President Obama’s tax plan has, in part, focused on making the wealthiest Americans pay more in taxes through a provision known as the Buffett Rule, which is named after famous investor Warren Buffett and would place a minimum tax on the income of millionaires. The plan, included in Obama’s budget last week, has led to predictable claims of class warfare from Republicans, many of whom are crafting ways to give the wealthy even larger tax breaks.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is one of the Republicans incensed by Obama’s plan. When CNN’s Piers Morgan asked last night what he thought about Buffett, Christie responded by saying he “wasn’t going to get into this class warfare business,” then told Buffett to “write a check and shut up”:
MORGAN: You know where I’m going at with that. Warren Buffett keeps screaming to be taxed more.
CHRISTIE: Yeah, well he should just write a check and shut up. Really. And just contribute. The fact of the matter is that I’m tired of hearing about it. If he wants to give the government more money, he’s got the ability to write a check. Go ahead and write it.
Buffett, perhaps unbeknownst to Christie, has offered to write a check to the government — as soon as any of the Republicans who have called on him to do so write one first. In January, Buffett told Time Magazine he’d match dollar-for-dollar any voluntary contribution made by Republicans. “And I’ll even go three-for-one for McConnell,” he added, referring to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Thus far, Buffett has had to match just one Republican — Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA). The rest of the GOP has chosen to ignore inequities in the tax code and rising income inequality, choosing instead to balance the budget solely through spending cuts to vital programs that help the Americans most in need of help.
Just yesterday, Christie himself unveiled a tax plan that would give 40 percent of its benefits to New Jersey’s richest one percent.