The New Jersey state legislature, following the lead of state governments in Wisconsin and Ohio among others, passed a historic bill that will slash the benefits of government workers and retirees. Governor Chris Christie praised the legislature for making the tough decisions as he continued on his austerity agenda.
Governor Christie is just another in a long line of recently elected Republican Governors who are interpreting their recent elections as a mandate to make drastic cuts in their state budgets. Like Walker in Wisconsin, Kasich in Ohio and Scott in Florida, Christie is laying the burden of his states’ fiscal woes on the backs of the middle class. While these governors eliminate collective bargaining rights, cut jobs, reduce benefits and freeze the wages of their middle class government employees they are offering tax breaks to corporations and wealthy investors.
Republican governors are all the same. They like to talk about small limited government and shared fiscal responsibility. Then they implement massive government programs that drain the already struggling middle class while giving handouts to the rich.
These Republican governors have two other things in common: Their poll numbers are in the tank and they don’t face re-election for several years. It is much easier to follow a draconian ideological agenda when you don’t have to face the voters.