Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Moran Strikes Back Against Christie's "Rant"

Remember NJ Governor Chris Christie's sharp rebuke of NJ Star-Ledger columnist Tom Moran for questioning his "confrontational tone"? Fellow columnist Paul Mulshine called Christie's "highly amusing rant" a "move to the right - right into web stardom".

Well, Tom Moran answered the governor in a 6/8/10 article entitled N.J. Gov. Chris Christie's rant reveals a hard-right agenda

In this piece, Mr. Moran exposes Christie's sinister plan, the worst kept secret in NJ: He plans to cut state aid to poor urban school districts! Of course, he doesn't quite put it that way. In the classic doublespeak language of the postmodern Left, Mr. Moran accuses the governor of planning a "scheme to take money out of poor urban school districts and spread it around to wealthier suburbs."

He accused the governor of "playing an ugly political game". He finds "a pretty tight fit" between the governor and the definition of "demagogue", citing Webster's:

A person who tries to stir up the people by appeals to emotion, prejudice, etc., in order to win them over quickly and so gain power.

Does that definition have a familiar ring to it. It sure sounds like one ideological side in this polarized country of ours.

I've left the following rebuttal comments:

Posted by zemack
June 08, 2010, 7:53PM

The governor a demagogue? It looks like we have a pot & kettle case here. Mr. Moran writes:

“The governor also revealed for the first time the real reason he removed Justice John Wallace from the bench: It was the first phase in a larger scheme to take money out of poor urban school districts and spread it around to wealthier suburbs.”

It was the state supreme court that in the 1970s forced the income tax on NJ, by closing down the public schools. It coupled that with the Abbott rulings to create a system of municipal welfare called “state aid” – funded, of course, by the income tax. The very purpose of those rulings was precisely to take money out of wealthier suburbs and spread it around poor urban school districts. The result 3 decades later is that municipal welfare now consumes over half of the state budget!

Christie blames the court for this mess, but he’s only partially right. The court is indeed a cause, but it is not the ultimate cause. The ultimate cause is the “thorough and efficient” clause of the NJ constitution (article VIII, section 4), which was the driving force behind the court rulings.

And why were those rulings allegedly necessary? Because “Kids in poor cities were crowded into decrepit buildings with poorly paid teachers in systems funded at slightly more than half the state average.” Who created that set-up? Who forced the city’s residents to fund those failed schools, to the tune of “slightly more than half the state average”? “Governors and legislatures”, that’s who. What created those “poor cities”, to begin with? The liberals’ very own welfare-state programs, which chased the productive into the suburbs and destroyed the tax base.

Then came the classic hard-Left solution to all government failures – “bigger government, higher taxes, more spending”. Under the political cover provided by the high court, the hard-Left liberals reached out to pick the pockets of people who sought a better life in the suburbs, to bail out the cities. Of course, it didn’t work.

And, when decades of taking money out of wealthier suburbs to spread it around poor urban school districts replaced “underfunded” failed urban districts with state-aid bloated failed urban districts, the governor who bluntly and directly told us that the Emperor has no clothes is called a demagogue. Now, in a monumental act of deception (or self-deception), Mr. Moran calls Christie’s modest cuts in municipal welfare taking money from those same aid-bloated districts! Well, read that Webster’s definition of a demagogue provided by Mr. Moran again, and you will find a perfect description of a modern welfare state liberal.

I like Christie’s honest and refreshing “confrontational tone”. But “hard-Right” he most certainly is not. In the end, he’s a classic “moderate” republican, who will make some tough and even bold decisions to save NJ”s fiscal neck – and in the process save the hard-Left’s redistributionist programs, in this case the municipal welfare scheme.

Do you want “hard-Right? Try this: repeal the “thorough and efficient” clause; abolish the state income tax; end state aid to municipalities; and break up the government’s public school monopoly with universal tax credits and private vouchers to empower all parents to control their own children’s education.

Somehow, Tom Moran's rant doesn't quite measure up to Governor Christie's. He's out of his league.

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