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Could NJ Go Bankrupt? [POLL/AUDIO]

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie seems to be using every opportunity he has to push for changes to be made to the state’s pension system.

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(David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ)
Gov. Chris Christie speaks at a town hall meeting in Mount Laurel on March 13, 2014.

During his most recent town hall in Mount Laurel, the governor said the pension system is currently  underfunded by $52 billion and payments to the system are scheduled to dramatically increase in the next few years. That means there will be even less money available for education and property tax relief.

“Some folks in the legislature are saying that’s not a problem, we’ll grow out of it,” Christie said. “But if you want to understand what this problem will do to you, look at the city of Detroit, the city of Detroit just went bankrupt — ladies and gentlemen, that’s where we’re headed.”

He stressed “we’re not talking about something that’s theoretical or hypothetical, it’s coming.”

“I hate to be the guy who’s always coming out here like a parent who’s peering over their bifocals looking at the checkbook, but it’s the checkbook you put me in charge of,” Christie said. “When I see it’s $52 billion overdrawn it makes me nervous — for the taxpayers, and the retirees counting on their pension — what happens to them?”

He described some “public sector folks” as being short-sighted, because every day, they demand more and more, and they won’t acknowledge there is a bottom to this, and by demanding more today they may be selling away tomorrow.

“I’m one of those folks who actually believes that there is a finite amount of money available, I do not believe that your ability to be taxed is infinite,” Christie said. “If you agree that you don’t believe that the government has the right to endlessly infinitely take your money, then that means we’ve got to stop spending it.”

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