On New Jersey 101.5, Chris Christie made the argument for raising wages for judges and government employees, but he still presumably thinks minimum wage workers and teachers are the exceptions.
Christie lost a bid to get a raise for judges, who currently make $140,000 a year in New Jersey. According to Christie, $140k makes for “stupid judges.”
“The idea somehow that judges are overpaid is ridiculous,” Christie said.
Christie said starting salaries for lawyers in the New Jersey area is $195,000 for a first-year associate.
“You don’t want judges out there, lawyers becomes judges who think that getting $140,000 a year is a raise,” Christie said. “If you can’t make $140,000 as a lawyer with the experience to actually be on the bench, you’re not that good a lawyer.”
“You want to appear before stupid judges? Then don’t raise their pay anymore. Because the people you will get in the main applying for these jobs will be people who see it as a step up in pay for them,” said Christie.
Here’s the video:
Christie was referring to a defeated bill that would have allowed him and other government officials, including judges, to make money off of book deals. The bill would have also given a big raise to Christie’s cabinet members, state and local judges and legislative aides.
The bill would also have done some real damage to newspapers in New Jersey, which is currently the only place to find official legal notices. Christie’s bill would have made the notices available online, and in a time when journalism is under assault, newspapers can’t afford the hit that would cause in readership.
But, let’s just for a moment assume that Christie is right, and that it takes money to attract the best and the brightest. Well, he certainly doesn’t seem to have that attitude when it comes to teachers or to the people who serve his copious amounts of food.
Christie has long been engaged in a war against teachers. He even once threatened to “punch” teachers “in the face.” In New Jersey, teachers average less than half what Christie’s judges make, and Christie fights tooth and nail to keep their pay low. Shouldn’t we aim for smart teachers, as well?
Christie has long been against raising the minimum wage in New Jersey, which has the fourth most expensive cost of living in the nation. It’s even ahead of California. Still, the minimum wage for New Jersey is just $8.25. Christie vetoed a bill that would have raised the minimum wage.
Featured image via Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images.