Governor Christie Interview With Stuart Varney on Fox Business Network - July 3, 2012. (Transcript Below)
Stuart Varney: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie thinks it's time his state's middle class taxpayers get a tax cut. And he hulled the state's legislature into a special session yesterday to demand action. Watch this.
Governor Christie: (Special Session Remarks Clip) We have the money available to fund a tax cut that gives relief to middle-class New Jerseyans. We can accomplish this before you leave this building today. To show you my commitment to compromise I have today conditionally vetoed a bill that would make New Jersey less competitive, I have instead turned it into a law it that would give middle-class New Jerseyans a tax cut.
Stuart Varney: He joins me now. Governor welcome to Varney and Company.
Governor Christie: Happy to be here Stuart.
Stuart Varney: You have proposed a middle-class tax cut for the people of New Jersey. I put it to you, that point makes you working against the grain of all the other governors in the United States.
Governor Christie: Well listen, we've worked hard. Remember we had a one-year advance on all the rest of the governors who got elected in 2010. I was elected in 2009. We've done some hard things over the last two and half years in terms of budgets and cutting spending. You know our budget this year Stuart that just got approved is smaller than the budget in 2008 in New Jersey.
Stuart Varney: What did you cut?
Governor Christie: We cut everything. Everything—
Stuart Varney: Across the board?
Governor Christie: Across the board in our first year every department got cut, and now we've started to reinvest back in some of the things that are important. K-12 education, help for our hospitals, and higher education. But we're not spending on the things that we shouldn't be spending on anymore, that government shouldn't be doing. And our ability to do that now gives us the room, the opportunity, to give a tax cut to the people who are horribly overburdened.
Stuart Varney: Why a tax cut? OK, they're paying the highest rates in the United States. I've got that, but why now a tax cut?
Governor Christie: Because we want to make our economy grow faster. And the way to do that is to put more money in the hands of the people of New Jersey, to have them invest it, spend it as they see fit. One, I think it's a principle that people spend their money better than the government does and two, we need to fuel this economic recovery in New Jersey more. The way to do that is to not have government spend but have the people do it.
Stuart Varney: But that's the exact opposite isn't it? That's the exact opposite of the Obama administration, which wants more government spending and taking it off tax increases from private enterprise. Again, you are going against the grain.
Governor Christie: Well absolutely. And the reason I am is because we're right and they're wrong. You know, the people of New Jersey are going to be much better stewards of their money than the government will ever be. I say in my town hall meetings all the time to folks, if you want to make sure we don't waste your money in Trenton, don't send it in the first place. And that's what the principle is that we're going on here by giving people some of their money back.
Stuart Varney: If you had the power, and you were at the national level, federal level, you've cut everything across the board in New Jersey, what would you do at the national level in terms of spending cuts?
Governor Christie: Listen, what I think what we'd have to do Stuart is follow very closely what Simpson-Bowles has spoken about. Now, I don't agree with everything in Simpson-Bowles, but I will tell you that I think it's a good blueprint for what we need to do. We need to make our tax code simpler and fairer and lower the rates, and on the spending side we need to get control over entitlements and we need to make sure that everybody is contributing into the pot of spending cuts so that we can bring our budget closer to balance and stop running these trillion dollar-plus deficits every year.
Stuart Varney: Can you get elected at the national level cutting entitlements, restricting entitlements, whatever you want to call it?
Governor Christie: Listen, I think that the American people are ready to hear that message.
Stuart Varney: Really?
Governor Christie: Yes I do.
Stuart Varney: When it's your entitlement, when it's money that's coming to you, and more than half the population gets something from the government, if that something is cut, will they vote for that?
Governor Christie: I think they will. And the reason I think they will is because they know this country is headed towards a financial disaster if we don't...