Thursday, February 25, 2010
Christie To Mayors: "Jump, Jump!"
Say what you will about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, he sure as hell knows how to use a metaphor.
Facing a huge state budget deficit inherited from his spend-happy predecessor wacky Jon Corzine, Christie has begun slashing the Garden State's bloated budget. And yesterday he told the state's mayor's that they've got to follow the state's example and mend their own big spending ways as well.
Citing the famous scene from the 1969 Paul Newman/Robert Redford film Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Christie offered this challenge:
"When they [Butch and The Kid] were running and got to the edge of that cliff, they had a seminal decision to make -- are they going to get shot from behind or are they going to take the chance to jump off the cliff and hope that when they land, they survive. I don't suggest either are attractive options, but they are the options we have left . . . We have to hold hands at every level of government and jump off a cliff. I firmly believe that we will land and we will land fine. The ruination of New Jersey's economy and the quality of life we want all our citizens to have is certain if we don't take this course."
Not all of the Mayors liked the alternatives as posed by Christie.
But the Governor is an equal-opportunity straight talker and budget cutter.
He's slashing every budget he can get his hands on. He's taken on the state's school districts as well by ordering that they must use up their mounting surpluses. And he's also cracked down on the state's many free-spending boards, authorities, agencies and commissions.
Chris Christie is a man on a mission. He daring to go where no New Jersey Governor has gone before.
And he's convinced he'll be able to make this leap and land on his feet.
Take a deep breath, New Jersey.
Hold on tight.
And get ready to fly!