I sit here very respectfully to listen to you. If what you want to do is put on a show and giggle every time I talk, well then I have no interest in answering your question. So if you'd like to conduct a respectful conversation, I'm happy to do it. If you don't, sit down and I'll answer the next question. What's your choice?
And I just think that we're at a point in our economic life here in our state - and - and, candidly, across the country, where increased taxes is just the wrong way to go. The people of our state are not convinced that state government, county government, local government has done all they can with the money we already give them, rather than the money that we have before.
I said we are going to balance an 1 billion budget deficit in a 9 billion budget, so by percentage, the largest budget deficit in America, by percentage, larger than California, larger than New York, larger than Illinois. And we're going to balance that without raising taxes on the people of the state of New Jersey.
I've always said there is a boulevard that exists between compromising your principles and getting everything you want. Now, we should never compromise our principles. And I never have. Those are the things that people vote for you on, that's the core of who you are. But there's always a boulevard between that and getting everything you want.
Now, in New Jersey, we have more government workers per square mile than any state in America. But since I've been governor we now have fewer people on the state payroll at any time since Christie Whitman left office in January 2001. That's the right direction, Mr. President, not the wrong direction.
The job of a leader, the job of a governor, the job of a president, is to get the people in the room and bang enough heads together and rub enough arms and cajole enough to have them put the country and the state's greater interest ahead of their own personal partisan interest. That's what we did in New Jersey and that's the model for America.
Today, the biggest challenge we must meet is the one we present to ourselves. To not become a nation that places entitlement ahead of accomplishment. To not become a country that places comfortable lies ahead of difficult truths. To not become a people that thinks so little of ourselves that we demand no sacrifice from each other.