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Published on Jul 9, 2012
Governor Christie Answers Questions At The Brookings Institution Washington, D.C. July 9. 2012 (Transcript Below)
Question: Public Sector Jobs
Governor Christie: No, because all it is, is a temporary band aid. We saw this with the stimulus bill. Jon Corzine used a billion dollars in funding to "rehire teachers" that he was supposed to use over two years, he used it in a year because it was the year before his reelection and then I was left with a billion dollar hole afterwards. And I had to cut 820 million dollars from our K-12 education program in fiscal year 2011 to balance my budget and the fact is that unless what we're going to do is federalize the states -- say you're going to pay for everything, you continue to give us this money we spend and hire people for a finite period of time and then those localities and the state are on the hook to pay for them beyond the time the subsidy ends. Where's that money coming from? I mean you know, I have the highest property taxes in America to begin with and so where is this money going to come from? That's going to pay these folks afterwards? I just don't see it. And New Jersey today has fewer employees in state government that it had when Christie Whitman left office in January of 2011 and I think that's good. And we did it without any layoffs, we did it through attrition. And while there have been some layoffs in our state at the local level because of pressures on the local level, I don't think it's a bad thing. It's regrettable when anybody loses a job. The fact of the matter is I have more employees per square mile than any state in America. Please don't send me any more money to hire public employees. Please don't. I don't need any more, I've got plenty as it is and I don't need any more. They're extraordinarily expensive and extraordinarily difficult to manage and the idea that we continue to have to deal with some of these issues, I think because of the federal intervention...you know if the President and the Congress want to spend money on something that will create jobs then spend money on infrastructure -- what builds private sector jobs. Don't spend money on sending me money to hire more public employees. Do something that will have a multiplying effect, a geometric multiplying effect on the economy, if you're going to do it. But don't do that, by the way, unless you're going to do the other things that we talked about up here already which is to deal with the fairness of the tax system and the structure of it and to deal with overall entitlement growth as well.