The Daily Record released a scathing editorial today denouncing the efficacy of New Jersey’s Pension and Benefit Study Commission and the motives behind its creation.
The editorial claims that Christie put the panel together to act as a political shield when he eventually cuts worker benefits – which Christie has said will be a major part of the reforms that will eventually be proposed.
From the editorial:
Union and Democratic leaders are already denouncing the commission’s report as a sham designed from the start to do little more than bolster Christie’s claims that benefit cuts are the only answer. We can’t blame them. Remember how eager Christie was to declare success when a reform agreement was reached in 2011? That supposedly set New Jersey’s pension system on the road to solvency.
But now we’re being told it’s not even close. What’s happened since then? New Jersey’s economy has continued to lag on Christie’s watch. The governor then reneged on one of the state’s pension payments into the system that was part of that original agreement. That only exacerbated the long-term financial burden and — not coincidentally — furthered Christie’s own argument that more benefit cuts are unavoidable.
This is yet another case of Christie putting his own presidential ambition over the interests of New Jerseyans as he bows to national conservatives. The right wing doesn’t like unions, and will applaud any effort by governors and other elected officials to gut union influence. Slashing and burning public-worker benefits is a means to that end, and Christie is carrying out that task with dedication.
…When the commission delivers its recommendations, expect Christie to repeatedly cite them as “bipartisan” evidence of his wisdom in support of whatever cutback plan he puts forth. Democrats will ridicule the entire process as merely serving Christie’s will. And we’ll be no closer to arriving at some important decisions, in large part because Christie isn’t much worried about what New Jerseyans think anymore. He’s got bigger plans.
Read the rest of the editorial here.