Tag Archives: Chris Christie

Pensions Not the Problem

Last night the local Fox News affiliate here in Philadelphia chose to devote a large portion of their 10:00pm news program spotlighting what they call “The Pension Problem” in Philadelphia, New Jersey and other places. In calling pensions the problem, Fox misled the public and missed an opportunity to highlight the truth for tax-payers.

Once again, the local news media, this time Fox in particular, cow-towed to liberal politicians and let them off the hook for a mess that they singularly have created. But not only that, they also portrayed hard-working city and state employees as the problem, seemed to be trying to pit tax-payers against pensioners, and never once keyed on the real problem.

That real problem? Out of control spending on issues, services, and frankly outright budgetary ‘pork’ over decades and decades as well as regular, intentional under-funding of employee pensions. All of that going on with little to no outcry from media watchdogs.

Fox missed an opportunity when they once again identified the real problems improperly in stating that “Pensions are at the heart of budget troubles in the state of New Jersey and in the city of Philadelphia.”

Pensions are not the problem, politicians are the problem. Politicians who spend money that the city’s citizens simply do not have and never did have on programs that make them feel and look better.

No, I am not going to take any time whatsoever to point out any particular program or project that I feel falls into this category. I will make one simple statement, however. If any fiscal conservative individual had been put in charge, this would not have happened.

A critic of my position might call that a copout. Frankly it is a simple acknowledgement that there are far too many such spending debacles. Get yourself a copy of the budget and go through it for yourself. Why are we spending any money on some of the programs at all? What made them Philadelphia’s tax-payers responsiblity in the first place? There are many such items in every budget.

And further, Fox tried to blame a part of this on the stock market downturn. I have heard the exact same lament from Mayor Michael Nutter and other politicians. The fact is, the stock market should be almost a non-issue. If the city had funded the pensions fully all along, and invested that money safely, and not used it to cover other expenses, there wouldn’t be any problem right now, or those would be minimal.

Further, nothing will change in Philadelphia until the city follows the lead of the citizens of New Jersey and begins to toss the liberal Democrats who have run our town into the ground over decades out onto the streets.

Governor Chris Christie has begun the difficult task of straightening out New Jersey’s problems which were created by Democrats and RINO Republicans over decades in our neighbor state. Philadelphia needs exactly the same changes here in order to have any chance at saving itself from ruin.

Pensions are not some burdensome extravagance lavished upon privileged people. Speaking as someone who has been working for two decades with the promise of a city pension at the end of the line, what pensions are instead are a fringe benefit based on a solemn promise.

When I decided to take on the job of a Police Officer and go out onto the streets of Philadelphia day and night to fight crime, that promise of a decent pension at retirement was a huge reason for making that decision. The city gave me it’s promise of that pension, and I along with numerous other officers gave them decades of hard work in return.

It’s always bemoaned as some obvious fact that police officers “don’t get paid enough” for the work that we do. Chasing bad men with guns up dark alleys, searching through dark buildings for wanted criminals, standing in the middle of thousands of vehicles to direct traffic safely are all on the enormous list of dirty, dangerous jobs.

Most of us do this job because we love it, that’s true. Many, like me, are part of multiple familial generations of public servants for whom a part of the attraction is that knowledge that we are making a positive difference in our communities.

But we also have traded off that relatively low salary for dangerous, hazardous, and as we have seen highlighted here in Philadelphia over the past few years deadly work in exchange for benefits that are important to us including quality health coverage and secure retirement.

Again, those are things that the city of Philadelphia promised to us when we took this job decades ago. It was a promise the city made to my own father back in 1960 when he began to work for thirty years for this town as a police officer. It is a solemn promise that they owe both realistically and morally.

Now there is a little problem here. The “they” of whom I speak is a city. That means in functional terms it’s tax-payers have to share in footing the bill for these services. They also have to share the blame for the problems for continually voting in the same politicians and Party and mentality year after year.

Those fiscal problems can be solved by fully funding all pension obligations, providing basic services, and cutting out the pork entirely. Not a single politician or official working for the city of Philadelphia should have a ‘take-home car’ for instance. Why should tax-payers be paying for the vehicles themselves as well as costly maintenance, fuel, insurance, and so on? Outrageous on it’s face.

If the city of Philadelphia had real fiscal and social conservatives running the show, the budget and services would be slashed and taxes lowered rather than raised. This would make Philly attractive once again for residents and businesses. More businesses here, more jobs. The cycle would reverse.

But no, the liberal socialist mindset is not only alive and well in Philadelphia and most other big cities in America today, it has spread to our national government as well. Tax and spend, spend and tax: the liberal socialist mantra.

No, Fox Philly, pensions are not the problem. The out of control spending of politicians is the problem. And since the vast majority of those politicians and all of the power are liberal Democrats with socialist thought processes, there should be the proper direction for your news features and stories.

When the media begins to challenge the power structure that has been in place in Philadelphia for decades, begins to call a spade a spade in naming specifically the Democratic Party and the liberal spending policies as the true problem, then they might have some integrity and credibility.

