Is Christie The Next Ronald Reagan?

Could New Jersey governor Chris Christie be the next Ronald Reagan? It certainly seems like he's channeling the Gipper, and to good effect.

Probably one of his most Reaganesque moments took place during a town hall meeting.

One of Christie’s most popular YouTube moments is a confrontation with an angry teacher, who upbraids him for not paying her enough. When Christie replies that if she doesn’t like the pay package “then you don’t have to do it,” the crowd cheers like the Giants just scored a touchdown.

Listening to the teacher's complaints makes it quite clear she believes she's entitled to more pay, that it's owed to her. It turns out her salary at the time of the video was $86,389 per year, not including benefits. I don't know about you, but $86K per year is nothing to sneeze at. Christie was right to give her the answer he did. It also reminds us of another of Christie's Reaganesque moments.

Christie’s cuts to school funding have earned him the enmity of the state teachers’ union, with 200,000 members. The governor asked teachers to agree to a one-year salary freeze and to kick in 1.5 percent of their pay to help fund their health care insurance -- most of the state’s teachers don’t contribute to their plans.

Teachers in many school districts refused. As he had threatened during discussions with the unions, Christie called on constituents to vote down local school board budgets that didn’t conform to his requests. Christie won the public fight. A surprising 58 percent of proposed budgets were defeated, making it the largest number of rejections on state record.

Just as Reagan did in 1981, when he faced off with the air traffic controllers union, Christie called the bluff and seems to have won.

How many times did Reagan go to the airwaves to ask the American public to contact their congressional representatives in order to get something he firmly believed was needed to fix the problems plaguing America through Congress? And how many times did they respond, giving the Gipper what he needed? It looks like Christie is following the same path and getting similar results.

The present governor of New Jersey bears watching as he goes over, under, around, and through the entrenched bureaucracies, union constituencies, and 'gimmee' special interest groups to put New Jersey's fiscal house in order.