I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage. I really am. …I don’t think there’s a mother or a father sitting around the kitchen table tonight in America saying, ‘You know, honey, if our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my God, all of our dreams would be realized.

New Jersey governor and compassionate Republican CHRIS CHRISTIE, who by the way pulls down $699,000 a year along with his wife.

The New York Daily News calls him out and dares him to try living on $17,000 a year – or what a person making New Jersey’s minimum wage brings home annually.


Chris Christie (R-NJ) Signs Bill To Fast Track The Privatization of Public Water

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law on Thursday legislation that critics say sells out the state’s water supply and democratic process for private profits.

The Water Infrastructure Protection Act, which purportedly aims to address aging infrastructure , allows for fast-tracking of sales of municipal water systems to private entities.

Among the sponsors of the measure, which passed the state legislature in December, was Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth), who stated Thursday: “We recognize that there are times when private entities might be most capable of operating, maintaining and upgrading drinking water and sanitary wastewater systems,” and keeps “the public’s ability to be part of the process.”

Quite the opposite, according to the law’s critics.

“Governor Christie has sided with private water companies over our water supply,” stated Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “This law will raise rates, hurt consumers and businesses.”

Chris Christie has plundered New Jersey. Second in job growth to Alaska. Increased poverty? So much for #strongerthanthestorm bullshit. Christie let the most most vulnerable suffer, all for political reasons.

This is pretty much the worst job you could do in a state with such an educated population near major cities.

Empathy Deficit Disorder

Commenting on a recent student suicide at an Alaska high school, Alaska’s Republican Congressman Don Young said suicide didn’t exist in Alaska before “government largesse” gave residents an entitlement mentality.

“When people had to work and had to provide and had to keep warm by putting participation in cutting wood and catching the fish and killing the animals, we didn’t have the suicide problem,” he said. Government handouts tell people “you are not worth anything but you are going to get something for nothing.”

Alaska has the highest rate of suicide per capita in America – almost twice the national average, and a leading cause of death in Alaska for young people ages 15 to 24 – but I doubt it’s because Alaskans lead excessively easy lives.

Every time I visit Alaska I’m struck by how hard people there have to work to make ends meet. The state is the last American frontier, where people seem more self-reliant than anywhere in the lower forty eight.  

It’s true that every Alaskan receives an annual dividend from a portion of state oil revenues (this year it will be almost $2,000 per person), but research shows no correlation between the amount of the dividend from year to year and the suicide rate.

Suicide is a terrible tragedy for those driven to it and for their loved ones. What possessed Congressman Young to turn it into a political football?

Young has since apologized for his remark. Or, more accurately, his office has apologized. “Congressman Young did not mean to upset anyone with his well-intentioned message,” says a news release from his congressional office, “and in light of the tragic events affecting the Wasilla High School community, he should have taken a much more sensitive approach.”

Well-intentioned? More sensitive approach?

Young’s comment would be offensive regardless of who uttered it. That he’s a member of the United States Congress – Alaska’s sole representative in the House – makes it downright alarming.

You might expect someone who’s in the business of representing others to have a bit more empathy. In fact, you’d think empathy would be the minimum qualification to hold public office in a democracy.

Sadly, Young is hardly alone. A remarkable number of people who are supposed to be devoting their lives to representing others seem clueless about how their constituents actually live and what they need.

Last week New Jersey Governor Chris Christie groused to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage.”  

No doubt some in the audience shared Christie’s view. It was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, after all.

But many of the Governor’s constituents are not tired of hearing about the minimum wage. They depend on it.

New Jersey has among the largest number of working poor in America. Some 50,000 people work for the state’s minimum wage of $8.25 an hour.

This isn’t nearly enough to lift them out of poverty. The state’s cost of living is one of the five highest of all states.  

In any event, doesn’t hearing from constituents about what they need go with the job of representing them?

Christie went on to tell his audience "I don’t think there’s a mother or a father sitting around the kitchen table tonight in America saying, ‘You know, honey, if our son or daughter could just make a higher minimum wage, my God, all of our dreams would be realized.’ Is that what parents aspire to?”

A minimum-wage job is no one’s version of the American dream. But Christie is wrong to suppose most minimum-wage workers are teenagers. Most are adults who are major breadwinners for their families.

Christie seems to suffer the same ailment that afflicts Alaska’s Don Young.

Call it Empathy Deficit Disorder. Some Democrats have it, but the disorder seems especially widespread among Republicans.

These politicians have no idea what people who are hard up in America are going through.

Most Americans aren’t suicidal, and most don’t work at the minimum wage. But many are deeply anxious about their jobs and panicked about how they’re going to pay next month’s bills.

Almost two-thirds of working Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

And they’re worried sick about whether their kids will ever make it.

They need leaders who understand their plight instead of denying it.  

They deserve politicians who want to fix it rather than blame it on those who have to depend on public assistance, or who need a higher minimum wage, in order to get by.

At the very least, they need leaders who empathize with what they’re going through, not those with Empathy Deficit Disorder.   

1) Since becoming governor, reports indicate he has grossly abused his expense account

According to New Jersey Watchdog, an Internet transparency group ran by Mark Lagerkvist, Chris Christie has spent $360,000 of his taxpayer-subsidized expense account over the last five years. Of that amount, $300,000 was used to purchase what the state budget describes as “an allowance of funds not otherwise appropriated and used for official receptions on behalf of the state, the operation of an official residence, for other expenses.”

