Opinion

In inaugural address, Chris Christie criticizes 'big, expensive government'

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Charlie Spiering,New Jersey,Big Government,Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is set to take the oath of office for a second term Tuesday. Here are some excerpts of his inaugural address released in advance by his office:

"The people of this state know that the only way forward is if we are all willing to take on what is politically unpopular. If we are all willing to share in the sacrifice. If we are all willing to be in this together …

"I do not believe that New Jerseyans want a bigger, more expensive government that penalizes success and then gives the pittance left to a few in the name of income equity. What New Jerseyans want is an unfettered opportunity to succeed in the way they define success. They want an equal chance at the starting; not a government guaranteed result.

“Why? Because through hard work, and being rewarded for hard work, they know they are part of their own success.

“We should make sure that government pursues policies that believe in the effort, talent and optimism of New Jerseyans, not in the power of almighty government to fix any problem, real or imagined."

...

"One of the lessons that I have learned most acutely over the last four years is that New Jersey can really be one state. This election has taught us that the ways we divide each other -- by race, by class, by ethnicity, by wealth, by political party is neither permanent nor necessary. Our dreams are the same: a good job, a great education for our children, safe streets in our neighborhood and core values which give our lives real meaning. Those dreams are not unique to any one group in our state.

“And, while government has a role in ensuring the opportunity to accomplish these dreams, we have now learned that we have an even bigger role to play as individual citizens. We have to be willing to play outside the red and blue boxes the media and pundits put us in; we have to be willing to reach out to others who look or speak differently than us; we have to be willing to personally reach out a helping hand to a neighbor suffering from drug addiction, depression or the dignity stripping loss of a job. New Jersey came together as one community when it mattered most and now we must stay together – people of every background and belief – the government and our people – to help our fellow citizens reach their dreams.

“We will fight to continue to change government so that we value our differences and honor the strength of our diversity. We cannot fall victim to the attitude of Washington, D.C. The attitude that says I am always right and you are always wrong. The attitude that puts everyone into a box they are not permitted to leave. The attitude that puts political wins ahead of policy agreements. The belief that compromise is a dirty word. As we saw in December regarding the DREAM Act, we can put the future of our state ahead of the partisans who would rather demonize than compromise. As your governor, I will always be willing to listen, as long as that listening ends in decisive action for the people counting on us.”

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