Christie’s Conservative Colorado Cavort

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On June 26, Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Chrristie spoke at a top-secret strategy meeting hosted by the ultra-conservative Koch Brothers at the Ritz-Carlton resort near Vail, Colorado, where he told big-money GOP donors that he had his sights set on dramatic program cuts in the state and called for reductions in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

“It is a real privilege for me to be asked to say a few words on behalf of Governor Chris Christie,” said David Koch when he introduced the New Jersey governor. “Five months ago we met in my New York City office and spoke – just the two of us – for about two hours on his objectives and successes in correcting many of the most serious problems of the New Jersey state government.”

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Although he tried to keep his appearance secret, in a recording of the session obtained by the progressive news magazine Mother Jones, Christie told the audience he was trying to cut spending, slash pension and health benefits for public employees and gut the “teachers’ union once and for all” so he can privatize the public education system.

Then Christie mocked President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. “You have the audacity to stand in front of the American people and say the big things are electric cars? This is the candy of American politics, ladies and gentleman,” Christie said. “And he is treating us like children. Trying to give us small pieces of candy to separate ourselves from the reality of the impending crisis.”

“I inherited a state, the second wealthiest state in America, per capita, that was not going to meet payroll in the second pay period of March,” said Christie, who also declared that his plans would involve, “under no circumstances raising taxes on the people of the state of New Jersey, who are the most overtaxed citizens in America.”

He called New Jersey Democratic legislators “stupid” for pushing for a tax on the wealthy that he’d previously rejected and ridiculed that so-called ‘Millionaires Tax’ because it, “applies to anyone, individual or business, who makes over $400,000 a year. That’s called New Jersey math.”

“We have this 9 percent tax rate, of people who make $400,000 or more. They wanted to raise that to 10 and ¾ percent,” said Christie, who related his response to threats of closing down state government by refusing to enact a budget: “I said, ‘What I’m going to do is I’m going get in those black SUVs, I’m going to leave with the troopers, I’m going to go to the Governor’s mansion. I’m going to go upstairs, I’m going to order a pizza, I’m going to open a beer and I’m going to watch the Mets. And when you all decide to reopen the government, give me a call, but I am not raising taxes. That’s it.'”

When he was given the proposed tax package that was approved by legislators, Christie said he vetoed the measure and “then they passed a budget with 99.8% of the line items exactly as I had presented to them in March, the one they said was dead on arrival, and we balanced the budget without any new or increased taxes…”

On a national scale, Christie called for some bitter medicine to address the country’s future: “We’re going to have to reduce Medicare benefits. We’re going to have to reduce Medicaid benefits. We’re going to have to raise the Social Security age.”

The Brad Blog has a full transcript of the recording.

 


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