After decades of gross mismanagement and shortsighted budgeting practices, Governor Christie came into office and acted decisively to bring the State’s budget back into balance and struck a path of responsibility and reform.
Governor Christie laid out a plan focused on keeping communities safe while helping non-violent offenders reclaim their lives
Effective law enforcement requires a police force that is engaged in their community and has the necessary resources and support. In Camden, New Jersey – long one of the most violent cities in America – Governor Christie joined a coalition of county and community leaders that brought about a fundamental restructuring of the city’s police force and a rethinking of their engagement with those they serve.
Focus on Treatment First Through Drug Courts: Governor Christie has championed the use of drug courts in the state of New Jersey, which allow first time, non-violent offenders, the opportunity to get the treatment they need rather than serving jail time. The Governor expanded mandatory drug court for first time non-violent drug offenders across the state, and is calling for the expansion drug courts to every state. Governor Christie is also calling for ending the current dysfunctional, ad-hoc approach for implementing drug courts being used on the federal level and as President, would make drug court mandatory in all 94 federal districts.
Common-Sense Bail Reform: It is fundamentally unfair that in some cases individuals charged with minor, non-violent offenses can be held in jail while awaiting trial simply because they cannot afford bail, while dangerous and violent offenders can be back out on the streets because they can.
One-Stop Reentry Services: Governor Christie is calling for an expansion of the one-stop model to help ex-offenders access critical services and support that creates stability and consistency. In New Jersey, a single physical location in each participating city was established to provide access to the services proven most critical to help ex-offenders move forward from addiction, find stability and re-enter their communities: Addiction Treatment, Housing & Employment Services.
Education and Job Training Opportunities for Inmates: Educational and training opportunities for inmates should be expanded so that upon release ex-offenders will have acquired the skills they need to find stable employment. Re-entering the workforce is a critical step for ex-offenders to reintegrate into their communities and lead productive lives.
Ban The Box: One of the biggest challenges facing ex-offenders as they seek to re-enter society is finding and maintaining stable employment. One key step we can
take to help these individuals find jobs is to require employers to first interview job applicants before asking if he or she has ever been convicted of a crime.
Governor Christie has laid out a comprehensive series of proposals to reform entitlement spending, ensuring that America’s safety net will continue to exist for today’s seniors and future generations, while at the same time helping to reduce the explosion of national debt and demand for higher taxes that unrestrained growth of these entitlement programs will create.
Social Security exists so America’s seniors, after a lifetime of hard work, don’t fall into poverty. Governor Christie is proposing that Americans pay into this system throughout the course of their life knowing it will be there if they need it to support them, but if they are fortunate enough not to need it, they will have paid into a system that will continue to help Americans who need it most. This proposal will not impact current retirees, and will be phased-in gradually.
Medicare spending growth is placing an inescapable burden on future generations and failing to produce high-quality health care results for our seniors. In order to make these programs fiscally solvent for future generations and improve the kind of health care services and treatment those utilizing these programs receive, Governor Christie proposes keeping it simple - if you can afford to pay more for your health benefits you will and if you can’t, you won’t. Governor Christie proposes expanding the existing sliding scale for Medicare premiums for higher-income seniors.
Governor Christie proposes giving each state a set amount of Medicaid funds indexed to the number of enrollees in Medicaid. Under such an arrangement, Medicaid would continue to provide more funding for states and low-income individuals when the economy is doing poorly and unemployment increases. By implementing a per capita cap system, all states will have increased freedom to tailor Medicaid programs to their citizens in the best-suited manner for their state.
Reforming Disability Insurance (DI) is an urgent challenge. The DI trust fund will become insolvent next year. The best way to save this program and ensure it has the necessary resources to assist those who need it is by focusing on ways to help those beneficiaries who can keep working to return to the workforce and encouraging rehabilitation in lieu of permanent disability. We should require applicants to first work directly with employers and rehabilitation specialists to create a plan and explore alternatives and accommodations that can be made to address their specific needs in their current workplace. We should also offer tax incentives that encourage employers to invest in prevention, accommodation and rehabilitation services for their workers as well as to provide short-term private disability insurance.
