Paul Sarlo (D 36) Chair of the Senate Budget Committee says,
“I know Democrats want to hear you talk about a millionaires tax. I want to be realistic… We could talk about it, we could do it, and [Christie] could veto it. All that does is put everything on hold.”
Legislative leaders should lead, not whine that Christie would reject their proposals. Christie respects strength not weakness. He has shown that on important matters he is willing to compromise in order to get part of what he wants. Most recently he compromised on Supreme Court nominations. Now he wants to renege on state contributions to the pension plan.
Christie should not just be presented with a revenue enhancement plan that he can veto. Negotiations prior to the Legislature signing off on the 2015 budget should include higher tax rates for millionaires and corporations as well as a gas tax. We may not get all of them, but it’s worth the effort. It is Christie who has been weakened, not the Legislature.
Christie wants to hurt unions, but others should share in the budget pain – long in the making but exacerbated by Christie’s mishandling of our economy. If Christie wants to slash pension contributions legislators should insist he agree on bringing more revenue into our treasury and increase the depleted budget surplus.