Given the new rounds of heartless Austerity, promised in Christie's State of the Union State speech today, I thought it would be wise to re-visit the aftermath of similar Austerity promises of Christie's Past ...

Hey New Jersey, how are these other Christie austerity measures working out for you lately?  

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Calls His State's Teachers Union 'Political Thugs'

by Bradley Blackburn, via World News, abcnews.go.com -- April 6, 2011

New Jersey's Gov. Chris Christie took another shot at his state's teachers today by describing their union leaders as "political thugs."

While sitting in the school library at Lincoln School in Kearney, N.J., Christie told Sawyer that it's essential for his state's education system to change and he blames the teachers union for the harsh cuts his administration is making, that includes layoffs and larger classrooms.

"I believe the teachers in New Jersey in the main are wonderful public servants that care deeply. But their union, their union are a group of political thugs," Christie said.

He said the New Jersey Education Association refused to negotiate on a salary freeze last year. "They should have taken the salary freeze. They didn't and now, you know, we had to lay teachers off."

"They chose to continue to get their salary increases rather than be part of the shared sacrifice," he said.

N.J. Unfunded Pension Liabilities Widen to $47.2 Billion

by Elise Young and Terrence Dopp, bloomberg.com -- Mar 4, 2013

New Jersey’s pension shortfall reached $53.9 billion in 2010 after a decade of expanded benefits and skipped payments. The gap narrowed to $36.3 billion after Governor Chris Christie signed bills that boosted contributions from employees, raised the minimum retirement age for new workers and froze cost-of-living adjustments for retirees. It swelled when Christie skipped a $3 billion pension payment in fiscal 2011.

“The unfunded liability, even under the reforms, is going to increase because of the way we’re staging our pension payments,” the governor, 50, told reporters yesterday in Jersey City. “We’re falling behind by a heck of a lot less than we were in the years before I got here, when we were making no pension payments.”

New Jersey’s seven public-employee pensions cover more than 780,000 working and retired teachers, police officers and government workers, and had assets with a market value of almost $74.4 billion in July, down 3.2 percent from a year earlier. The teachers’ plan had the biggest deficit, widening 12 percent in a year to $21.4 billion, or 59.3 percent of needed assets.

It helps when state governments uphold their side of the pension contribution equations. When state governments routinely short-change their obligations to its workers, is it any wonder that public pensions funds can start running on fumes?

Above all else, this is the most insidous ghost of austerity promises past, that has Chris Christie reciting the GOP's "God-protect-the-Millionaires" Mantra ... damn the human misery fallout ...

Gov. Chris Christie’s Budget Cuts Put 4,000 New Jersey Police Officers Out Of A Job

by Tanya Somanader, thinkprogress.org -- Oct 25, 2011

In the name of “no taxes,” Republicans have slashed state budgets across the country, forcing schools to sell advertising space, firefighters to lose their jobs to prison labor, and cities to decriminalize domestic violence in order to save money.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie (R) instituted severe cuts to education funding, public employee benefits, and public sector jobs, while calling his action the “day of reckoning.” Christie cut $3 billion in his first two years, leaving low-income New Jerseyans with half the number of legal aid lawyers, the mentally ill without a home after a hospital had to shut down, and thousands of women without health clinics to visit. Those cuts have also left 4,000 New Jersey police officers without a job and left drug-related crime to flourish[.]

Christie’s “day of reckoning” has fallen hard on low-income New Jerseyans and public servants. But, thanks to Christie, the reckoning never reached the state’s millionaires. Last year, the state legislature passed a tax on millionaires that would help alleviate Christie’s budget cuts. Christie vetoed it — twice. In under two minutes flat. [...]

Toll collectors union blames worker's suicide on pay cuts

by Mike Frassinelli, The Star-Ledger, nj.com -- Aug 01, 2012

Toll collector Patrick Kelly was hailed as a hero in 2005 when he reported a suspicious vehicle passing through his New Jersey Turnpike plaza in Newark during an "Amber Alert," leading to the safe rescue of a child who had been abducted in Irvington.

On July 16, Kelly, 58, used a gun to take his own life and the toll collectors union blames his death on the stresses he faced after getting the second of two $8,000 pay cuts.

"It shouldn’t have happened," Franceline Ehret, president of the collectors union, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local No. 194, said Tuesday during the Turnpike Authority’s monthly meeting. "You didn’t need to make such a high demand of our toll collectors."

Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, New Jersey ... just look in your state's Austerity Mirror ...

Christie Stands by His Decision to Cancel Train Tunnel

by Kate Zernike, nytimes.com -- April 10, 2012

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey defended on Tuesday his decision to cancel a train tunnel long planned to relieve increasing congestion across the Hudson River, saying it was a matter of principle.

You have to look them right in the eye, no matter how much they try to vilify you for it, and you have to say no,” the governor told an audience that included Mr. Bush, Karl Rove and other prominent Republicans and business executives. “You have to be willing to say no to those things that compromise your principles.”

The tunnel would have doubled capacity for commuters on New Jersey Transit and Amtrak trains, which now share two 100-year-old single track tunnels to cross the Hudson. The tracks are at capacity, and commuter demand is expected to rise 38 percent by 2030.

Why does New Jersey need a modern light rail/subway expansion for its daily commuters, anyways?  

Because as we all now know, there are "just enough" bridge lanes in New Jersey, to create a public-safety nightmare, with simply just one rouge email.

Who needs modern mass-transit when you got that "thuggish" flexibility, right New Jersey?

With Christie at the state helm, all is right in Jersey-land, tonite.

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