To the editor:
Before he was reelected, Chris Christie couldn’t say enough about how wonderful the pension reforms he signed into law were. On countless occasions he used pension reform to bolster his image and as a citation for bipartisan accomplishments. But now that he is working to build a national profile—and possibly distract from a few other things—he suddenly decides the reforms were not good enough.
But don’t just take our word for it. Here is some of the praise from Christie himself:
“As a result of Democrats and Republicans coming together to confront the tough issues, we are providing a sustainable future for our pension and health benefit system, saving New Jersey taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars and securing a fiscally responsible future for our state.” (Gov. Chris Christie’s Office, June 20, 2011 press release)
“The reforms will ensure long-term solvency, while slowing the rapid growth of government costs, spending and taxes that have overwhelmed taxpayers.” (Gov. Chris Christie’s Office, June 23, 2011 press release)
"What this legislation will do is simply to save the pension system for all those retirees and public employees who are counting on that retirement. It will save and protect the taxpayer and it will restore choice and fairness to a public sector system that had run completely out of control." (June 15, 2011 speech to Employer Legislative Committees State Dinner)
“The pensions of every state worker, of every teacher, and of every retired municipal employee are more secure today. By the tough choices we made together, we saved their pensions.” (State of the State Address, January 17, 2012)
“They said it was impossible to touch the third rail of politics, to take on the public-sector unions and to reform a pension and health benefits system that was headed to bankruptcy. But with bipartisan leadership, we saved taxpayers $132 billion dollars over 30 years and saved retirees their pensions. We did it.” (Keynote address August 28, 2012 at GOP National Convention)
“Securing the future of New Jersey’s pension system to protect current and future retirees was a paramount goal of the bipartisan pension and health benefits reform legislation we successfully fought for last year. These reforms are not only saving the taxpayers of our state at least $132 billion over the next 30 years but, just as importantly, they are also ensuring that the pensions are protected for the hardworking men and women who are counting on them.” (Gov. Chris Christie’s Office, May 3, 2012 press release)
“We’ve taken historic, bipartisan action to fix a broken public pension system that would have been insolvent in a matter of years without bold intervention. This is a serious and significant new step to protect the integrity of the system and guard every taxpayer dollar and employee contribution from fraud and abuse.” (Gov. Chris Christie’s Office, August 07, 2013 press release)
The above letter was submitted by New Jersey Senate Democrats, a legislative group representing the state senate majority. They are led by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg.