Leon Cooperman calls Warren’s wealth tax “stupid”, says people would hide money to avoid it

Billionaire Leon Cooperman told CNBC on Wednesday that he believes rich people would find ways to avoid paying late. Elizabeth Warrenwealth tax if it were to become law. He also argued that there are better mechanisms to increase federal government revenue.

“The idea has no merit. It’s stupid. It’s probably not legal,” he said “Squawk Box.”

“If the wealth tax passes, go out and buy yourself some gold because people will be in a hurry to find ways to hide their wealth,” Cooperman added.

Cooperman’s appearance came after the Massachusetts Democrat and other progressives in Congress revealed his plan for an annual tax of 2%, or 2 cents, on every dollar of human wealth worth $ 50 to $ 1 billion. Those whose wealth is valued at over $ 1 billion would be subject to an annual tax of 3%, or 3 cents, for every dollar above this threshold.

Those who support the wealth tax proposal said it would raise at least $ 3 trillion in revenue over ten years, with reference to an analysis from economists from the University of California-Berkeley Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

“I believe in the progressive income tax structure. I believe that rich people should pay more,” Cooperman said, but the chairman of the Omega Family Office argued that the focus should be on reforming existing systems to raise money. For example, he said he is in favor of eliminating the so-called encrypted reported interest rate, which benefits hedge fund and venture capital fund managers.

“The question we need to unite as a nation is what should be the highest tax rate for rich people? For it will define the income return to the government and the government should basically allocate its activity to that income return,” Cooperman added, noting that he long stated that he was willing to “work six months a year for the government and six months for myself.” ”

Warren on Tuesday on CNBC, she believes that the money the wealth tax adds can be “transformative” for the United States, enabling investment in education and infrastructure in early childhood.

“It is set now to say that we will not collect taxes on any asset worth less than $ 50,000, so this is not intrusive. It is not about entering people’s homes and valuing their sub-zeros or finding out. on what their 4-year-old cars are worth, Warren said.

“But it says if you have a fortune over $ 50 million, you pay on it. And if your fortune is under $ 50 million, you do not. Good for you, anyway,” she added. “I think most people would rather be rich and pay 2 cents. This is not very nice. It really is a wealth tax over $ 50 million.”

Cooperman was a singing opponent of Waren’s previous pitch for a wealth tax during her failed campaign for the Democratic presidential candidate 2020.

In October 2019, Cooperman wrote a heavily critical letter to Warrenshe says “Paralysis of the rich is misleading.” Warren campaign ran an ad that argued for a wealth tax next month, blow up billionaires including Cooperman.

After the campaign ad became public, Cooperman told CNBC the wealth tax would “be almost impossible for the police and is probably unconstitutional.”

Cooperman, a pioneer of hedge funds and the son of a Bronx plumber, has signed The Giving Pledge, created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. When asked on Wednesday by CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin whether he would support a reform of a certain tax policy focused on inheritanceCooperman said: “To be honest with you, I’m not focused on that because my plan is to give away all my money at death.”

Cooperman said he was worried about the rhetoric that plagued rich people in the United States. “We all have to work together to deal with our problems, and it’s as simple as that. You have to decide if you are a capitalist or if you are a socialist,” he said.