Is Chris Christie trying to prove he's still a Republican?

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie continues to screw over working people in his state. Earlier this week – he vetoed legislation to increase the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour. But, that’s not the only way Christie has denied help to the middle class. He also vetoed to key housing assistance bills, which would have brought much needed relief to struggling homeowners.

One bill would give authority to the state purchase foreclosed homes, and transform them into affordable housing for people who lost their homes in the Bush Great Recession. The other bill would have provided assistance to unemployed, and underemployed, homeowners to make mortgage payments.

In 2012, New Jersey outpaced every other state in the nation, when it came to homeowners falling behind on their mortgage payments – meaning while the housing situation may be slowly improving around the nation – it’s getting worse in New Jersey. And in just one week, Governor Christie has slammed the door on millions of residents in his state, who could have used higher wages, and a little help staying in their homes.


Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 20 weeks ago

First from yesterday. Aliceinwonderland and 2950-10k you want to get rid of all your billionaires please send them all up here to Canada we would love to have them. We could use all that tax revenue. Its a win win you get rid of them and we reduce our debt. You will get your wish though Obamas policies are driving them all out anyway.

As far as the government getting involved in the housing business. I can speak from my own experience. Here there where hundreds of small apartment owners that offered low cost housing for the low imcome families scattered all over the city, mixed in with families from all income groups. The government started getting involved about 20 years ago putting in rent controls, building government apartments (with extremly low rents) that competed with us , dictating what you could condo convert and when you could sell etc. So everyone but the government got out of the low income housing business. There hasn't been a PRIVATE low income housing project built here in 15 years as there is know money in it. Now we have created large comunities of low income or welfare populations in a small areas, with high crime rates, and horrible living conditions. Great intensions that went really went bad it is a shame. So I am will Christie stay out. The market will take care of it self.

Louise Hartman wrote, "he vetoed legislation to increase the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour. But, that’s not the only way Christie has denied help to the middle class" Are you saying minimum wage should be high enough to put you into the middle class? I thought it is was stepping stone to making more and getting to the middle class. I guess I am wrong again.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 11 years 20 weeks ago

We'll send them up to you - after they pay their taxes to us. They're not taking their concentrated wealth, that working people of the U.S. created, out of here and up to there. You're going to have to create your own wealth which I'm not sure I believe you have problem It's only because of the Bush, conservative, Republican recession of 2008 that your debt is so out of hand.. Before that it was steadily falling as a share of your GDP. Between 1960-1971 (through the infamous '60s) it went down from 33% to 20% of GDP. (Incidentally, there's a great article about how a religious conservative from the United Staes who moved to Canada came to embrace Canadian National Health Care after initially being hysterically opposed to it,

So you say there was a movement amongst landlords in Canada to charitably donate housing to the poor? That sounds implausible, to say the least, but if you say so. Usually there is government subsidy if housing is being provided to the poor at lower cost. It was when Reagan ended those subsidies and deregulated the housing/real estate market that homelessness exploded in the United States and we've had masses of homeless people on our streets ever since. Another reason for that is something we can also, in large part, blame Reagan for and that is the deindustrialization of the United States. That caused, not only the loss of living wage jobs for the uneducated and unskilled but also was the main cause and accelerant of the gentrification of our cities since then. Industry was the tax base of the cities so when industry and manufacturing moved out of the cities in the '70s and out of the country thereafter they were replaced by property taxes in that function. Thus the colluding factors of loss of jobs, lowered wages and skyrocketing housing costs ensured that we would continue to have a massive problem of homelessness.

The minnimum wage should or shouldn't be a floor for the middle class, we could argue and debate that another time but it should do at least what it was intended to do, keep working people above the designated - albeit unrealistically low - "poverty line", i.e., level of income necessarry to procure and provide basic needs. There should be NO such thing as the "working poor". If the minnimum wage had kept up with the rate of inflation these last 45 years it would be well over $10 per hour. Instead it's at a paltry $7.50 and millions of people in the U.S. work their asses off for the priviledge of living in poverty.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 11 years 20 weeks ago

I applaud the collective generosity of Canada's landlords that you describe, though, but I suspect there was something more to the story. I suspect there was something that made it more profitable for you to do that than to do otherwise and that something similar to what happened in the U.S. happened there to make it less profitable and create a need for government involvement.

