CNBC’s Jim Cramer suggested on Friday that the United States impose a surtax on billionaires following this week’s ProPublica report on how some of the richest people on the planet are avoiding taxes.
In recent years, billionaires including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and businessman Michael Bloomberg, investors Carl Icahn and George Soros have paid little or no tax. federal income, according to the ProPublica report, which cited confidential IRS data it obtained.
“They are obviously able to avoid paying income tax. No escape. But avoid. And I know avoiding is legal and the government says you can do whatever you can to avoid it. the host said on “Squawk Box,” citing the wealth inequalities that divide the nation.
“There are not billions of billionaires. Let’s imagine something for this little group, ”added Cramer, who generally spoke of a billionaire surcharge. However, he described a different approach to Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax proposal. “Does Elizabeth Warren talk about it in a way that I think is a little too harsh. Yes, ”he said.
Warren’s plan, released earlier this year, is called the “ultra-millionaire tax.” It would impose an annual tax of 2% on household equity between $ 50 million and $ 1 billion and an annual tax of 3% on household equity above $ 1 billion.
Following this week’s ProPublica report, Maryland Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen and Virginia Democratic Representative Don Beyer reintroduced their “millionaire surtax” legislation, closer to what Cramer proposed, except that the bill would tax a much larger swath of wealthy Americans.
The Van Hollen-Beyer bill “would apply an additional tax of 10 percentage points to income over $ 2 million for married couples or over $ 1 million for individuals,” according to a summary of the measure, published Thursday.
Cramer also spoke of a billionaire surtax in a series of tweets on Friday, claiming that “these revelations are making me sick”, referring to the tax avoidance strategies employed by the very rich in the ProPublica report.
The ProPublica article, expected to be the first in a series, did not reveal how the journalists obtained the tax records. The outlet did not respond to a request for comment from CNBC. CNBC has not independently verified the information in the report.
Later on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” Cramer said, “We’re not asking Elizabeth Warren to take. We don’t necessarily want to confiscate. But we have to find a way to say listen, “We know you’re using dodging and we don’t know how to beat it. But we’re going to put a surcharge on it. ‘ “
“Maybe you think it’s too brutal. But I got it, ”he said, expressing concern over America’s ever-growing wealth gap. “We can no longer let this continue in a democracy. “
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