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NJ Governor Chris Christie to Warren Buffett: 'Just Write a Check and Shut Up'

Wednesday, 22 Feb 2012 | 12:09 PM ET
NJ Governor Chris Christie (L), Warren Buffett (R)
Yoshikazu Tsuno | AFP | Getty Images
NJ Governor Chris Christie (L), Warren Buffett (R)

Chris Christie, New Jersey's Republican Governor, says Warren Buffett should "just write a check and shut up" on his call for higher tax rates on the super-rich.

On CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, Christie was asked if his proposed 10 percent income tax cut for all New Jersey residents would also apply to the state's billionaires.

MORGAN: Warren Buffett keeps screaming to be taxed more.

CHRISTIE: Yeah, well, he should just write a check and shut up. (Morgan laughs) Really, and just contribute, OK? You know, 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.

In its article about the comment, CNN notes that earlier in the interview Christie had said he didn't want to discuss Buffett. "I'm so tired of talking about Warren Buffett. What are you going to bring up next, his secretary?"

That's a reference to Buffett's argument, picked up by President Obama in his State of the Union address, that it's unfair his secretary pays a higher federal tax rate than he does.

While Buffett's point is that all very rich Americans should be shouldering a bigger share of funding the government and cutting the deficit, his critics have repeatedly countered that if he personally feels undertaxed, he can easily make a contribution to the Treasury.

In response to that argument, made recently by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Buffett has offered to match any deficit-cutting contributions made by GOP members of Congress.

Ask Warren Buffett | Live on CNBC's Squawk Box | Monday, Feb 27
Ask Warren Buffett | Live on CNBC's Squawk Box | Monday, Feb 27

One Republican, Rep Scott Rigell of Virginia, was already giving 15 percent of his salary to the Treasury. He asked for a Buffett match and got it, along with a breakfast meeting in Omaha.

All this will undoubtedly be on the agenda when Buffett joins Becky Quick live for Squawk Box's full three hours this coming Monday, February 27. We're asking for your suggested questions.

He may also comment on the tax controversy in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, due to release Saturday morning.

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Keep up with Warren Buffett on CNBC.com and follow alexcrippen on Twitter.

Email comments to buffettwatch@cnbc.com

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