Looking to the government for help

You have to love these conservative Republicans. Take Bret Schundler, who says he was fired _ as opposed to resigning _ as education commissioner, because he needs unemployment benefits.
Fine, if the man is entitled to benefits, he should get them.
But it is a bit ironic that a conservative is looking for the government to help him out. Listening to the rhetoric of the right, I thought the government was BAD!

About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

23 Responses to Looking to the government for help

  1. Scott Olson says:

    What about Senate R’s blocking unemployment benefits for the working class, saying unemployment only breeds laziness??? Is Schundler just looking for handouts and being lazy? I think not, but ironic, isn’t it?

  2. P says:

    Typical Liberal BS – First they soak you with every tax possible, and then cry foul when you show up to stake your rightful claim to a piece of it – e.g., Unemployment or Social Security.

    If citizens had the ability to opt out, and chose not to, in direct opposition to their political point-of-view, you could scream HYPOCRISY, but not when it’s compulsory.

    But nice attempt to have it both ways.

    P.S. According to this story, Schundler really needs the money – http://www.northjersey.com/news/education/082710_Schundler_asked_to_be_fired_says_he_needs_unemployment_benefits.html

  3. Watch your language, P. 🙂
    The issue is that liberals have no problem with people collecting unemployment, etc.. that is the idea; If you need it, you get it.

    But many conservatives condemn these programs, at least philosophically. But if and when they need them, they still want to collect.

  4. P says:

    So then demand that all these programs be optional so people can make their own choices and you can see who is really hypocritical, and who isn’t. People can voice their opinion and still collect their money, as long as they didn’t have a choice.

    The real problem is 1.) that Liberals don’t want people to have choices, they want everyone to be dependent on the Government for everything; and 2.) these programs are all Ponzi schemes, piggy banks for politicians, or both.

  5. Ed Ramirez says:

    You know Fred it is very frustrating to read you stuff anymore. You use to have a sense of even handiness and I say that knowing that you and I are usually on the opposite sides of the political spectrum. Your bias in this case is very perplexing, because no matter what this administration did or how many pages they got correct, it was clear that NJ would not get a cent. Hey that is ok because it is politics. Only trouble I have is that the people blaming the Governor for this problem are simply trying to tarnish his courageous efforts to right the shipwreck that is the state of NJ, and you are helping them do it. What ever happen to the Snowflack that as a progressive was concerned about the people of NJ? You have become so partisan, that it is hard to determine the opinion from the talking points. I want my old Fred back, because I had a lot of respect for that man.

  6. Kevin Nedd says:


    What “liberal” is complaining about Bret collecting unemployment?

    Is this another case where your opinion is presented as fact?

  7. ED:
    I really do not follow you. I am just giving an opinion. We supported Chris Christie and we/I continue to do so. But he made a mistake here
    And why are you suggesting NJ would not have gotten any money. We would have if the application was fillled out correctly.

  8. P says:

    The author of the Blog.

  9. Hey P,. What’s that supposed to mean?

  10. P says:

    Nedd asked a question and I answered it. Read down from the top.

  11. Kevin Nedd says:


    Why don’t you try reading before sounding off?

    Fred wasn’t complaining about Bret receiving unemployment benefits. In fact he said and I quote, “if the man is entitled to benefits, he should get them.”

    What Fred opined about are “conservatives” like Bret who say the government is bad, yet are willing to accept benefits such as this. He was commenting on the hypocrisy.

  12. That was the problem, P, ::-)

  13. Ed Ramirez says:


    Even the people that did the reviews of the applications for the US DOE said that due to the fact that NJ only had the support of 45% of the Unions, that it would be near impossible for them to implement their reforms. Furthermore it is a political fact that giving NJ any money would only have enhanced the Governors popularity. Ignoring this fact can only be explained by one of two reasons, number one ignorance, or number two partisanship. Placing blame on the governor is the political goal of this issue, it is like “I did not win the lottery last night and that is the failure of the Governor, it has nothing to do with the fact I did not buy a ticket.

