Gov. Chris Christie, frustrated that New Jersey's Democrat-controlled Legislature won't agree to cutting taxes on his schedule, unveiled a new approach Thursday: calling out as hypocrites Democrats who propose any new spending.
In a speech to the Southern New Jersey Chamber of Commerce in Cherry Hill, Christie listed programs that lawmakers have proposed and passed through one chamber of the Legislature. Among them: launching an institute for responsible fatherhood, a summer enrichment program for students in New Brunswick, a youth mentorship, studying a new kind of retirement community, putting kitchens in licensed child-care centers and paying towns that lose tax revenue because they have large cemeteries.
He said Democrats should not propose such measures, which add up to millions of dollars in spending, while saying the state should wait to see if it can afford tax cuts before implementing them.
"I will be the person, as popular or unpopular as it may be at the moment, to look the purveyors of old politics in Trenton in the eye and say one simple word: No," Christie said.
Earlier this year, Christie proposed tax cuts to take effect in January 2013.
The Legislature nixed the idea, saying the state should wait until closer to then to see how the state revenue is doing before approving the cuts. Lawmakers said the cuts could still be in place by January.
The numbers lately have not been good for Christie. The unemployment rate for August was up to 9.9 percent, state revenues are below expectations and the state has had its financial outlook lowered last week by the credit rating agency Standard and Poor's.
In most of his appearances in the state since July, Christie has criticized lawmakers for denying the state tax relief.
One of the messages has long been that people should not trust Democrats who say they'll consider a cut later. He put it a new way with Thursday's talk by calling lawmakers hypocrites.
He called out several by name. For instance, he sarcastically called state Sen. Barbara Buono, who is considering a run against Christie next year a "soldier in the war for fiscal prudence."