Cramer proposes billionaire surcharge after ProPublica report for tax avoidance

CNBC’s Jim Cramer suggested Friday that the US impose a surcharge on billionaires, following this week’s ProPublica report on how some of the world’s richest people avoid taxes.

In recent years, billionaires including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and businessman Michael Bloomberg, investors Carl Icahn and George Soros paid little to no federal income taxes, according to the ProPublica report, which cited confidential IRS data .

“You are obviously able to avoid income taxes. Don’t evade. But avoid. And I know avoidance is legal and the government says you can do anything to avoid it. I think that has to be changed, ”said the“ Mad Money ”. said the host in the “Squawk Box”, citing the wealth inequalities that divide the nation.

“There aren’t billions of billionaires. Let’s think of something for this small group,” added Cramer, who generally spoke of a billionaire premium. However, he described an approach that differed from the proposal made by Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren. “Talk to Elizabeth Warren in a way that I find a little too strict. Yes, ”he said.

Warren’s plan, published earlier this year, is called the “Ultra Millionaire Tax”. It would impose a 2% annual tax on the net worth of households between $ 50 million and $ 1 billion and a 3% annual tax on the net worth of households over $ 1 billion.

According to this week’s ProPublica report, Maryland Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen and Virginia Democratic MP Don Beyer reintroduced their “Millionaires Surtax” legislation, which is more like what Cramer put forward except that the law is a lot would tax a greater proportion of wealthy Americans.

The Van Hollen-Beyer Act “would impose an additional 10 percentage point tax on incomes over $ 2 million for married couples or over $ 1 million for individuals,” according to a summary of the measure released Thursday.

Also speaking of a billionaire surcharge in a series of tweets on Friday, Cramer said, “These revelations make me sick,” referring to the tax avoidance strategies of the super-rich in the ProPublica report.

The ProPublica article, which was supposed 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 from CNBC for comment. 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 her. We don’t necessarily want to confiscate. But we have to find a way to say, ‘We know you are using avoidance and we don’t know how to defeat it. But we will make a surcharge on it. ‘”

“You might think it’s too blunt. But I have it,” he said, expressing concern about the widening wealth gap in America. “We can no longer allow that in a democracy.”

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