When Greece's Fiscal Crisis Makes Landfall in USA

"As the United States watches a debt crisis in Greece like a fiscal oil spill, waiting to see where it will spread first and when it will make landfall on our shores, [New Jersey Governor Chris] Christie is tackling the nation's worst state deficit -- $10.7 billion of a $29.3 billion budget. In doing so, Christie has become the politician so many Americans crave, one willing to lose his job. Indeed, Christie is doing something unheard of: governing as a Republican in a blue state, just as he campaigned, making good on promises, acting like his last election is behind him. Upon taking office Christie declared a state of emergency, signing an executive order that froze spending, and then, in eight weeks, cutting $13 billion in spending. In March he presented to the Legislature his first budget, which cuts 9 percent of spending, including more than $800 million in education funding; seeks to privatize numerous government functions; projects 1,300 layoffs; and caps tax increases. ... Christie is adamant about lowering taxes. After taxes were raised 115 times in the last eight years, he said the wealthy are tapped out. Property taxes rose nearly 70 percent in the last decade, and studies show top earners -- the 1 percent of taxpayers paying 40 percent of income tax -- are fleeing the Garden State. The goal is not just to crawl out of crisis but ultimately to lead, said Christie in his budget address. 'If we make the tough decisions now, we will be one year ahead of 80 percent of the states in the race to economic growth. If we fail to act, we will fall even further behind ... by going first, we can become first.'" --associate editor of The Hill A.B. Stoddard More:http://patriotpost.us/edition/2010/05/24/brief/print/