New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has garnered a reputation as a straight-talking, moderate Republican. Though he performed well in the primary debates, he finished poorly in the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries. As a result, Christie has dropped out of the race. Here's where he stood on key issues:
'Too Big to Fail'
Christie has said little about "too big to fail" banks beyond arguing that the Dodd-Frank Act has concentrated the power of the largest financial institutions.
Christie has been critical of Dodd-Frank, warning that it's cut off credit to small and midsize businesses.
"Dodd-Frank has hurt Main Street; credit is not flowing to middle America," he said during an economic policy speech in May. "The percentage of banks' balance sheets devoted to making loans and leases is at its lowest level since 1978 — again, back to the Jimmy Carter era. And the number of banks in the United States has actually shrunk to its lowest level in over a century."
He added, "So even while Dodd-Frank had the effect of increasing the 'too big to fail' problem by concentrating the power of the big banks, it has actually curtailed lending to small business by the smaller banks who are economically vital."
On his website, Christie emphasizes the importance of cost-benefit analysis and calls for a hard cap on the costs to businesses for complying with all federal regulation.
He also proposes a "Regulatory Zero" rule that would require for every new rule the removal or sunset of a rule that costs the same amount.
Christie has stayed away from arguments over the banking industry's lobbying power or concerns about "crony capitalism."
The New Jersey governor slammed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's new mortgage disclosure rules at a New Hampshire housing event in October, calling the integration of the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act disclosures "another example of government creating more problems than it solves."
"There's just more delays, more confusion," he said. "It doesn't allow reasonable people to get the matter closed and the house bought."
The governor has been critical of the Fed's interest rate policy in recent months, though he's said little about regulators' work overseeing banks.
"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 their future," Christie has said, charging that the central bank has contributed to the country's inequality.
According to a Wall Street Journal op-ed from May, Christie favors a simplified tax plan with just three tax rates.
"The tax code should be so simplified that for the majority of Americans, it should take 15 minutes to do their taxes—not days, weeks or months," he wrote.
- The top tax rate should be no higher than 28%, as "set in the country's last major successful tax-reform effort—the Bradley-Gephardt reform during the Reagan era."
- The bottom rate should be "a single digit."
- Deductions and credits should be eliminated or modified to ensure the plan is revenue neutral by, for example, capping the total amount of deductions individuals and married couples could take.
- Charitable deductions and the mortgage interest deduction (for at least a buyer's first home) should remain.
On his website, the governor adds that the corporate tax rate should be lowered to "a more competitive" 25% rate.
Health Care and Employee Benefits
Like his GOP rivals, Christie has been critical of the Affordable Care Act, calling it a "failed federal program" in 2014.
Christie has also proposed:
- Expanding Medicare means testing for high-income seniors.
- Raising the age threshold for Medicare to 67 by 2040 and 69 by 2064.
- Simplifying cost-sharing rules under Medicare by instituting a single deductible.
- Establishing a per capita state cap for Medicaid funds based on enrollees in each state.
- Reforming disability insurance with an emphasis on rehabilitating disabled workers.
- Offering tax incentives to employers who help prevent, accommodate rehabilitate disabled workers and provide short-term disability benefits.
- Providing additional medical services for veterans, including supplemental care at private hospitals and nonprofits.
- Christie has generally opposed raising the minimum wage in New Jersey and at the federal level, warning that it's a job killer. He vetoed a state bill in January 2013 to raise workers' pay, proposing an alternative plan that would have kicked in over three years. Advocates prevailed later that year via a ballot initiative.
- In August he said plans to raise pay levels to $15 per hour went too far, but he didn't rule out raising wages to $10 an hour.
|Top 10 Financial Donors|
|Angelo, Gordon & Co.||$20,200|
|Blue Ridge Capital||$8,100|
|Point72 Asset Management||$7,400|
|AG Hill Partners||$6,750|
|Fireman Capital Partners||$5,900|
|Bridger Capital Management||$5,400|
|First Atlantic Capital||$5,400|
|High Rise Capital Management||$5,400|
Source: Center for Responsive Politics. Data as of Sept. 30, 2015