In an unusual case of the pot calling the kettle black, billionaire real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attacked hedge fund managers as “paper pushers” who were “getting away with murder” in not paying their fair share of taxes in an interview on Sunday.
Speaking via telephone on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday morning, Trump said he would reform the tax laws if elected president and claimed the current system was harming middle class Americans who had to pay higher tax rates than the princes of Wall Street.
“Everyman” Donald Trump joining other candidates in bashing hedge fund managers
Trump joined Hilary Clinton and Jeb Bush in criticizing hedge fund managers while obviously working hard to burnish his “everyman” credentials. He noted on Face the Nation” that “The hedge fund guys didn’t build this country. These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky.”
He went on to comment that “They are energetic. They are very smart. But a lot of them – they are paper-pushers. They make a fortune. They pay no tax. It’s ridiculous, ok?”
The Donald was referring to the “carried interest loophole”, which allows private equity and hedge fund managers pay income taxes on profits at the capital gains rate instead of the ordinary rate.
Of note, the capital gains tax rate is only 20%, well below the almost 40% tax rate most high-income individuals pay.
Tax experts note that PE and hedge find managers do pay 3.8% surtax on their net investment income, but 23.8% is still much less than 39.6%.
“It is the wrong thing.” Trump continued. These guys are getting away with murder. I want to lower the rates for the middle class.”
The Republican presidential front runner, however, did not provide any details regarding his tax reform plans.
Trump self-funding his presidential campaign
Apparently, Trump has also changed his mind about whether campaign donations are a good idea. He has vowed to self-finance his campaign and said that presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton will be controlled by their bevy of mega donors.
“I don’t want lobbyists, I don’t want special interests, but certainly people — we have a lot of money coming in,” Trump explained. “I would even take big contributors as long as they don’t expect anything because the only people that can expect something from me is going to be the people that want to see our country be great again.”
He went on to say: “I actually like the idea of investing in a campaign, but it has to be no strings attached,. I don’t want any strings attached.”