Christie on taxing millionaires: ‘Let N.J. be the canary in the coal mine’

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( – “Let New Jersey be the canary in the coal mine” when it comes to raising taxes on millionaires, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on Saturday.

“It is a failed idea and a failed policy; it’s class warfare. It happened in my state. I’ve stopped it from happening again. But we cannot do it.”

Christie, speaking at the Republican debate, said $70 billion in wealth left New Jersey in the four years after his predecessor, Democrat Gov. Jon Corzine, raised taxes on the wealthy.

“It left our state to go where it would be treated more kindly. If the United States raised taxes any further, that money will leave the United States as well. We won’t have better jobs,” Christie warned.

Former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush was the first candidate to be asked about raising taxes on millionaires, and he never really answered the question.

Debate moderator David Muir told Bush that “68 percent of Americans favor raising taxes on people making more than a million. What do you say to the people who believe that tonight?”

“I would like to see more millionaires,” Bush responded. “I think we need to grow more millionaires, we need create a prosperity society where people can rise up.

“This notion that somehow we’re undertaxed as a nation is just fool hearty, when we have entitlements growing far faster than our ability to pay for it. A conservative, because that’s the point of this, believes in limited government, believes in an entrepreneurial capitalism and a strong national defense.

“But it also has to be, we need to reform things. In my town hall meetings, I went to a place where a woman described her neighbor, who has a better economic deal by not working than her struggling to make ends meet. We need to be on the side of working people. And you know, the problem with the left is, another tax, another regulation, another mandate makes it harder for them to rise up.

“Everything that we should do should be focused on high, sustained economic growth, where the middle class gets a raise for the first time, and where people are rewarded for work, rather than non-work. And I know how to do this.”

Instead of saying what he would do specifically, Bush directed people to his website.

— Written by Susan Jones