Christie calling for tax cuts in economic policy speech

By JILL COLVIN
Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie proposed cutting income and corporate tax rates Tuesday as part of an economic plan to return the U.S. “to its pro-growth roots and its pro-growth policies.”

Christie previewed his plan in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal as he prepares for a likely run for the Republican presidential nomination.

He called for simplifying what he described as a bloated tax code by reducing the number of income tax rates from six to three. He also called for reducing the top income tax rate from nearly 40 percent to no higher than 28 percent and cutting the corporate tax rate by 10 percentage points, from the current 35 percent to 25 percent.

He said the substantial cuts would be paid for by eliminating or changing deductions and credits “to ensure that the plan, combined with other measures I am proposing, is revenue-neutral and doesn’t materially increase the deficit.”

Christie, in the text of a speech he was delivering Tuesday at the University of New Hampshire in Manchester, chided the economic policies of President Barack Obama, blaming him for a weak economic recovery that has left the incomes of middle class families stagnant.

“The weak economy combined with a set of monetary policies in these last six years geared for the wealthy have exacerbated the very problem the left loves to harp on — that of income inequality,” he said. “Bottom line: the Fed’s easy money policies and the president’s anti-growth policies have made the rich even richer and made our middle class work longer and harder for less pay and less promise for the future.”

Christie’s economic plan calls for building the Keystone XL pipeline, eliminating the payroll tax for workers under the age of 21 and cutting regulations.

Christie has said he’ll make a decision about whether to run by the end of June.

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