Chris Christie is still alive and speaking English, so, something dickish happened today as a result:
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who called for the nation’s wealthiest people to pay more taxes, should “just write a check and shut up.”
“I’m tired of hearing about it,” Christie told CNN’s Piers Morgan in an interview that aired last night. “If he wants to give the government more money, he’s got the ability to write a check. Go ahead and write it.”
This is deeply silly, of course. When we talk about tax rates, we’re talking about the policies the government pursues that apply to the country. No one person can, in a burst of civic responsibility, significantly affect the deficit through donations. We can, however, add about $700 billion in revenue by returning to surplus-era marginal rates on income earned over $250,000. And there’s no reason to think, given our postwar economic performance, that these rates would inhibit economic growth. So, let’s do it.
Chris Christie’s all-encompassing rudeness led David Frum to remark:
A left-wing friend of mine jokes that conservatives are “the party of affect”: meaning that conservatives tend to care much more how a politician speaks than what a candidate says. Christie almost perfectly exemplifies this rule. If he were a soft-spoken, conciliatory Northeastern budget-balancer, he’d be dismissed as a Bill Weld/Mike Castle RINO. But instead, he’s an-in-your-face confrontationalist. So he can favor handgun control and still be the Coulter choice for president. Just so long as he’s rude about it.