Chris Christie To Warren Buffett: 'Just Write A Check And Shut Up'

Christie To Buffett: 'Just Write A Check And Shut Up'

Chris Christie has some choice words for billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

"He should just write [the government] a check and shut up," the New Jersey Governor and one-time rumored presidential candidate told CNN's Piers Morgan.

Christie was referring to Buffett's desire to be taxed at a higher rate. The Oracle of Omaha, as he is known, has advocated taxing the rich at a rate at least as high as that of middle-class Americans in an August op-ed in The New York Times. Since then, the notion of raising taxes on the wealthy has gained some momentum; in his latest budget plan, President Obama proposed a provision, dubbed "the Buffett rule," that would require Americans making more than $1 million to pay taxes at a rate of at least 30 percent.

The effective individual tax rate for the top one percent of Americans has been largely on the decline for years, falling to 19 percent in 2007, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Christie, who said in the interview that he'd prefer if New Jersey slash all income taxes by 10 percent, said he thinks Buffett should take matters into his own hands instead of advocating for a boost in taxes for the wealthy.

"I'm tired of hearing about it," Christie said in the interview. "If he wants to give the government more money, he's got the ability to write a check. Go ahead and write it."

Some do indeed write checks out to the government. As of August of last year, 815 households had sent donations to the Treasury's general fund in 2011, according to Yahoo! News. More money gets sent to the nation's fund to reduce the deficit, which raked in more than $2 million in 2011. Still, the donations aren't enough to put a significant dent in the deficit; $2 million is way less than 1 percent of the $2.1 billion the U.S. pays in interest on the national debt every day, according to ABC News.

Christie isn't the first Republican lawmaker to give Buffett a hard time. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) sent Buffett a letter in October urging him to release his tax returns. Buffett ultimately revealed his tax returns, which indicated that he made more than $60 million last year, but his taxable income was slightly less than $40 million during that same period.

The release of another famous tax return only fueled the debate over taxing the rich. After pressure from opponents Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney revealed that he paid a 13.9 percent income tax rate in 2010 -- a rate lower than that of many middle-class Americans -- even though he and his wife netted $21.7 million in combined income in 2010.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the Romneys' combined income in 2010. It was $21.7 million. Piers Morgan's first name was also previously misspelled.

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