A war of words is erupting between billionaire investor Warren Buffett and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who told "The Oracle of Omaha" last week to just "shut up and write a check."
The feisty Berkshire Hathaway CEO struck back Monday in an hour-long CNBC interview by acrimoniously saying, “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?"
Christie lashed-out at Buffett for what’s been described as the “Buffett Rule," an idea that suggests those earning more than $1 million annually pay at least the same rate in taxes as those from middle-class households.
“He should just write a check and shut up,” the Republican Governor said on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight”, “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.”
But the octogenarian didn’t shut up.
In fact, when it was suggested viewers had sided with Christie over the brouhaha, Buffett said he hoped the responses were "a little more eloquent than that”.
"That's a side show," Buffett said. "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," according to Syracuse.com.
President Obama supported the "Buffett Rule" during last month's State of the Union address when he identified Buffett's secretary, Debbie Bosanek, as paying a higher tax rate on her salary than Buffett pays on his investment income.
Buffett submitted an op-ed piece to the New York Times last year entitled, “Stop Coddling the Super Rich”, stating he paid a 17.4 percent rate on his taxable income, or $6,938,744, while his staff's tax burdens averaged 36 percent.
Forbes reported an average taxpayer in Bosaneck's rate earns an adjusted gross income between $200,000-$500,000 per year.
"We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by," President Obama said in his State of the Union speech on January 24th, "Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules."
President Obama included the rule in his budget plan making it a hot issue in the GOP Presidential Primary debates.
This past summer, Americans for Limited Government (ALG), the non-partisan, national network committed to advancing free-market reforms, private property rights and core American liberties, revealed that Berkshire Hathaway still owed taxes for 2002-2004 and 2005-2009.
The eighth largest public company in the world admitted to owing taxes stating, "We anticipate that we will resolve all adjustments proposed by the US Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) for the 2002 through 2004 tax years within the next 12 months."