chris christie: the don of new jersey?

since ascending to the office of Governor of New Jersey in January of 2010, Chris Christie has been turning some heads, mine included.

Chris Christie hasn’t been the typical politician, which is what makes him so endearing. most Americans are tired of the same old political theater. we elect politicians to affect change, not talk about it. New Jersey faces a $2.2 billion budget deficit and especially during a recession, increasing tax revenues to cover budget deficits is a difficult proposition. slashing budgets, standing up to an over-reaching teacher’s union, and defunding bloated public works projects are types of bold action that are required during a recession to make ends meet. it’s the kind of common-sense approach to governing that’s been missing in this country for far too long.

the credit crisis of 2008 and the subsequent recession have caused Americans to take a sobering look in the mirror and ask some difficult questions: what happens when a dual income family becomes a single income family? what happens when there’s too much month at the end of the money?

before the credit crisis, the answer was simple: borrow more money. after the credit crisis, the answer is simple: sell stuff, get another job, eliminate unnecessary expenses. it seems like everyone grasps the new realities of the world except politicians.

Chris Christie represents the kind of politician who gets it. when I see the guy in action, like here:

I see the kind of straightforward approach to governing that I long for in national politics.

what’s the answer to the financial issues facing our country? history has shown that when more money is available to the private sector that economies improve, and as a result tax revenues increase. the single most overlooked fact of the Bush-era tax cuts was an increase in overall tax revenue. why did the United States continue to post budget deficits? overspending. these basic economic realities, that decreasing tax rates to spur economic growth and increase tax revenues while cutting government spending to bring budgets into balance, hasn’t escaped the notice of Chris Christie. in the face of the aforementioned $2.2 billion budget deficit, he has refused to raise taxes and has chosen instead to go about balancing the state budget by trying something radical: spending less. radical? hardly. rational? finally.

another refreshing aspect of Chris Christie’s time in the public eye has been his refusal to look beyond his current term in office to a future in national politics–even the Presidency of the United States–realizing that the desperate situation that New Jersey faces is far more important than his personal political aspirations. that’s a message that resonates from Illinois to Alaska.

as a person who believes that life begins at conception, I find Chris Christie’s political stance on abortion a bit underwhelming, but he has stated in public that he is pro-life and he recognizes that the ‘what’ growing in the womb of a woman isn’t merely tissue, but a baby. on these and other social issues, Chris Christie appears to be more practical than ideological, but his opinions on these matters to this point in his political career are firm and generally acceptable. based on the patterns of behavior that he has exhibited thus far in his term as governor, I don’t have reason to doubt that what he’s said in public is the way he intends to govern, as evidenced here.

i was recently reading the comments section of a news story detailing Chris Christie’s termination of a state Department of Education official and noticed that one of the comments attempted to frame Christie’s governing style in the perjorative by calling him ‘The Don’. if he’s able to put out ‘hits’ on rampant government spending while holding the line on social issues on a small-scale in New Jersey, then maybe one day, he’ll be ‘The Godfather’.

stranger things have happened…

–the civil commentator

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