The idea that society could rely on the voluntary generosity and ethical behaviour of capitalists to solve our social problems is a fantastical fiction that I used to believe in in my younger, more naive days..

The emotocons on this site don't seem to work, incidentally. The "wink" I put after the first sentence didn't show up on the post.

bobcox's picture
bobcox 11 years 20 weeks ago

The nprmal work week for lowest pard workers is about 20 hours per week so that the employer doesn't haver to pay state mandated unumployment amounts or other "secutity" benefits for the worker. He still has some taxes taken out of that pay, at least in some states. This is about 8,840.00 per year. No wonder there are so many homeless people in the US!

historywriter's picture
historywriter 11 years 20 weeks ago

This country has never built enough affordable housing, even when it promised it would. The Housing Acts that started in 1949 to allow funding to cities with the the goal of a "decent home and suitable living environment for every American family.”President Truman said that, and so did the law passed in 1949 abd 1954 and 1956 . . . .

Never happened. The cities built public housing--but not enough to replace the hundreds of thousands of housing units that were torn down. Truman urged builders to build more affordable housing and not as much upscale housing, but building affordable housing didn't have big enough profits.

It has ALWAYS been a big problem. The government had several programs to help poor people have housing. I don't know what they have now, but it was insufficient then.

klentz's picture
klentz 11 years 20 weeks ago

Ironically, minimum wage is at odds with innigration reform.If, by some miracle you stop illegal employment in the US, then farm work will have to pay minimum wage, and food prices will skyrocket. If you allow legal "guest workers" to work for less than minimum wage, to preserve food prices, then you will see guest workers in every industry from autos to hi tech and serious downward pressure on everyone's wages.

Christie is an idiot. If he really wanted to boost his career in politics, he would shift over to the D side. Fewer and fewer Republicans will get elected at the national level, again ironically, as a result of R footdragging on immigration reform.

Lest I sound like a conservative, I will say that it burns me that if the authorities want me, they know exactly where to look. If they want an undocumented, they are clueless as to where he is, for all they know he isn't even here.

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 20 weeks ago

Mark, I am not speaking for all landlords in all of Canada, Its a very big country, I live in very conservative Alberta, things work a little different here. I am sure it is different in a lot of cities. the suspect part is, personally, I just needed enough to carry the buildings and INFLATION is where the money is made. Thats where most 95% of Cnadian wealth is acomplished. I am not a non profit organizantion Mark I had a family to feed, this is one way I make a living. My Dad told me to buy land, because they don't make it anymore. He was right it has worked out ok for me.

The fact is it was much better for everyone when the market took care of itself. If there was a need for rental units of any kind, investors or investment groups built them. They where great for 401 K's (i think thats want you call them) But now how can we compete with the bottomless pockets of my Government.The answer is we can't so we are out. Now you have these huge projects that are not fit for humans to live in. Like I said its a crying shame.

But don't get me wrong most landlords are ______________. I can't stand them either.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 11 years 20 weeks ago

Such mean-spirited little men. Have fun paying your taxes.

ouizy's picture
ouizy 11 years 20 weeks ago

With 1 out of 3 mortgages "underwater", it is imperative that those principles are adjusted and made right and attached to very low interest new mortgages. If Ed DeMarco is still in place and the obstacle, the President must be leaned on to fire him. This being done would be not only a huge help to many families but also a huge boost to the economy as these poor home owners could go out and shop again. I hope you will address this and often Thom.