Keeping our military strong must be at the heart of any global agenda. A strong military doesn’t just help us to deal with the threats we face. It helps eliminate them before we even see them. We need to give our men and women in uniform the resources they need to get the job done. As President, Governor Christie will repeal the sequestration cuts and restore funding levels to what Secretary Gates proposed with modest increases in defense spending through the end of the decade.
We also need to build a new generation of weapon systems to protect our interests on every front – on the ground, on the seas, in the air or new frontiers even further out. We need to invest in unmanned aviation, directed energy weapons and space while continuing to be leaders in undersea warfare. When it comes to cyber warfare, we need to be ready not just to defend against threats, we need the offensive capabilities to deter our enemies – or strike back when necessary.
Governor Christie has seen up close just how important the intelligence community is to defending our way of life. As U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, his office focused on fighting terrorism every day. When it comes to preparing for the threats over the horizon, strength and knowledge go hand in hand.
It is disgraceful the way there are folks in Washington who want American intelligence weaker and less informed just to drive their own personal political agendas. Protecting our homeland must be an uncompromising priority. We need to toughen our anti-terror and surveillance laws to give our intelligence services the legal mechanisms to do their job.
We need to invest in new technologies and infrastructure to support our signals intelligence, so that we can actually interpret all the data we’re gathering. At the same time, we need to strengthen our human intelligence capabilities in the parts of the world where they’re weakest. We can also do more to strengthen our cooperation and intelligence sharing with our neighbors, as well as our allies in Europe.
It’s not just our strength and intelligence that defines us as a country; it’s our willingness to stand with those who share our values and interests. We became the leader of the free world because we also chose to become the arsenal of democracy. And when we make a commitment to stand with our allies, our word is our bond. Or at least it used to be. Right now, we have a government that doesn’t seem to care about all the blood and sweat and treasure that it took to build those alliances. Because we’ve broken our word.
Whoever is going to be our next Commander-in-Chief is going to make restoring America’s word a priority. We need to make it clear to our friends and allies that we stand with them in the cause of freedom, and against all the gathering threats.
Since taking office, Governor Christie acted on his commitment to ensure that every child in New Jersey has access to a high-quality education regardless of their zip code. The sweeping changes he enacted can and should be a model for reform for the nation.
Governor Christie firmly believes that by ensuring students know the quality of the program they are investing in, giving them the flexibility and innovative tools to get the job done, while expanding access to tuition assistance, America can ensure that every young person can affordably develop the skills they need to compete in the modern economy.
Affordability & Student Aid: Governor Christie proposes to refocus federal student assistance for those at the bottom while expanding alternative funding such as income-share agreements in which students could agree to pay some percentage of their future income for a defined period of time in exchange for private financing as well as tax credits to pay for programs that pay down student debt in exchange for community service.
Transparency & Accountability: Students should be able to see cost itemization for tuition, so they can know what they’re really paying for. If colleges can break out those costs, they should also unbundle them – allowing students, to just pay for the education and not all the add-ons. Greater transparency will also allow schools to analyze and compare their operating costs with other similar institutions.
Innovation And Alternative Education Models: America should strive to give students lots of different ways to learn, and shouldn’t fear alternatives to traditional four-year public universities. ‘Stackable credentials’ would allow students to re-enroll at different colleges over time without losing credits so students have the flexibility to jump in and out of education as needed. We should also expand apprenticeships and training programs while linking employers with education institutions to offer a variety of paths for individuals to develop the skills the labor force needs.
Governor Christie believes we need a tax system that lowers individual rates for every American while unleashing the nation’s growth potential. Governor Christie will reform the tax code by creating a flatter, fairer and simpler individual income tax system and keep returns simple by reducing deductions and giveaways.
