of cuts to education are unconstitutional!  In a decision which is certain to give the Governor an upset stomach he was ordered to restore funding to poor and urban schools next year.  From the article:

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a major piece of Gov. Chris Christie’s cost-cutting was unconstitutional and ordered lawmakers to raise spending for poor, urban schools by $500 million next year, despite a state budget shortfall estimated at $10 billion.

The majority in the 3-to-2 decision accused the state of willfully violating previous Supreme Court orders in the long-running school-aid case under review.

“Like anyone else, the state is not free to walk away from judicial orders enforcing constitutional obligations,” Justice Jaynee LaVecchia wrote in the ruling. She added that “the state made a conscious and calculated decision” to renege on the commitment it made two years ago, the last time the case, Abbott v. Burke, went before the court.

Three cheers for the NJ Supreme Court!  Read that decision again: “Willfully violating previous Supreme Court orders.”   Justice LaVecchia (a good Italian I am sure), states the obvious when she says that this was a conscious and calculated decision.  You bet it was, every cut to education is conscious and calculated and they all are very damaging.

In response, Mr. Christie again cited school financing as the chief example of a liberal court run amok, which he vowed to remedy by choosing more conservative justices. Answering questions at a public forum in Cherry Hill, N.J., he said, “I’m going to appoint people who I believe understand their job, which is to interpret the law and not make law from the bench.”

Earlier, in a news conference at the State House, the governor said, “I believe that this decision represents everything that’s wrong with how Trenton has historically operated and everything that I’m here to fight to change.” He said the Supreme Court “should not be dictating how taxpayer dollars are spent and prioritizing certain programs over others.”

Christie doesn’t like the judges decision, so what is his plan?  Appoint cronies who will go along with his disastrous whims.  I am hoping that my fellow Jerseyites, send this clown packing during the next election.

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