Listening today, gotta say, don't care at all for Carl Frish. Really liked Carl from Portland, how about making him your regular sub? Also really like Sam Saks.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 20 weeks ago

Kend, You're missing the point. Out of the 400 or so billionaires in this country a handful have with their, "our," money subverted democracy in order to game the system and continue an obsessive and ruthless quest for unending wealth at the expense of the general welfare of we the people. Thus we have as Thom points out, half the population one shock away from complete financial ruin. His idea of a 100% tax on wealth over $999,999,999 would be a good start in helping to bring back rule by we the people as opposed to the destructive rule by the billionaires and the Supreme Court. Trust me they will face no additional hardship with this tax policy.

How bout we just swap health care systems, I'd much rather have the non profit socialist system that you benefit from, it's much more cost effective.....afterall we have to reduce our spending!

By the way, if the billionaires could make more money living in your country you can bet they would already be there pal!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 20 weeks ago

I never got the storm aftermath Christie mixed up with the Teabagger he really is. He's just like Romney, he will say or do anything to gain power and once he has it he will keep it by doing the bidding for his rich Daddys.

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 20 weeks ago

Ok I get your point 10K, Lets just say we take all their wealth. All 400 of them. That wouldn't run your country for a three weeks. Obama and his party have been running on taxing the rich for 5 years and you have it now, He got his tax hike, did it solve your problems like he Obama said it would. No. Millions of people voted for him because Obama said "they have to pay their fair share" Remember, first it was the top one percent didn't pay their fair share, then he the top two percent, pretty soon it will be the top 90%, the fact is you where sold a bill of goods. Besides spending hard working tax payers money what has your president done for you and why does the left protect him so much. He is failing isn't he.

As far as our free non-profit health care we have. Plenty of people profit for our health care system. First of all if you think health care is expensive now wait until it is free. We are taxed every where and for everything. My rye whiskey I like, made in Canada I can buy in Scottsdale AZ for $12.00 is $65.00 here. You better not need a hotel, rental car, our any luxury item and god help you if you smoke.

First of all most Americans think we have a national health care system and that is simply not true. Each Province (state) takes care of their own so the provinces that are better off have better health care. All of the doctors have private practices. They are all paid by the province though (basic health care only), at a price set by the province that is why they all move down there we don't pay well. It looks like maybe that is going to change though with Obama care. Government health care doesn't cover dental, meds, eye care, hearing aids, ambulance, etc etc etc it only covers basic needs. Health care is rationed here, for non life threating problems you can wait over a year to see a specialist. I know my son waited 11 months with a stomach problem.

Would I trade? No, but I beleive we should meet somewhere in the middle. Most countries, not Canada, have a private/public system and I think from travelling all over the world and talking to people that is the way to go.

A national system in America for over 300 million people frankly scares the hell out of me. A state by state system makes more sence as each state has different needs.

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 11 years 20 weeks ago

It is simple. The American experiment failed, go figure that 47% that are Romney’s estimate to likely be moochers, or likely in poverty, plus the boomers like myself ready to retire to poverty tally up to be about one hundred and fifty million. That is big enough to fail.

Do you think we get a bail out? No.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 11 years 20 weeks ago

Kend whines: "As far as the government getting involved in the housing business... putting in rent controls, building government apartments (with extremly low rents) that competed with us [private owners of rental property], dictating what you could condo convert and when you could sell etc. So everyone but the government got out of the low income housing business. There hasn't been a PRIVATE low income housing project built here in 15 years as there is know money in it."

Wah. Just breaks m'heart.

Then he says: "Are you saying minimum wage should be high enough to put you into the middle class? I thought it is was stepping stone to making more and getting to the middle class. I guess I am wrong again." Right, Kend.

Perhaps this neo-con foreigner can explain to me why anyone working fulltime should expect less than a living wage. - Aliceinwonderland

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 20 weeks ago

Ya Alice it breaks my heart to. Those poor people have to live in those horrible public housing complexes now.

