Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Change with courage

PENNY (a state employee), "I would like to know why you want to take at least 13% out of state employees' pay for health care. Between what my husband and I make, you're talking about $600 a month out of our money which is gonna cut into our food and our other bills. How do you expect us to live, governor?"

CHRISTIE: How I expect you to live, Penny, is you're gonna have to pick a different health plan that's not nearly as rich as the one you're getting now. That's how.

PENNY: Either that or you're force us to not have any health care.

CHRISTIE: No, I'm not gonna force you to not have any health care. I don't think that means forcing you to go without health care. But what it means is we can no longer afford to pay 90 plus percent of the cost of your health care. Public workers are getting their health insurance paid for out of your property taxes, and state workers are getting their health insurance paid for out of your income taxes. If I'm $67 billion in debt and you don't want me to take any more money out of your paycheck, how am I supposed to pay for it? Am I supposed to just raise taxes? Because if I raise taxes you're gonna pay more taxes, and if your property taxes go up, you're going to pay more taxes. I mean the money's gotta come from somewhere. We can't print it.

Penny, the top 1% of taxpayers in this state pay 41% of the total income tax. So to say that the rich don't pay is just not true. How much do you want them to pay? There comes a point where you cannot have everything that you want. And as much as I would like to be able to say to you, "You know what, Penny, you're right, I don't want you to have to pay another nickel for your health insurance," I can't pay for it, and we already have the highest taxes in America. I gotta tell you the truth, your neighbor who works in the private sector pays a heck of a lot more for his or her health insurance than you do. And on the top of it they're paying the taxes to pay for your health insurance. And so I've got a problem to fix here. We're broke and I gotta fix this problem.

1 comment:

Baxter said...

I like Chris Christie. He supports the right of public employees to collectively bargain. He says he loves it, "Let me at'em!"

The fact is, negotiations today and for some time will be over the scope of givebacks and liberalizing work rules. With no-strike laws, the states and municipalities have nothing to fear from the likes of AFSCME.