Gov. Chris Christie yesterday warned an audience of national Republicans that the country is in danger of becoming a “paternalistic entitlement society” where people sit on the couch, “waiting for the next government check.”
Christie spoke at a day-long conference on tax policy in New York hosted by former President George W. Bush, who nominated Christie to be U.S. Attorney in 2001. Christie spent most of his 30-minute speech on New Jersey budget issues, but brought up national policy toward the end. He said it is the least optimistic period he’s ever seen for the nation.
“It’s because government’s now telling them, stop dreaming, stop striving, we’ll take care of you. We’re turning into a paternalistic entitlement society. That will not just bankrupt us financially, it will bankrupt us morally,” Christie told Bush, Henry Kissinger and an assortment of Republican governors in a theater at the New York Historical Society.
“When the American people no longer believe that this is a place where only their willingness to work hard and to act with honor and integrity and ingenuity determines their success in life, then we’ll have a bunch of people sitting on a couch waiting for their next government check,” Christie said.
Christie never mentioned President Obama by name, but in the past has spoken about the need to reign in entitlement spending for programs like for Social Security and Medicare.
Bush introduced Christie by praising his “enormous personality” and “belief in the individual,” noting that Christie has grabbed a lot of attention, even from Texans.
“I was a proud member of the Bush administration for seven years,” Christie said, later adding that Bush “inspired a whole new generation of conservative Republican leaders.”
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