Minimum wage is what you make when you start a job or did something change. It used to be if you worked hard you would get a raise and move up to a better wage. I am curious what do you think minimum wage should be?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 20 weeks ago

Hey Kend, The Waltons brought in 2.5 billion in dividends in 2011. Many of the Walmart employees make so little they qualify for low income Govt. you see anything wrong with this? Have you ever worked for anybody?.....because I'm starting to get the impression you're a trust funder.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 11 years 20 weeks ago

KEND I'll tell ya what Minimum Wage should be...
The bottom pay scale should be practical in enabling any person who works a 40 hour a week job to maintain a healthy household; independent from any type of aid.
Here in Florida an income of less than $2,200.00/month (take home) for a household of 3 fails to cover the basic cost of living expenses (Housing, Food, Electric, Phone, Gas, Car Ins, etc.)

I know MANY people (including myself) who are greatful to be employed and work 40 + hours a week, yet cannot afford to maintain a healthy and independent house hold. I myself have a house hold of three people and between my wife and I make 39k per year. Oh we certainly struggle but we make it work the best we can. However, like so many honest and hard working poor and middle class peopel, if one of us lost our job, or became ill we would loose everything...which ain't much to begin with, but its we have!

And it isn't do to not putting in the time to earn a raise.
Even if min. wage was ment as a "starting wage" it currently still doesn't enable a house hold to be run in an independent manner...Our min. wage on average is comparable to that of the late 70's...Over 30 years ago. it needs to - at a minimum - be doubled. Even more realistic in some areas of the U.S. would be to triple minimum wage.

And I will take offense to what seems like a snarky remark regarding Public Housing. If you ment what you said as condesending...Explain why.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 11 years 20 weeks ago

Kend asks: "I am curious what do you think minimum wage should be?"

For a fulltime worker, that minimum wage should be enough to cover housing, utilities, food and all other basic needs at a bare minimum. And what you don't seem to notice is that most of these minimum-wage jobs are dead-ends; no promotions, no raises, no benefits. In a society like this with no upward mobility, you just work hard and get nowhere, while making someone else rich. - Aliceinwonderland

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 11 years 20 weeks ago

As long as we're all jumping on Kend -

KEND! Whassup whichou, man!?

Seriously though, I'm more concerned that the poor are adequately and affordably housed than that someone profit - "on their misery", as it were. If government can do it better it should.

Here is a good article written by a physician who treats homeless patients at a non-profit he founded making the case for the necessity of government in solving social problems. It is called "The Limits of Charity". It was sent to me by a friend who is a community organizer who organizes the homeless for political/economic power in Michigan.

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 20 weeks ago

I wasn't being snarky, I really feel sorry for people in those projects. They are horrible conditions they live in. if you read what I said, I was suggesting that it was better when the private sector looked after it. Of course I am only talking about what happened here.

For the record I am far from a trust funder. My Dad was killed in a accident when I was young and my Mom just got by. I left home when I was 18 years old and have never taken a penny from a family member or the government. I have given a lot though. I met my wife in grade ten math we dated for five years then married. 30 years ago this April. When we got back from our honeymoon we had a $60.00 to our names. Neither one of where educated past high school. We had hard times 18 years ago we almost lost our house but we always dug in and somehow found away and somehow did well and live a very nice life now.

it seems people live on minumin wage there. I am sorry obviously I didn't realize that. Here there must be a lot more opperatunities to move up. I do also forget how your healthcare works as well. Here we can work anywhere the health care is the same and it doesn't matter if you make a hundred dollars or a million your basic health care is the same. So it is easy to move from job to job to improve yourself

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 11 years 20 weeks ago

Gotcha Kend, but I do recommend the article.

We can't ALL be entrepreneurs, some of us will have to work for someone else. The American 18th century capitalist ideal depends largely on there being a vast, unconqured frontier with virtually limitless land just for the taking. Then there was no reason for anyone not to prosper. If they didn't it was likely they just weren't adequately working their land.

