RUSH: I’ve got some Chris Christie audio sound bites here I want to get in before the program. And Rumsfeld conducted a seminar with Andrea Mitchell (NBC News, Washington) on how to not accept the premise put forth in question after question after question. But Christie in Trenton spoke about concessions being asked of public employees in New Jersey. Let’s start with audio sound bite number ten. It’s from his budget address and yesterday afternoon in Trenton. We have several bites here. Here’s one.
CHRISTIE: For too many years our government has operated under the belief that the baseline, the place where you begin, is to continue to fund every program in the budget — regardless of the fiscal climate, regardless of the economy, and regardless of the effectiveness of the program. Well, not anymore. You need to build a realistic budget from the bottom up. You fund what you need this year to succeed. Not every relic from two decades ago that’s still on the books. The baseline is zero. Zero-base budgeting, which I promised in the campaign, has finally come to New Jersey.
RUSH: Now, this is very smart, very wise: Baseline budgeting. Most people don’t know what baseline budgeting is. I spent, back in the mid-nineties, a full three-hour program explaining it. I might be able to give you a brief summary of it in a couple of segments. But essentially… Let’s take the federal budget. Take any item in the budget you want, any department, any sub-department of any department, and it has a budget. The baseline for that budget is the current level of spending, with no factors whatsoever considered.
Did all of it get spent this year? Was there any left over? Did you need more? How was it spent? Was it effectively spent or not? It doesn’t matter, and with the federal budget there’s an automatic assumption that 10%, 8%, whatever is automatic as an increase. So that if the actual budget only goes up 4% people run around and say, ‘Oh, there’s a 4% cut here,’ when there hasn’t been a 4% cut. There’s been a 4% increase, but it’s not the full 8% that was targeted. The baseline is such that it basically allows people to claim ‘cuts’ in a budget when there aren’t any.
Zero-base budgeting means you start with a clean slate every year. ‘Okay, we mighta given you $2 million last year. We’re not gonna automatically start at $2,200,000 this year. We’re gonna start at zero again. We’re gonna look at what you did with that $2 million, where it went, and how you spent it. Did you need it all? Did you spend less?’ What happens is, as we all know, Health and Human Services advertises for food stamp applicants toward the end of the fiscal year so that they don’t get short-changed the next year when their budget comes out. So Christie is here talking about starting from zero, a clean slate. He then said this.
CHRISTIE: In Wisconsin and Ohio, they have decided there can no longer be two classes of citizens: One that receives rich health and pension benefits and all the rest who are left to pay for them. The promises of the past are too expensive, and the prospects of the future are too important to stay on the old, failed course. Across the country, we have come to a moment: The moment for real change and the return to fiscal discipline.
RUSH: He’s right, and it’s not just in Wisconsin. It’s in New Jersey, it’s coming to Indiana, it’s coming to Ohio. It’s gonna happen to every state that’s in this problem, and the number one expense — the number one place that they have to cut — is this irresponsible, mindless spending on people like he just said: ‘One class of citizen that receives rich health and pension benefits and the rest of us who are left to pay for it.’ We’ve gotten to a period out-of-balance now so the people receiving the benefits get twice what the people paying for them get. It’s unsustainable, cannot happen.
We have a war here between the government bureaucrat and the rest of us, and that’s what this is. I don’t care what the job is. Teacher, whatever the union employee is, the bureaucrat, that’s the new war. That’s the new class struggle. That’s the new class warfare, not rich versus poor. It’s the government bureaucrat versus the rest of us. The government bureaucrat happens to be unionized, and that’s where we are. That’s not gonna go away any time soon. You have Democrats going around, ‘We need to make it bloody in the streets here,’ and I’m sure they full-well intend to.