Stop pitting citizens against citizens, tax payers against employees, one hard-working Philadelphian against another. Instead, Fox Philly and other media outlets, turn your Constitutionally-mandated and protected power against the powers-that-be who got us into this mess and keep us wallowing in it. That is your job. Go earn your pensions as we earn ours.

American Political Revolution

It might be a bit too premature and over dramatic to use such terms, but it is not very difficult to make the case that what happened yesterday in Massachusetts is not some isolated election anomaly, but part of a burgeoning nationwide American political revolution.

Since Republican Henry Cabot Lodge was defeated by a young, upstart politician named John F. Kennedy in November of 1952 and left office in January of ’53, at least one of Massachusetts’ two U.S. Senators has been a Democrat. Two years after JFK was elected to the Presidency in 1960, his brother Ted Kennedy assumed the seat and owned it until his death last year.

The other Massachusetts Senatorial spot was won by Paul Tsongas for the Democrats in 1979. He was succeeded in 1985 by ultra-liberal John Kerry, and so the Democrats have had solid control of both U.S. Senatorial seats from Massachusetts for a generation.

In what has to be a stunning, bitter, ironic defeat for the Dems, the seat virtually owned by the Kennedy’s and controlled by liberal interests for over a half century was lost yesterday.

In the special election held yesterday to replace the deceased ‘Lion of the Senate’, 50-year old Scott Brown was chosen by the previously reliable voters of Massachusetts to become the first Republican U.S. Senator to represent the commonwealth in three decades.

It is that very idea of previously ‘reliable’ voters rising up and throwing out the candidates presented by their political party, particularly the Democratic Party at this time, that leads to the notion that there is something more brewing here than simple dissatisfaction in local politics.

A year ago today, Barack Obama was sworn-in as the 44th President of the United States. The first minority to hold the office, Obama was elected after a campaign that promised to “fundamentally change America” in his very own words.

It has become abundantly clear in the ensuing year that what Obama and his ultra-liberal congressional leaders, U.S. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi from California and U.S. Senator Harry Reid from Nevada, consider ‘Change’ is very different from what the vast majority of those who elected him expected.

The majority of voters are generally ‘centrists’ who do not adhere to any political idealogy on a stringent basis in their daily lives. They may be generally conservative in nature, such as myself and most Republicans, or generally liberal, as most Democrats, but they begin to get very turned off when the far-end of either party begins to attempt to assert control over their lives.

The voters should have understood what Obama meant by his ‘Change’ because he was really no secret. By every measure he was the most far-left of the liberal Democratic U.S. Senators. His personal, educational, social, and political associations were all at least bordering on socialist and communist. He is certainly the single most politically progressive individual to ever hold the highest office in the land.

But the fact is that the majority of voters just didn’t get it. They were wooed by Obama’s dynamic public speaking ability and by a liberal-dominated mass media into buying into the notion that he would simply be a compassionate, intellectual alternative to lead a younger generation of Americans forward in a changing world.

Instead, what Obama did was almost immediately undertake a radical policy to have the federal government take over large swaths of American private industry. He and his political allies who are currently in control of Congress and the Senate have taken what was already huge public debt and driven it to irresponsible levels. This will undoubtedly lead to massive tax increases in the coming months and years.

Many people now believe this is an intentional attempt to collapse the American financial system and lead to complete government control of most or all sectors of public life including the financial, labor, health, educational, and media systems.

None of these actions are in compliance with the stated intent or the spirit of the U.S. Constitution or the traditional American precepts of self-reliance and independence. As the year has worn on, Americans finally began to sit up, take notice, and then stand up to be heard.

At what became known as ‘Tea Parties’ and at town hall meetings across the country, Americans let their elected officials and representatives of the Obama administration know that they were not happy with the direction in which the country was heading. Rather than pay heed to the obvious discontent fomenting among the people, the arrogant politicians plowed on with their plans, often publicly stating that they didn’t care what the people want.

Then came the fall, and election season. In New Jersey, uber-rich, ultra-liberal incumbent Democratic Governor Jon Corzine was defeated by Republican Chris Christie. In Virginia, Republican Bob McDonnell ousted liberal Tim Kaine from the Governor’s seat held by the Dems for eight years. The issues and personalities were indeed local, but in both instances reflected national opinions and trends.

For months now, almost every single reliable poll taken across the country has shown great dissatisfaction among the electorate with the programs and the policies undertaken by Obama and being plowed through congress by his lock-step Democratic Party cohorts. The polls are showing that the gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey were akin to tremors preceding an earthquake. What happened yesterday in the Massachusetts Senatorial election is the strongest in what is now a continuing series of these tremors.

What seems crystal clear at this point is that traditional American values are under attack, and Americans have had enough of both parties. Going forward, at least in the short term, it appears that no incumbent who ignores their electorate is safe. Americans don’t want party politics as usual, they want people who will speak the truth to them, and who will respond to them. Either that, or the people will resort to the old political axiom of ‘throw the bums out’.

This coming fall Americans will go to the polls all across the nation in what will be pivotal times for the future of the country. Will the United States continue to slide closer and closer to full-blown socialism by keeping the current liberals running the Democratic Party in control? Or will the American political revolution begun at the 2009 tea parties and town halls, carried into Virginia, New Jersey, and now Massachusetts, lead to a reclaiming of traditional America?