Perhaps Canada - or Alberta - with its limited population and tremendous territory more resembles such a society. In the U.S. the less populous western states, e.g., Alaska, Nevada, Idaho, Colorado, the Dakotas, etc. tend to be more of what I call the "entrepreneurial intolerance" or "impatience" with working people - or with those who work for someone else - whereas, the more populous eastern states are more lefty leaning, approaching socialism in their thinking.


Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 11 years 20 weeks ago

Kend- that was nice, how you apologized for judging our class-based issues from limited knowledge. I appreciate that. I also appreciate that, unlike so many with your poitical leanings, you do not come across as an arrogant, wise-ass, Angry White Boy; you actually have diplomacy in your persona. Makes you a rare bird on that side of the fence.

When healthcare is something everyone can simply take for granted as a right of citizenship, everyone has this huge advantage of a safety net that protects against the kind of catastrophic ruin we are subjected to here. Our system also puts an overwhelming burden on businesses owners, making it way more difficult for them to afford to hire. People are not forced to hang onto jobs just for the health coverage either. It's a system that traps and enslaves us. Where you're not one illness or injury away from losing it all, you are freer, to prosper and make something of your life. It's a large factor anyway, regarding anyone's prospects for success in whatever they do. - Aliceinwonderland

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 20 weeks ago

Canada also has a tenth of the population of America but has ten times the resources. I am not sure what we have here is possible to accomplish down there. I will say it again though if you know anyone who has a trade or skill like pipe fitting, electriction, welder etc the oil business is booming. It's nothing to make over $100,000 a year here if you don't mind working long hard days. Fox news did spot on it. Google "Alberta boom" on fox. Canada is offering short term visas for these jobs.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 11 years 19 weeks ago

Actually, the capitalists in the United States have gained pretty uncontestable control over our political economy and have found many ways to lower wages - all wages - to the poverty line and below. One method is union busting to where only 7% - and falling - of private sector workers are unionized. Another is capital flight or off shoring where businesses move their operations to a part of the world where either working people have even less power and can't get an adequate compensation for their work or the cost of living is so low in U.S. dollars that it isn't necessary to pay workers nearly as much as it is here or, more usually, a combination thereof. Another is outsourcing to temporary help agencies and staffing services whose employees are forbidden by law to join unions. Thus the second and third practices are essential to the implementing of the first but all three work against the power of U.S. workers to negotiate adequate compensation.

In the '90s and especially in the 2000s the majority of U.S. blue collar jobs were either off shored or outsourced. From 2000-2009 I was part of an organization that organized temporary workers and because the law didn't allow us to join unions we had to go the community organizing route, that is, we had to act as a community group or organization rather than a union. That was a new model of labor organizing for organizing low wage workers back then adopted by organizations like Jobs With Justice (which was part of our coalition) and by Our Walmart today. I've seen workplaces employing hundreds of people transition from a workforce consisting entirely of permanent, full time employees to one entirely of part time and temp workers. I've known people to be sent by temp agencies to work for a client that erstwhile employed them directly, full time. I have known MANY people to work the same "temporary" job for the same agency client everyday for years, even decades. It is very uncommon amongst the temporary help agencies and staffing services I have dealt with - and I have dealt with almost ALL in my region of Illinois that provide a certain type of basic labor (manufacturing, wharehouse, food service, maintenance, etc.) - to pay their people any more than the minnimum wage.

Our organization has participated in a campaign to get the minnimum wage raised state by state when the Bush Administration and the Republican congress weren't amenable to raising the Federal wage from $5.15 per hour where it stood for better part of 10 years.

You won't learn much from Fox News. Studies have shown that Fox News viewers are consistently misinformed and disinformed believing such things as Sadam Hussein being behind 9/11 and that there is no human caused climate change and so on. I suggest the web site of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting ( They do a good job of exposing the lies of Fox News point for point.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 11 years 19 weeks ago

Some people - mostly flag waving sociopath bellicose nazi christian jingoists - don't care about facts, truth, equality, humanity...For them Fox News is there feeder bar for information and "orders".

