Chris Christie takes Manhattan with his Common Sense Porn

I think Glen Beck is an assclown, but I am grateful that the phrase “common sense porn” has been entered into my vernacular. It’s a phrase that most of us use to describe any speech, video, or media appearance by NJ Governor Chris Christie. Gov. Christie is the latest conservative hero we’re pinning all of our hopes and dreams on…which of course means there’s only a matter of time before he shatters our hearts like all the others before him.

Until then, we’ll just have to keep sneaking into the bathroom with speeches of his in a brown paper bag, the most latest of which was to the Manhattan Institute. He travelled to New York City this week to talk aboot the fiscal mess New Jersey is in and how he plans to fix it with something he calls Cap 2.5. Besides being an outstanding website, it’s also his reform agenda, centered around capping property tax increases at 2.5%.

There tons of great stuff in here, so for the sake of this blog post we’ll draw a topic out of a hat. Oooh, public employee unions…

First: Nearly 75 percent of every municipal or county budget is driven by personnel and labor costs. We need to level the playing field on those costs through collective bargaining reform for our public sector unions.

I stand foursquare in favor of arbitration to resolve the disputes with our public employees who do not have the ability to strike-police, fire, and teachers. Arbitration is there to be sure that these things are fairly resolved-and the key word there is “fair.” More often than not these decisions are favorable to labor, but they’re not always fair to the taxpayers who have to pay whatever the arbitrator decides.

So under collective bargaining reform, every arbitrator will have to take into account Cap 2.5. They will no longer be allowed to award a benefit that’s larger than that. For the first time, arbitrators will have to consider not only who’s sitting at the table in front of them, but also who pays the bills.

Municipalities, and mayors, and budgets, and taxpayers… shouldn’t be at the mercy of unelected arbitrators who can effectively impose a property tax increase at will. And under this reform, we won’t be.

I know it’s tempting, but let’s not make the same mistakes we made with Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal. Let’s not rush Chris Christie to the top of our 2012 contenders list. The Governor needs to stay in New Jersey for at least one term. Christie 2016? That’s a distinct possibility.

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