Tuesday, November 22, 2011
New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie this afternoon traveled in to the belly of the beast -- the Princeton Public Library -- and spoke truth to liberals. I missed the show on account of family obligations, but a friend was there with his camera. So here is some never-before-seen Governor Awesome footage!
On taxing the "rich":
On the tax code in general:
The claim that "here in New Jersey the top 1% pay 41%" is accurate, by the way, or at least it was for me. For the 2010 tax year, my federal, state, and local direct taxes -- income tax, employment taxes, and property tax -- came to almost exactly 41% of my adjusted gross income. Of course, that does not include the many other taxes I paid, including sales taxes, utility taxes, and excise taxes. Excluding the indirect impact of corporation taxes and my employer's share of "my" employment taxes, the government takes at least half of what I earn. Am I paying my "fair share"? One cannot prove fairness or unfairness, but it seems to me that the case for taxing me even more on the grounds of "fairness" is not open and shut no matter how loudly President Obama declares that it is.
UPDATE: See the comments for a different interpretation of the governor's remarks from the person who shot the videos.
Ah, not completely obvious from the video itself but I think that must be the right interpretation. Not sure that one can extrapolate fairness or unfairness from that interpretation, either. Your version is a typical Republican talking point that does not make much sense to me. If, for example, the top 1% earned 60% of the income in New Jersey, it would not be fair if they only paid 41% of the taxes. The share of taxes statistic cannot be understood without the corresponding share of income statistic. My 41% is a lot more persuasive!
Paul, how many people were there with you to see him speak? Was the audience appreciative of what he had to say, was he getting nods and agreeable questions, or was there hostility?
We need to attract Democrats to win next year, obviously, and income disparity and class warfare is going to be the President's theme. Divide and conquer!, says Obama. We need to find a pathway through this divisive attack, one that can attract Democrats uncomfortable with the demagoguery and independents disgusted with it but needing to be convinced.
Having paid increasing attention to Christie, and the furor surrounding his decision to not run for president in 2012, I think my view of 2012 is changing.
Christie, I think, realizes, at base, two things: first, that he made, and has, a commitment to New Jersey which he is obligated to honor, and; 2012 will be a bloody nosh pit insofar as presidential politics are concerned.
There is a high probability that a Republican, of some sort, will succeed Obama, assuming that the Stupid Party doesn't embrace defeat once again, and that that Republican will be a one-termer due to either overwhelming dissatisfaction with performance (Romney) or creating enough anger with necessary, but unpleasant, positions and decisions (Gingrinch).
Enter Christie in 2016, with a proven track record of gentle and fair success in New Jersey and greater popular interest nationwide through publication of his speaking appearances such as this one.
I'm starting to look at 2012 as the "stop the hemmorhaging" election and 2016 as the "begin restoration" one, and 2016 looks like a greater opportunity for Christie.
A couple of hundred people, I'd say, both in the main community room and watching on a video feed in another part of the library.
They were very respectful, probably mostly conservative-leaning, and pre-warned by the gov that if they try to get into a YouTube moment he'll give as good as he gets.
His command of the issues - whether taxation or fracking or arcane watershed concerns - was absolutely stunning. Our country needs him, but for the moment he seems to truly cherish being Governor of New Jersey.
I can't agree with the comment that there is a high probability that a republican will succeed Obama. The current front-runner options of Newt or Mitt is pretty abysmal. Mitt is the most electable adverse Obama, but his own party seems to hate him. If Newt is the party choice I will take bets on Obama getting re-elected. Just watch George Will's takedown of Newt. Folks have forgotten what a disaster that guy was in Washington. The bright lights of a campaign for president will remind them. CHristie in 2016
I don't know if you have access to this information, but I use Microsoft Money and know how my real income (checks coming in, dividends, employer match) compares to my AGI. My AGI is normally 18-31% less than my real income (it was less than half when I really maxed out my 401(k)). So I pay 10-19% of my income in federal, state, and FICA, but it's 17-26% of my AGI.