How's that, DANNEMARC, for casting "labels"?!?!? ;)

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 11 years 19 weeks ago


However your personal success is not an economic formula.
Timing...30 years ago the economy was much different; though it was the begininng of where we are today economically...So you got lucky!!!
What kind of job did you work? What was your pay? What was the price of gas???a gallon of milk???More importantly...the value of the dollar?
I ask if you think a person starting out "today" (broke in the U.S.A.) has the same opportunities you did?
Also what would you say to a person "today" whoes home loan is underwater and on the verg of foreclosure?

Mike-C's picture
Mike-C 11 years 19 weeks ago

I don’t think most of you are seeing the big picture. Step back a little more to see the whole system. Here’s what you might see.

It’s okay to have low wages. As an associate of the low wage club, you’ll be eligible for subsidized house payments. If you want a home, instead of an apartment, you can have that too.

Your eligibly will also entitle you to a deluxe food card which will provide you and yours will ample food on the table. Many members also use their card to buy food for non-members who will pay them back in non-covered household items or plain cash so that you can make your cell phone payments, buy clothing, a TV and so forth.

When a member becomes ill or injured, the club benefits include free hospitalization at the local charity hospital. Medicaid is also available for those expensive doctor office visits. All this is at your beckoning, even without that pesky and costly Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, because of that law, some of you may now have to actually pay for a health insurance policy due to that silly mandatory clause.

Wal-Mart and all the other low-pay companies realize that they are not required to pay living wages because the government will provide cost-of-living assistance. Governor Christie, as well as other state governors know this too.

In my city, where there is a lot of low income, I dread to think what would happen to our mega-food-stores should food cards become hard to get. Millions of federal dollars must be pouring into these fine establishments and certainly are keeping the cost of food down for the living wage earners.

But wait, there’s more! Most all of these great low wage benefits are being provided by the living wage earners! And, the wealthy pay a much less proportionate share of the benefits out of their $10,000+ monthly income, so they’re happy too. Plus, landlords can rest assured that those government rent subsidy checks will arrive on time! Lord knows how difficult it is when a living wage earner gets behind on rent and creates more bookkeeping and eviction hassles.

Please don’t’ wreck a working system! Let’s keep those low wage jobs alive and well!

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 11 years 19 weeks ago

Where did you get that absolute NONSENSE!? If you think being poor is like that you Fox News types are nuts. Sure there have been attempts to compensate for the injustices through democratic government but they don't even come at all close and only add insult to the injury of poverty making the working poor into charity cases.

The food card that I think you're talking about is just the technologically modernized food stamp program using a magnetized card instead of paper coupons. That people sometimes share their foodstamps with loved ones or sell them to buy clothes or something else they need is an old story of the tragic choices the poor have to make.

NOBODY gets free hospitalization. What the poor get at charity hospital is emergency room care where you have to wait SEVERAL DAYS, sometimes, to be seen by a doctor. If you need a surgery you often have to wait well more than a YEAR and then after an operation are sent out to go home (whether or not you have one) the same day with fresh staples in your abdomen or whatever. Oh, and it's NOT FREE, hell no! It is more affordable but still exorbidant . Of course, anybody can stiff a hospital on a bill and although that ruins your credit rating that may be a choice you have to make.

Yes, the Food Stamp program has always benefitted the grocers and the American farmer and thus has been a great job creator and GOOD for the economy.

And yes, like I said many times on this site before, what businesses,i.e., Walmart and such, don't pay in wages they pay in taxes and if they refuse to do either- like they are doing now - then you have what is happening now, the destruction of the middle class and the pauperization of the working people.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 11 years 19 weeks ago

Mike-C says: "It’s okay to have low wages..." and "Please don’t’ wreck a working system! Let’s keep those low wage jobs alive and well!"

I hope you are only kidding. It sounds cheeky but I'm not quite sure. Anyway, there is nothing "okay" about low wages. They rob us of the autonomy true freedom requires. Without autonomy, we're vulnerable to the whims of the toadies at the top of the ole dung heap. - Alice I.W.

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