  14. ED:
    Chris fired Bret Schundler! Did you miss that? That’s because the state education department screwed up?
    If the application was filled out correctly, NJ would have qualified notwithstanding the lack of union support

  15. P says:

    Fred was complaining that Conservatives are hypocritical about taking government benefits when they are politically opposed to them. I said it’s a bunch of Liberal BS, because you want to have it both ways. You take people’s money, and then complain when they want some of it back. If you want to call someone a hypocrite, give them the option of joining the program. If they rail against it, but join anyway, that’s hypocrisy.

    I personally think that SS and Medicare are total rip-offs. But the fact that I’ve been forced to pay into them for decades without the choice of investing that money elsewhere means that when the time comes, I will expect to receive my meager payout. Does that make me a hypocrite???

    Finally, Fred’s “If the man is entitled to . . ” is just a throwaway line. If you really didn’t care, why write the post in the first place?

  16. P says:

    The Real Question at this point (after all the finger-pointing comes to an end) is – Will NJ move ahead with the reforms that it put into its submission, with or without Federal Funding. That was the Real Issue. And it is what the NJEA is so desperately trying to stop, which is why it’s gone into overdrive working the “Christie Screwed Up” angle.

    So Feed, Nedd, and all the other Christie Bashers, what say you – Move Forward, or, Status Quo??

  17. Kevin Nedd says:


    To be fair, Christie’s firing of Schundler wasn’t due to the state education department’s $400 million screw up. This is why I would have fired him. Instead, Christie fired Schundler because he claims Schundler misrepresented the facts surrounding whether or not Schundler subsequently conveyed the correct information to the President’s administration. There is a difference.

  18. Ed Ramirez says:

    If it were not for this screw-up by the DOE it would have been something else, but the bottom line NJ would never have gotten a penny. I think you know that but it makes better press to keep the error message going.

  19. Ed
    You are completely wrong … NJ was just voted to get $268 million under a recent stumulus bill,

  20. P says:

    I don’t necessarily agree with Ed, but using the latest stimulus bill (which was given to all 50 states, not just two or 10) as proof that there wasn’t a bias against the RTTT submission by the Christie administration is also pretty weak.

  21. Now, P.
    You know better.
    NJ lost by 3 points or so; there was no bias.
    And why would there even be a bias? Let’s talk in political terms.
    It makes no difference that Christie is a Republican, Dems control the Legislature and a good deal of the money would have gone to Democratic areas. The bias argument is the one that is very weak.

  22. P says:

    As I said, I don’t necessarily agree with Ed but there are several things to consider – 1.) The Feds said they would award money to 10 – 15 states, so they could have easily gone to 11 and included NJ, especially since the quality of their proposal (i.e., what they intended to do with the money to change public education) was at least as good as Ohio’s and the intent of RTTT was supposed to be to generate more good ideas in reforming education, not less. 2.) Whenever there’s judged competition (e.g., figure skating), there’s always a bias, it’s human nature. 3.) Christie has been able to put a positive face on Republicanism nationally, and that isn’t good for the Obama administration going into the mid-term elections. They like painting Republicans as the “Party of No”, instead of the “Party of Know-how”, and Christie (before the RTTT loss) had become the poster child for the latter.

    I still put the chances that someone seriously tipped the scales as very low, but there are reasons for some to think otherwise.

    Either way, it’s a moot point, the money is gone. The Real Question, as I noted in post #16 (P.S. Sorry I fat-fingered your name), is – What happens now? Do we move ahead with reform, or do we let the NJEA and the other forces of the status quo use this as a reason to do nothing?

  23. Pravelon says:

    It was a bizarre story. I’m wondering if Mr. Schundler was being sardonic, spiteful, or just republican? If he needs the unemployment benefits, then I wouldn’t trust his ability as an executive. If he is being sardonic or spiteful, then I don’t trust his judgment. And I thought was a reasonable choice when selected for the post. Live and learn.

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