Christie lays out tax reform plan ahead of New Hampshire speech

Watch New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who will appear on “The Lead with Jake Tapper” at 4 p.m. EDT.

CNN  — 

Gov. Chris Christie unveiled his plan to reform the tax code in an opinion piece published Tuesday, previewing a policy speech he is set to deliver later Tuesday in New Hampshire.

The New Jersey Republican is pushing what he is calling a “revenue-neutral” tax plan that would lower individual and corporate income tax rates while simplifying the tax code and eliminating some deductions and tax credits.

Chrisitie’s proposal in the Wall Street Journal comes as he inches closer to launching a 2016 presidential bid and his speech at the University of New Hampshire on Tuesday will mark his second visit to the state in the last week. New Hampshire will be a crucial primary test for an eventual Christie bid if he enters the race.

READ: In New Hampshire, Chris Christie looks to rebound

“We must target the tax code, because today it is targeting us…The country needs comprehensive tax reform now,” Christie wrote in the op-ed, slamming Obama administration economic policies and what he called a “bloated” tax code.

Christie suggested halving the number of income tax brackets down to three from six rates and lowering the top tax rate to 28% down from the current maximum rate of 39% for the wealthiest Americans.

Christe suggested the poorest Americans’ income tax rate should be a “single-digit” percentage. Americans who make less than $10,000 are taxed at about 10%, but rarely end up owing any money to the federal government because of deductions and tax credits. It’s unclear how that would work under Christie’s plan to slice certain deductions and credits, which he only presented in broad strokes in the Wall Street Journal.

The New Jersey governor also proposed reducing the corporate tax rate to 25% from today’s 35% high, arguing that reducing the rate will attract businesses and incentivize companies to stay in the U.S.

Christie’s plan is already drawing fire from Democrats.

“The one thing Christie has made clear about his tax plan so far: it cuts taxes for the wealthiest and corporations. And what would he do for the middle class? Unclear. This shows again where the Republican Party stands – prioritizing tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations above all else,” DNC National Press Secretary Holly Shulman said in a statement.

Christie’s other proposals included simplifying tax forms so that Americans could spend only 15 minutes on the process and eliminating the payroll tax for workers above 62 and those under 21.

Christie also urged reforming and reducing government regulation and promoted his efforts in New Jersey to rein in the size of government and slash red tape.

“With the energy of the American people, the pent-up demand to be freed from regulation, and the pent-up capital ready to be invested if companies are given enough positive signals, there is no reason America cannot return to the path of strong economic growth,” Christie wrote. “With it will come a restoration of American authority, strength and optimism.”