2) He has allegedly used Hurricane Sandy relief money for political purposes

As the Newark Star-Ledger reported last year, nearly one-third of the federal house aid money allocated to Hurricane Sandy victims went to areas of New Jersey that weren’t particularly impacted by the storm. “Nearly a third of the money—$47.6 million, earmarked for new affordable housing projects—landed in Essex and Middlesex counties,” wrote Ted Sherman, “while many hard-hit Jersey Shore communities in Ocean saw relatively little of it.”

3) He has purportedly misused billions in Port Authority funds for unrelated projects in New Jersey

Only a few months after taking office, Christie killed an $8.7 billion transportation project known as the ARC Tunnel, which was already in development when Christie took office (and, indeed, had been development for 30 years) and aimed to clear congestion by providing commuters with a public train under the Hudson River connecting New Jersey to New York City.

4) He has privatized the state’s public pension system, enriching wealthy business interests at the expense of taxpayers and state workers

Since taking office, the Christie administration has moved the retirement savings of public workers like teachers, firefighters, and police officers over to private financial firms on Wall Street, as Salon reported last week. “While Christie says the pension system cannot afford to maintain current retirement benefits, pension fees paid to financial firms have quadrupled to $600 million a year,” writes David Sirota, “or $1.5 billion in total since he took office in 2010.”

5) He has reportedly blocked reforms that would clean up New Jersey’s government

While it isn’t illegal to veto legislation that is necessary for the maintenance of the public trust, it is certainly scandalous—especially for a politician who, like Christie, has presented himself as an advocate of reforms that would clean up the state government.

Read the full article

Study: Gov’t figures off by $1 trillion; Social Security trust funds will be gone by 2033

New studies by Harvard and Dartmouth Universities have concluded that the SSA’s trust funds will be depleted by 2033.

From CNBC:

The Social Security Administration projects that its trust funds will be depleted by 2033—not an optimistic forecast. But it may be even bleaker than that.

New studies from Harvard and Dartmouth researchers find that the SSA’s actuarial forecasts have been consistently overstating the financial health of the program’s trust funds since 2000.

“These biases are getting bigger and they are substantial,” said Gary King, co-author of the studies and director of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. “[Social Security] is going to be insolvent before everyone thinks.”

The Social Security and Medicare Trustees’ 2014 report to Congress last year found trust fund reserves for both its combined retirement and disability programs will grow until 2019. Program costs are projected to exceed income in 2020 and the trust funds will be depleted by 2033 if Congress doesn’t act. Once the trust funds are drained, annual revenues from payroll tax would be projected to cover only three-quarters of scheduled Social Security benefits through 2088.

Read the Rest

“…have been consistently overstating”

When I lie to the government about how much money I have, they call it “perjury” and I go to jail. When the government lies to me, they call it “overstating” and nothing happens.

And by how much have they been “consistently overstating” it? About $1 trillion. Look, even if you love love love all things government and support the current social security system, this should make you angry. If it doesn’t, ask yourself why. They’ve been lying to you.

Look, something’s got to give when it comes to Social Security. It’s simple math. It simply cannot continue on its current trajectory and remain solvent. Of course, the only real solution is to stop forcing people to pay into an inefficient, bloated, flailing government program and instead allow them to privately invest their money as they see fit. But very few politicians would ever agree to that. It would give them less power.

So what are the “solutions” being thrown around at the beginning of this election cycle? Let’s examine one from prominent “Republican” Chris Christie:

In other words, we’ll soak the rich. We’ll redistribute the money. We’ll tell all the people who have paid into Social Security (in many cases against their will) over decades that they won’t be getting that money back, in spite of the “lock box” promises, etc. From what I hear, Hillary Clinton’s “solution” (for the purposes of getting elected, of course) is to scoff at the notion that there’s anything wrong and hit Christie for wanting to take money from little old grandmas. Sheesh. Politicians have ruined this country.


Marco Rubio and Chris Christie have a simple, terrifying message for 2016 voters: vote for me or there’s a fairly good chance you’ll die. They don’t phrase it that way, but it’s the unmistakable message they convey when they talk about national security. Rubio goes around telling people that “Nothing Matters If We Aren’t Safe,” describing this new slogan of his as “the fundamental problem in America.” Christie, meanwhile, went to New Hampshire this week and told voters that the “first obligation of the American government” is to “protect the lives of the American people,” and while some people may whine that their civil liberties are being curtailed in the process, “you can’t enjoy your civil liberties if you’re in a coffin.”

Marco Rubio and Chris Christie are quite literally scaring up votes by warning voters that they’re in grave danger

I Will Crack Down And Not Permit [Legal Marijuana]

Chris Christie 

If New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ® becomes president of the United States, he said on “The Hugh Hewitt Show” Tuesday, he will “crack down” on those states that have ended prohibitions on marijuana.

When asked by Hewitt if he would enforce federal drug laws in those states that have legalized and regulated cannabis, Christie responded unequivocally. 

But the majority of Republicans told pew that the government should not interfere with states that have legalized marijuana. Find out more here. 

Chris Christie was responsible for the reduced deal, not the attorney general. Decades of investigation and fines dismantled by this clown.

That shortfall in state revenue will be converted to a reduction in services to NJ citizens by Christie, as per GOP mantra.