You have to love the glitz and glamour of this Republican Primary. It has provided us with prime entertainment like LIVE reports from Las Vegas, announcing a billionaire's endorsement of a millionaire, the Upper-pizza-crust elites of Herman Cain and the “No really guys, I am serious” candidacy of Michelle Bachmann. These candidates know the truth: it's all showbiz, even when you're the sideshow.
Like most Americans, I have nothing against the 1 percent. I applaud all who have managed to find success in America's increasingly unwelcoming business climate. However, it's clear to me - and clear as well, I'm sure, to most other Americans - that the Republican Party has something against the middle class and this nation's working poor.
Here in New Jersey, struggling residents have been told they're in the midst of a "Jersey Comeback" despite all evidence to the contrary. I guess it should come as no surprise that the man riding the well-tailored coattails of this circus’ ringleader can’t be trusted to tell the truth either.
The truth seems to be that Chris Christie has put New Jersey on the back burner while he makes his campaign stops for his new friend Mitt. If the saying is true, “you are who you surround yourself with,” the people of New Jersey should be very worried.
Governor Romney recently caused jaws to drop with his callous declaration; "I'm not concerned about the very poor," trying instead to pretend that he was focused on the middle class. That’s hard to believe when his own fiscal plan gives massive tax cuts to the top one percent, while leaving Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in the gutter.
Under Romney's would-be policies, the average American family - who makes less than $40,000 a year - would see their taxes go up, while those making over $1 million a year would see a tax cut of nearly $146,000. No matter how you look at it, a Romney presidency could only result in devastating cuts to the programs the middle class depends on, while making life sweeter for those who need it the least.
While we watch Governor Christie make the Billionaire dinner circuit, it's difficult to not take note of the obvious: President Obama has consistently stood with the working class here in New Jersey. Since the President's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act took effect, we have seen $1.7 Billion in tax cuts go back to 3.2 million deserving New Jersey families.
President Obama has fought Governor Christie's attempts to ruin our environment and has worked to keep New Jersey green. These investments include $118,821,296 in the weatherization of homes, another $75,468,200 in grants to build energy efficient buildings and $75 million for energy saving projects at the county and city level.
Take note, Christie, this is how you secure a genuine New Jersey comeback - one that's meant to last.
New Jersey's middle class is now faced with a make-or-break moment. While Romney, Christie and the rest of the radical right wing fight for a return to failed policies, it's comforting to know that New Jersey has a friend in the White House. President Obama started the Jersey Comeback long before Christie could jump of the campaign trail to think about it.
America has seen 23 months of job growth, with our manufacturing industries creating jobs for the first time since the Clinton Presidency. While President Obama’s results have shown his commitment to our families, Mitt Romney and Chris Christie’s promises have made one thing clear: they are out of touch with the middle class.
So thank you, Governor Christie, for reminding us that the Jersey Comeback has begun, and we have no one but President Obama and our progressive leaders here at home to thank.
John W. McCarthy is the youngest Democratic Municipal Chairman in Monmouth County, elected at age 18. He is active in the faith and non-profit community. Follow him on twitter at: @JohnWMcCarthy.