Christie Talks AC, Pensions, Health Benefits in Long Branch

By David Cruz

It was a picture perfect beach day and while many sun worshipers were maxing their exposure, the governor was still able to attract a full house to his “No Pain, No Gain” town hall event, rescheduled after a rain out in July.

“Oh I get a sweatshirt? I didn’t do anything and I get something. Thank you very much,” said Christie.

The governor has been sticking close to the shore where the great weather seems to have erased any bad memories of the uneven Sandy recovery process. Nowadays Christie’s sore shore subject is Atlantic City, where things are not going so well.

“We can’t look at this as a disaster. It’s not a disaster. What it is, is a time for us to take an opportunity to change the way Atlantic City operates and to make sure that it grows in the right direction as a resort town. Which is what it’s always been through its entire history,” said Christie.

As for the other dire economic issues about which the governor has been sounding the alarm — pension and health benefits — Christie was right on message.

“The bad news is there’s still a $40 billion deficit in the pension fund,” said Christie. “We will pay more for retirees’ health benefits, public sector retirees’ health benefits. Then we’ll pay for all of our active employees. Just look at the city of Detroit. Sure all of you read that in the last six months or so the city of Detroit went bankrupt. And they went bankrupt because they had $2 billion in cash in Detroit and $11 billion in debt. Whenever government says I’m going to take money out of your right pocket but don’t worry, I’m going to put more back in your left pocket. They always take the money out of the right and the money doesn’t always get into the left.”

The governor continues his very active travel schedule tomorrow with trips to Kansas, then Oklahoma, where he will undoubtedly be asked very few questions about New Jersey’s economy and a lot more questions about his plans to run for president. Almost as if he weren’t already doing that.