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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chris Christie In Washington At AEI

Here's a video of the speech. It's worth watching, although it's long. Audio only here.

The big guy makes some good points in this one. Most of it's a call not to be wimpy and to do the right thing. The man is not glib. I was trying to figure out who he reminded me of, and it's Teddy Roosevelt, who once got shot, gave his speech anyway, and then went to the hospital to get the bullet removed.

He's dead serious about fiscal reform, and as he points out, Democratic or Republican, a lot of governors are facing the same realities and having to resort to the same solutions.

Christie will side with the wealthy over
the other 80% every time. Sure, we can't afford
a lot of the programs, doesn't mean the wealthy
shouldn't pay their share of taxes.

And what is "their share"? Given that the top 10% of the population pays over 90% of the taxes, I think "the wealthy" are paying more than their share.


MoM, there is one way in which Chris Christie will probably never match TR: TR had a boxing ring in the basement of the White House and used it often. He usually won.
Excellent, excellent speech.

And maybe it's just me, but I think he really makes Obama look bad. Even before he had the question directly about Obama, I kept thinking this guy by his example is calling Obama out. Then he got the question about Obama, and basically called him out.

Obviously I have no idea who Obama is going to run against in 2012, but no way would the Press be able to carry Obama across the goal line against somebody like Christie the way they did with McSame.
2016, Allan. That could be a possibility for Christie, but not 2012.

NJ is in horrendous shape - as he says in this speech, there's a long way to go.

If he does manage to get things rolling again in NJ, by 2016 there will be Christie and probably four more govs (D & R) who have walked the walk and can come to DC with purpose and experience.
Spork - I don't know. NJ didn't really have the option to raise the income tax again, and to do so would have been suicidal economically.

The federal level is different.

A flatter, lower corporate tax without all the specials in there would probably collect more revenue and certainly create more investment and more jobs. It's like poker.
What percentage of the wealth in this country is held
by the top 1 percent ? By the top 10 percent ? The wealthy pay the most in dollar terms but not as a
percentage of income. The really wealthy do not
earn wages but receive investment income, rents,
etc... all taxed at lower rates. The truly poor pay zero
because the receive more in benefits than they pay in.
The middle class gets stuck with the bill. Can you give
me a good reason the SS taxes are capped at a certain income level ?
2016, Allan. That could be a possibility for Christie, but not 2012.

I agree, that's why I said someone _like_ Christie. Ironically, I've never heard Mitch Daniels speak, and I'd be surprised if he has Christie's forward style, but he is a Republican governor that has taken on problems head-on and kept Indiana solvent.

Having said that, I think Obama and the Fed succeed in kicking the can down the road long enough to get himself re-elected. Then it will be Christie in 2016 that imposes austerity measures on the US. If so, wow, the third stock market crash in as many lame-duck presidential elections. Talk about rhyming history...
Can you give me a good reason the SS taxes are capped at a certain income level?

Well, that's a softball. Ostensibly SS is a pension plan. Since the pay-outs are capped, it therefore follows the pay-ins are also capped.

And speaking of SS on the stupidity of increasing our worker/retiree ratio by importing unskilled labor to do "jobs americans won't do", yesterday in fact I got the annual SS benefits letter to the person that used to live at our house. We've been getting these every year for the 7 we've lived here. After RTS'ing the first 2 with a "moved" note on the front, and throwing away unopened the next 2 or 3, I've started to open them to see how the former resident is doing (2008 was not kind to her btw). She started paying into SS with her first real job in 1970 or so. Excepting a few stand-out years, her wages have been stagnant in the high teen's, low 20's thousands since the 1990's. When she retires at full retirement age of 66, I'm guessing still 5-7 years away for her, she will draw about $1100/month. While that's a material pay cut and would effect her standard of living if no other mitigating factors are able to assist, it seems to me relative to what she pays in taxes that is a huge burden on Gen X & Y.
Ops, that last anon comment was me.

I'm not claiming it's a good reason, but SS could not exist in its current form if the payroll tax weren't capped. It would not retain enough political support.

The SS taxes are capped in order to maintain the fiction that SS is "insurance", not welfare. You get out of it an income stream that is roughly based on what you pay into it.

Insurance benefits are property. They are held by right by those who receive the benefits, and that's the source of the common belief that Social Security is "mine, I paid into it all my life". If higher-income earners are expected to pay more, but don't receive more, then SS becomes just another welfare program with all the social implications of welfare. I know retirees who will proudly say "I never took welfare", although their sole source of income is Social Security.
Yes, Neil. In fact, the "insurance/pension" fiction is/was so critical that Amish are/were exempted from the program because of their religious convictions against insurance... God (and community) shall provide.

The SS taxes are capped in order to maintain the fiction that SS is "insurance", not welfare. You get out of it an income stream that is roughly based on what you pay into it.

It's not welfare if they're merely giving you your money back.

The fiction mostly applies only to the first recipients back in the 30's and 40's - they got money they never paid in (god forbid you call that welfare). Everyone since then is getting what they paid in - some DO get more than they paid in but most get less than they paid in (relative to cost-of-living increases which are almost always understated).

It's not a "rich-don't-pay-enough" issue, it's a demographic issue. Part of that demographic problem is an increased percentage of the workforce is state and local public employees who aren't part of the system.

One of the quirks is that the marketplace has no use for employees over age 62, so people willing to work beyond age 70 simply can't get or keep jobs at that age - but they are healthy enough to work. So they live long and collect SSA payments for so many years they collect more than they paid in. But with the unemployment rates of people in their 20's, you aren't going to solve them problem of older workers getting forced out.
Oh, and government insurance, by definition and without exception, is always underpriced.
Allan - that link really is not accurate.

I grew up with these teachings (although I come from a little different background), basically the original sect.

It's complicated to explain to an outsider, but first, the belief is that this type of thing is basically immoral because it will inevitably turn into a robbery scheme. I would say that tenet is demonstrated.

The second is that it is impossible to allow the government to control your life for moral reasons. If they control you, they can control your behavior, and they can compel you to participate in things that are not allowed.
Whether one agrees with Governor Christie or not, it really is heartening to hear a politician from anywhere speak robustly and honestly.

He has my vote, oh wait a minute I live and England. Pity, we could do with someone like that here.
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