Buffett bites back at Christie's call to 'shut up'
February 27th, 2012
03:11 PM ET
11 years ago

Buffett bites back at Christie's call to 'shut up'

(CNN) – Warren Buffett on Monday hit back against Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey for saying the billionaire investor should "just write a check and shut up" about taxes.

"It's sort of a touching response to a $1.2 trillion deficit, isn't it, that somehow the American people will just all send in checks and take care of it," Buffett said on CNBC.

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Buffett has played a prominent role in the tax debate in the last year, arguing that wealthy individuals like him pay too little in taxes.

He lent his name to a White House principle, the so-called "Buffett rule," which calls for those making more than $1 million to pay a tax rate closer to that of middle-class Americans.

President Barack Obama has even specified that he wants the rich to pay at least 30% of their income in taxes as part of a deficit reduction effort.

Last week, Christie said he was "tired of hearing about" Buffett in the national debt debate, adding that if the investor wants to make a difference, then he should donate his own money towards solving the problem.

"He should just write a check and shut up. Really, and just contribute," Christie said on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight." "If he wants to give the government more money, he's got the ability to write a check – go ahead and write it."

Christie was echoing a similar suggestion last year made by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who supported a measure in October that would allow wealthy individuals to voluntarily pay more than they owe in taxes.

In January, Buffett responded by saying he would match any contribution made by a Republican member of Congress to the Treasury to pay down debt and would triple the match for any donation by McConnell.

"It's sort of astounding to me that somebody that has the responsibility for being the minority leader in the Senate would think that you attack a $1.2 trillion or so deficit by asking for voluntary contributions," Buffett said on Monday.

He added: "The real problem we have is we're taking in too little money and we're spending too much and that's not going to be solved by voluntary contributions. What we need is a policy, a tax policy."

- CNN's Charles Riley contributed to this report.

Also see:

Gingrich tells evangelicals: 'We need to stand up for ourselves'

Limbaugh front and center in pro-Santorum mailer

Romney: 'I can't be perfect'

Graham, McCain predict big primary night for Romney

Filed under: 2012 • Chris Christie • Taxes • Warren Buffett
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Boo

    Once again, the conservative morons have appeared to just come out of their collective comas. And that means Dennis (commenting here) who claims that most of the deficit is Obama's doing. Guess he was another one that came out of his coma after Bush left office.

    February 27, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. IndependentVoice

    There are some really misinformed people here. Buffet made a large amount of his money from picking smart value investments. He also made a large amount of money benefiting from US regulations, such as selling policies on irrevocable trusts. He artificially pays himself 100k/year and pays a lower tax rate on all of his long-term investment income. I'm pretty sure the government needs his millions in taxes versus the couple thousand his secretary pays. The public really needs to wise up and stop dividing on party lines and see that the whole tax code needs to be rewritten and made fair for everybody – even the lower income households that receive subsidies every year.

    February 27, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. factck

    The deficet has been caused by 2 unpaid wars and 12 yrs of Bush tax cuts. ALL BUSH. ITS A FACT. Also to the moran who says no one should be taxed 30% middle class pays that and more. The rich pay 15. Personally I think ALL tax cuts should expire bact to Clinton rates when this country had a surplus until Bush pulled the rug out from under the American econemy

    February 27, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. Taran

    Lynda, California

    Christie has shown he is just as rude and unrealistic as the rest of the Republican wannabes. Talk about a low class response! "Shut up and write a check already, Buffet." Where do the Republicans get off talking to Americans like this? They bring a scary element to the "bully pulpit". Crazy, arrogant and still have no solutions. Christie needs to crawl back under his rock.
    Yes, linda, where do democrats get off talking to Americans like this?? Your post perfectly fits the stereotype of hypocritical liberals.

    February 27, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. GOP = Greed Over People

    No wonder Buffet is a bazillionaire and Christie is just fat!

    Christie keeps missing the big picture, but reducing it down to one rich man paying extra does make it easier for his simpleton mind to digest.

    Buffet has pointed out that if ALL the wealthy pay more then we have more revenue than if just one rich man pays more.

    Keep taking those state helicopters to events because it is obvious no two axle vehicle can safely transport the Rotund One with his pea sized brain.

    February 27, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. Concerned Mom

    Buffet is an amazing man - a kind, articulate self-made billionaire who really cares about our country. He is willing to pay more because he knows it is fair and wants the best for America. Christie, on the other hand, is a big bully who constantly spouts rude and insulting things to anyone who does not agree with his right-wing policies. Christie panders to the ultra-wealthy and big business interests who finance his campaign. Those interests want to get rid of unions that protect workers, remove regulations that protect consumers, and pay no taxes to boot. They are greedy and selfish and Christie will do whatever they say in order to keep political power. It is sad that someone as unremarkable as Christie would rudely criticize a great man like Buffet who is actually trying to do good.

    February 27, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. JOE B

    Good point Warren Buffet! Christie is wrong on this! – Joe B, a Republican

    February 27, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    "It's sort of a touching response to a $1.2 trillion deficit, isn't it, that somehow the American people will just all send in checks and take care of it," Buffett said on CNBC.
    So what does this out of touch billionaire hypocrite think we all (at least 50% of us) do on April 15th??? But of course Warren has already sheltered all his wealth from the government by giving it away. If the government is such a worthy charitable cause Warren, WHY ARE YOU AVOIDING PAYING TAXES?!! Just another flippin' lying leftist....

    February 27, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. Dan

    So, Buffet becomes poster boy for Obama's Millionaire tax, and Obama drops auxiliary care (that AFLAC, a Buffet company is leading on) from Obama Health Care plan. Nice way to do business in America: I'll work for you, you work for me and screw up others....

    February 27, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. tor5

    No matter how much Chirstie bullies, Buffet will still be right: the Republican plan fantasy of cutting taxes on the superrich and asking for voluntary donations shows how unserious they are. And Christie will still be nothing but the obnoxious Republican enforcer whose entertainment value is all but spent.

    February 27, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. Larry

    Christi is a bully no matter who he is talking about or what he says. His demeanor is such a turn-off,

    February 27, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. oneSTARman

    CRISTIE CREME – Could Probably Benefit More from Occasionally Keeping His Pie Hole Closed.

    February 27, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. V in Chicago

    Just goes to prove the point that Christie, like most of the Republicans in power, is just another bully. And, worse yet, a bully who doesn't know what he is talking about. Yea, get Christy to run for President. That's just what we need. A President who will tell other world leaders to shut up and then threaten them with his New Jersey Mafia mentality. (No diss to the good people of New Jersey – just pointing out that Christy is a wanna be thug.)

    February 27, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  14. Tim Fotinos

    I'm quite content to pay my 14% taxes each year. (I would be delighted if it was simpler! ) That said, why would I send end extra money to subsidize some bankers 4th yacht? Or his wife's $12,000 shower curtains? Really tho, the whineiest millionaires in history must all live in the USA these days. The top rate only applies on earnings over $400,000 a year! More than I'll make in the next decade. These people are saying they can't pay 2-3 % more? Really?

    February 27, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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