CNBC’s Jim Cramer suggested on Friday that the United States impose a surcharge 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 like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and businessman Michael Bloomberg, investors Carl Icahn, and George Soros paid little to no federal income tax. according to a report by ProPublica, which cited confidential IRS data it obtained.
“Obviously they can avoid paying income taxes. Don’t evade. But avoid. And I know that avoiding is legal and the government says you can do everything you can to avoid it. I think you have to change that,” said the “Crazy money” . the host said on “Squawk Box,” citing the wealth inequalities that divide the nation.
“There are not billions of billionaires. We are going to think of something for this small group,” added Cramer, who spoke generally about a multibillion dollar surtax. However, he outlined an approach that differed from Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax proposal. “Elizabeth Warren talks about it in a way that I think is a little too harsh? Yes,” he said.
Warren’s plan, published earlier this year, is called “Ultra millionaire tax”. It would impose a 2% annual tax on household net worth between $ 50 million and $ 1 billion and a 3% annual tax on household net worth above $ 1 billion.
Following this week’s ProPublica report, Maryland Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen and Virginia Democratic Rep. Don Beyer reintroduced their “Millionaires Surtax” legislation, more like what Cramer introduced, expecting the bill to be serious on a fringe. much broader than wealthy Americans.
The Van Hollen-Beyer bill “would apply an additional 10 percentage point tax to income greater than $ 2 million for married couples or greater than $ 1 million for individuals.” according to summary of the measure, released Thursday.
Cramer also spoke about a multi-million dollar surtax in a series of tweets on Friday, saying “these revelations make me sick,” referring to the tax evasion strategies employed by the super-rich in the ProPublica report.
The ProPublica article, which is 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.
Later, on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” Cramer said, “We’re not asking you to take Elizabeth Warren. We don’t necessarily want to confiscate. But we have to find a way to say listen:” We know you use avoidance and we don’t know how to beat it. But we’re going to put a surcharge on it. ‘
“You might think it’s too forceful. But I’ve had it,” he said, expressing concern about America’s widening wealth gap. “We cannot let this continue any longer in a democracy.”
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