Governor Christie will also lower the Corporate Tax Rate to a more competitive 25% which S&P has suggested could help create as many as 10 million jobs, and allow companies a one-time opportunity to repatriate over two trillion dollars of profits currently sitting overseas at a much lower tax rate which would unleash a wave of new capital investment.
This era in which the Obama administration tries to accomplish its ideological goals through the regulatory state must end. Regulation should be used to implement actions explicitly authorized by statute. Further, the next president should review every rule and executive order published under this administration during the transition, so that on day one, the most egregious and unlawful ones can be revoked.
We should restore the principle that for any new regulatory change proposed that the benefits outweigh the costs. We should also impose a “Regulatory Zero” rule in which for each new rule that is imposed, one of equal cost must be sunsetted or removed. Additionally, we should impose a hard cap on what it can cost for employers to complying with all federal regulation.
As Governor Christie stated in Mexico last fall, we are in the midst of a North American Energy Renaissance. The U.S. and its friendly neighbors and close trading partners Canada and Mexico – have a major opportunity to increase the competitiveness of our regional economy in the world, and to improve our strategic and security position at the same time.
The U.S needs to build the necessary infrastructure to get product to markets and ensure the smooth functioning of our energy markets, lift the ban on crude oil exports and allow markets to function as well as rationalize the country’s approach to regulation to make sure it is fair. We can also ensure the U.S can maximize its energy resources in an environmentally sound manner by developing greater technological capabilities.
The critical measure of success for any growth plan is people going to work at jobs worth doing. Today, though, there are too many federal policies which discourage work. America must reduce the marginal cost to the employee of taking a job, and reduce the federally-imposed cost to an employer of hiring someone.
Governor Christie proposes eliminating the payroll tax for those above age 62, as well as for those newly entering the workforce, below age 25. This will encourage those nearing retirement to keep working should they want to, and make it easier for the young to enter the workforce. Both will be good for America. He will also repeal Obamacare’s 30-Hour Workweek mandate which has been a clear contributor to the massive shift from full time to part time employment under this president.
America must remain the home of innovation in the world. This will require investing in research and development, focusing education on the needs of employers and increasing access to capital. In addition to investing in universities themselves through research, the U.S. must do a better job matching the skills students learn with the needs of employers.
America has for many years had the deepest, most liquid, most transparent capital markets in the world. Yet America is now losing its edge, in part due to the unintended consequences of regulation. Reform which makes it easier for young high growth companies to access the capital markets is essential. To further encourage private sector innovation, the R&D tax credit should be made permanent as part of broader tax reform.
Governor Christie has called for securing the border with Mexico through:
Most who enter the country illegally come here to work. Employers should not be exploiting cheap illegal labor and should be held accountable when they do. Every employer in the country should be using e-verify to check the work status of employees.
Around 40% of the illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. came into the country legally and simply overstayed their visas. We should be utilizing existing biometric technology to keep track of those who enter the country on a visa, so that that they can be returned home once their visas are expired.
As president, Governor Christie will enforce all the laws as president, not just some. He will block federal funding for sanctuary cities who are choosing to ignore the law.
Governor Christie joined the legal fight against President Obama’s Executive Amnesty, signing onto an amicus brief that successfully urged the Appeals Court to uphold the injunction.
Governor Christie believes veterans should be able to receive their health care benefit from any medical institution. Private sector and nonprofit hospitals want to be engaged in veteran health care and they should be brought in to supplement treatment delivered from veterans’ hospitals.
As President, Christie would hire a qualified professional who has run a major healthcare system in this country to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The majority of the role of the VA has become that of a healthcare provider and therefore needs someone who knows how to meet the mission of providing adequate and timely care.
In New Jersey, Governor Christie’s administration established a 24 hours a day 7 days a week hotline manned by mental health professionals as well as veteran volunteers. Governor Christie supports creating a similar nationwide hotline to act as a resource for veterans experiencing mental health issues when they get home.