Chris Christie and Tim Pawlenty in many ways are kindred spirits.

Both are conservative Republican governors presiding over blue states with Democrat majorities in both chambers of their respective legislatures. Both have vetoed massive tax increases and instead focused on the culture of overspending that have plagued New Jersey and Minnesota, respectively, for decades. And both have been prepared to shut down state government rather than capitulate to special interests' desire to maintain the big government status quo.

Gov. Christie today ordered his cabinet to prepare for a government shutdown next month should legislative Democrats refuse to enact his proposed spending cuts. The cuts – reductions in education spending and state aid to localities among them – are necessary in order to stave off further economy-killing tax increases. Tax increases over the past decade, to the tune of $2,601 per capita between 2002 and 2009, have clearly failed as New Jersey's economy remains among the nation's least competitive. Gov. Christie has rightly determined that a leaner, more efficient government is the best route to prosperity for the Garden State. Private sector-led job creation is the only option.

Gov. Pawlenty won his showdown with the legislature, securing billions in budget cuts to directly confront Minnesota's overspending problem. For the sake of New Jersey taxpayers, one can only hope Trenton gets the message and meets a similar fate.