Jersey Gets Same-Sex Marriage Right

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Marriage in NJ remains between a man and a woman

All across the United States and all across the spectrum of ideas, liberals and progressives have been attacking traditional American values for the better part of a century now. These attacks have gained momentum in recent decades thanks to persistent, pervasive, and often subversive campaigns by leftist organizations.

One of the most recent attacks came in the State of New Jersey, where a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage was being pushed through the legislature and being vocally supported by ultra-liberal Governor John Corzine. In today’s editions of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Corzine actually implied that gay marriage is a “fundamental human right” and to deny it would be a violation of civil rights and liberties.

Thankfully, the New Jersey Senate did not see it that way. They voted by a solid 20-14 majority yesterday to protect marriage as solely between a man and a woman, as God intended. The vote comes on the heels both of New York’s rejection of the idea and the electoral victory of Chris Christie over Corzine in November. Christie will take over the Governor’s office in 10 days and had promised to veto such a measure should it have passed.

The ‘gay marriage’ (sic) issue is yet another in a surge of issues over these last few decades that liberals and progressives simply could not win in referendums at the ballot box, and so they have resorted to pressuring and bribing politicians, infiltrating the media, and bringing law suits in jurisdictions where the courts are known to be solidly liberal in their rulings.

Traditional Americans are beginning to both understand these threats and to grasp the seriousness of their nature when taken individually and as a whole as threats to our society. True mainstream America has begun to fight back and win. In November 2008, California passed ‘Proposition 8’, which put an end to court-backed gay marriages begun months earlier and recognized marriage as only between a man and a woman. Maine voters then followed suit in November of last year.

The issue, of course, is not one of whether or not some State or Commonwealth may come up with some type of civil union legislation allowing couples of the same sex to reap the same civil benefits as opposite-sex couples. The issue is the protection of a particular type of union called ‘Marriage’ or ‘Matrimony’ the basis for which was established by God Himself as being between a man and woman at the creation and which has been in existence for millenia.

If there are men out there who wish to insert their penis in another man’s anus or mouth and call that a normal, loving, sexual experience with a straight face, that is their business within the privacy of their own home. But for them to foist such an idea on the rest of society as something that we should all embrace as a normal, human act to be celebrated and sanctioned under the moral umbrella of ‘marriage’ is ludicrous on it’s face.

Marriage about morality? You bet it is. How does that jive with the legality of divorce and the practice of adultery? It doesn’t, frankly. Having gone through them myself, I can tell you that divorce and annulment are serious processes that should not be entertained, supported, or granted frivolously, and that certainly have no business being celebrated. And adultery may be the dumbest and most hurtful thing in which any married person could ever engage.

The marital ceremony is about bringing together a man and a woman as one, as were Adam and Eve by God. Marriage is about a loving celebration on a daily basis between a man and woman, husband and wife, in the course of developing more fully their own relationship with one another and with God, and in attempting to build a family. If you are not a man and a woman committed to these concepts, then you shouldn’t be married or entertaining the idea.

I am extremely fond of my dog, Petey. He is a good dog. Loyal, faithful, fun. We have lots of great times together. In fact, I would say that I care more about Petey than some gay people care about their partners. Should I be allowed to marry Petey? I mean, I love him, and would love to have society pay for his veterinarian bills. If I have to pay for the medical bills of some gay person’s ‘partner’ then why shouldn’t they pay for Petey’s vet bills?

Once men can marry men, and women can marry women, would we move next to allowing such further obscenities to the institution of marriage as me marrying my dog, or some farmer marrying his cow, or some shepherd marrying his sheep? What about a computer programmer marrying his computer-generated, life-like, animated, 3D female character? Where does it end?

Think that is stupid, inane, ridiculous, trivial? Well that is exactly how many of us in normal society sees the idea of men marrying other men, and women marrying other women. It has nothing at all to do with hate, or fear, or discrimination against gay men or lesbians. It is about protecting a particular God-given institution and Sacrament that is meant solely to be between a man and a woman. There is no Biblical or historical basis for, or constitutional right to gay marriage.

Currently there are 39 of the 50 U.S. states already fully and specifically prohibiting gay marriage with laws modeled after or pre-dating the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, including Pennsylvania, which thankfully despite the ultra-liberalism of the Philadelphia area actually remains the most socially conservative state in the northeast region.

We can no more make a gay person straight than we can make a stone come to life. Gay people were created that way by God. It is something with which they will have to go through life dealing. We don’t need to hate, we need to be compassionate. But compassion does not extend to supporting every action of an individual. It also does not mean surrendering our most cherished institutions and our God-given Sacraments to the ideology of a tiny minority.

The State Senate of New Jersey got it right yesterday when they voted to hold back the abomination of same-sex marriage. They also got it right a couple of months ago when they tossed Corzine out on his typical high-taxing, low-morality, America-hating can. Here’s to hoping that Americans continue to awaken to what has been going on in our country and continues to take it back, as New Jersey may have begun.