MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle said Tuesday that the proposed tax on billionaires left a loophole in place that the rich would “swan dive through.”
Ruhle argued that if billionaires were taxed on their income rather than their amassed wealth or the interest on their assets, the end result might be that they would still be able to avoid increased taxes by keeping that income low.
Ruhle noted that she was keeping tabs on an interview between Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein and Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin before turning to her own guest, Punchbowl News co-founder John Bresnahan. (RELATED: ‘I’m Comfortable With Zero’: Manchin Reportedly Willing To Tank Reconciliation To Avoid Overspending)
“Private equity firms who seem to be keeping that beautiful loophole, carried interest. That’s not being taken away. Talk about this new idea, this billionaire’s tax. This is kind of nonsense, John,” she said. “They’re being taxed based on their income. People this wealthy pay themselves a teeny-tiny amount. This is not a wealth tax. This is another giant loophole that they’ll be able to swan dive through.”
Bresnahan noted that it was different from the wealth tax proposed by Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, which would not allow for such a loophole.
Manchin has signaled that he would be open to tax increases on billionaires, telling reporters, “I’m open to any type of thing that makes people pay, that’s not paying now. So people don’t report income like you and I do, earned income, there has to be a way for them to pay their fair share.”
He has voiced opposition to corporate taxes over 25%, however, and Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has pushed back on any tax increases at all – both of which have created roadblocks for President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, which depends on tax increases to fund its proposed programs.