Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Christie: For Our Future, We Must Tackle Pension Reform
"Across this entire country, we are sacrificing university research, support for K-12 education, funding for the environment and energy and infrastructure of all kinds that needs to be done on the altar of our refusal to deal with these three things: pensions, health costs, and debt.
"Now, we’ve made investments in this budget, but by the nature of this problem they’re constrained. We’ve provided for some key investments this year, but as time goes on pension payments will take a larger and larger share of the budget. And think about this: An astounding 78 percent of this year’s $2.25 billion payment goes to making up for the legacy of years of irresponsibility. 78 percent goes toward the unfunded liability.
"Nothing – nothing – for today. Nothing for our children’s future. That’s the decisions that were made by previous leaders in this town who paid little or nothing into the system. We, all of us, are paying today for the sins of the past.
"So, let’s pause a second, let’s take a deep breath, and let’s pledge to each other not to repeat those sins for political purposes. Let us remember the difficult choices that we made together in the last few years and let’s choose together to go further.
"We’ve done it before, and we must – we must, do it again for the future of our state and its children."