“When the American people no longer believe that this is a place where only their willingness to work hard and to act with honor and integrity and ingenuity determines their success in life, then we’ll have a bunch of people sitting on a couch waiting for their next government check.”
Christie made the comments at a day-long tax policy conference in New York.
On Wednesday, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown took the opposite position.
“That’s just rhetoric geared up for the fall election,” he said, taking the opportunity to defend the Affordable Care Act.
“First and foremost, Obamacare is an absolute necessity. Almost every president since, I guess Roosevelt, has tried to do something about health care,” Brown said, adding that President Obama instituted “exactly what Romney had done in Massachusetts.”
Brown also touched upon the ‘Buffett Rule,’ which would ensure people making more than $100 million a year paid a tax rate similar to what middle class families paid.
“Finally, Warren Buffett is correct,” he said. “There is no way in the world somebody who makes as much money as he makes should be paying less taxes than his secretary.”
The average tax rate paid by the top 0.1 percent declined from more than 50 percent in 1960 to below 30 percent by 2010, according to a White House chart.
Cain responded with his proposed solution: “Throw out the tax code and put in 9-9-9.”
The plan, which the Godfather’s Pizza CEO floated during his failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination, involved instituting a 9 percent income tax, a 9 percent business transactions tax and a new 9 percent federal sales tax.
Under the tax scheme, Cain said, Buffett would be taxed more fairly.
“He would be paying $200 million just based on what Berkshire Hathaway did last year,” he said. “That’s how you fix the ‘Buffett Rule.’”