Chris Christie on Welfare & Poverty



Food stamps recipients must be in job training programs

Leaders hailed the opening of a new program designed to help impoverished people get jobs or training so they can remain qualified for food stamps. The pilot program uses private donations to fund jobs & job training to people receiving benefits from the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (formerly "food stamps").

Under federal requirements, recipients must have a job or be in a training program to be eligible for the benefit. New Jersey had waived that requirement because of the weak economy, but last year Gov. Chris Christie's administration refused to extend that waiver. Elected officials gathered to kick off the SNAP Employment and Demonstration Project, the result of legislation sponsored by state senator Ray Lesniak.

Lesniak said, "It matches private sector money to federal money--at no costs to the state--in funding job training for SNAP recipients." Lesniak said 11,000 people statewide would lose their food stamps unless they get jobs or are in training programs.

Source: Newark Star-Ledger on 2017 New Jersey gubernatorial race , Mar 10, 2016

12-point entitlement reform plan, including benefit cuts

Q: You say that to save the system that you have to cut benefits for Social Security and Medicare, and you say that some of the candidates here on the stage are lying. Governor Huckabee says he can maintain benefits; is he lying?

CHRISTIE: No, he's not lying, he's just wrong. I'm the only guy on this stage who's put out a detailed, 12 point plan on entitlement reform and here's why--because 71% of federal spending right now is on entitlements, and debt service. If we don't deal with this problem, it will bankrupt our country, or lead to massive tax increases, neither one that we want in this country.

HUCKABEE: Whose fault is it that the system is screwed up? Is it the recipients, or is it the government? If Congress wants to mess with the retirement program, why don't we let them start by changing their retirement program, and not have one?

CHRISTIE: I don't disagree with ending Congress' retirement program. I'm a governor, I don't have a retirement pr

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Focus on income inequality drives America toward mediocrity

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey delivered an unexpectedly blistering broadside on Tuesday against the Democratic Party's growing emphasis on income inequality, warning that the movement would "drive America toward mediocrity" and portraying its leaders, like Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, as local liberals unlikely to ignite a national cause.

Christie pooh-poohed the issue and its champions, Mr. de Blasio and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, predicting that they would never achieve the level of influence that the Tea Party had exerted in the Republican Party. "I don't think they are affecting the rest of the country all that much," he said.

The problem, he said, is that Americans do not want income equality, suggesting that it is antithetical to the country's abiding belief in "income opportunity" that rewards hard work and merit. "You want income equality? That is mediocrity," he said. "Everybody can have an equal, mediocre salary."

Source: NY Times on "NY Region" in 2013, 2016 presidential hopefuls , Feb 12, 2014

1996: Working poor hurt by limits on childcare subsidies

1996: Working poor hurt by limits on childcare subsidies When Governor Christine Todd Whitman proposed welfare reforms in 1996, Christie signed a letter written on behalf of the freeholder board urging changes to the plan, because, he said, the working poor could be hurt by proposed rules on subsidized child 1996: Working poor hurt by limits on childcare subsidies

"Many working poor are at risk of losing their childcare subsidy," wrote the freeholders. "Loss of childcare may mean a parent will no longer be able to work and will have to go on welfare, setting up a vicious cycle which

Source: Rise to Power, by B. Ingle & M. Symons, p. 53-54 , Jun 5, 2012

$100 supplement for seniors' home cooling assistance

Gov. Christie today announced that approximately 135,000 seniors and disabled households throughout New Jersey will receive help with home cooling expenses this summer in addition to winter home heating assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Those New Jerseyans who need it most will soon receive an emergency $100 supplemental benefit to help cope with the recent heat wave. An additional 47,000 households that received medically-required cooling assistance will also receive a $100 supplemental benefit to address the hot summer temperatures and higher electric utility bills. The benefits will begin distribution in mid-August.

"With this summer's temperatures peaking around 100 degrees, many New Jerseyans are struggling with higher utility bills to beat the heat," said Gov. Christie. Eligible households do not need to reapply for the program to receive supplemental benefits. These funds will be issued as credits to utility accounts or issued by check

Source: 2011 gubernatorial press release, "Summer Energy Bills" , Aug 1, 2011

Urban Fund and NJ Enterprise Zones don't work

Gov. Corzine has followed the same path as those before him and despite bold promises, hasn't made any progress or achieved any real results. Programs like the Urban Fund and New Jersey Enterprise Zones have been renewed year after year despite the absence of any clear indication that they are actually working. Meanwhile, unemployment in our urban cities is nearly 15%, only 40% of students pass the High School Placement Test, on average there are 1,700 violent crimes per year, and more than 22% people live below the poverty line.
Source: 2009 Gubernatorial campaign website, christiefornj.com , Jul 21, 2009

Gut COAH, the Council on Affordable Housing

The state budget took center stage at New Jersey's republican gubernatorial debate. One of the more heated exchanges by Steve Lonegan and Chris Christie on spending came about over the Council on Affordable Housing or COAH. Lonegan asked, "I'm curious to watch Chris move his position from being in favor of COAH in December, to gutting it and bringing it back in a different form two weeks ago, and to now apparently call for eliminating it altogether. So I'm not really clear what Mr. Christie's position is, today."

Christie responded, "One of the hallmarks of Steve's campaign is to just make it up as he goes along. The fact of the matter is right from day one, I have said I would gut COAH. I guess it was just another one of those times Steve wasn't listening, but just since we're here tonight and you can hear me, I would gut COAH, that's been my position from the beginning and no matter how many times you say something else, it just doesn't make it so."

Source: Newark Star-Ledger coverage: 2009 N.J. gubernatorial primary , May 12, 2009

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Page last updated: Jun 15, 2016