Jamie Dimon, one of America’s richest investment bankers, responded to the criticism about billionaires from Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for touting wealth tax proposal, stating the uber-wealthy don’t deserve to be “vilified.”
“Just because it resonates, doesn’t make it right,” Dimon said, when asked about criticism put forward by Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Maine).
“I understand that a person in this seat is going to be targeted in this day and age by certain politicians … but the notion that I’m not a patriot … that’s just dead wrong,” Dimon told CBS News.
Dimon is CEO of JPMorgan Chase and has a net worth of $1.6 billion, according to Forbes.
“You know, most people are good, not all of them,” Dimon told CBS News. “You should vilify Nazis, but you shouldn’t vilify people who worked hard to accomplish things.”
“And so my comment is, American society—we’re just attacking each other all the time,” he added.
Warren proposed her progressive wealth tax dubbed “Ultra-Millionaire tax,” saying “It’s time for the rich to pay their fair share.” The plan would apply a 2% tax on every dollar of net worth for households worth $50 million or more, and a 3% tax on every dollar of net worth beyond $1 billion, which would impact approximately 75,000 households and raise $2.75 trillion over a decade, the campaign said.
This past week Dimon told CNBC that Warren “uses some pretty harsh words that some would say vilifies successful people.”
“I don’t like vilifying anybody,” Dimon said. “We should applaud successful people.”
Jamie Dimon to @WilfredFrost says @ewarren‘s call to enact her Accountable Capitalism Act “sloppy logic” just because of new BRT statement. Says should not change complete nature of a corp. “She uses some pretty harsh words…I think we should applaud successful people” pic.twitter.com/KSnWATeltx
— CNBC’s Closing Bell (@CNBCClosingBell) November 5, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez, who previously proposed a 70% tax on Americans with incomes over $10 million, jumped on Dimon’s remarks, by tweeting: “Y’all, the billionaires are asking for a safe space—you know, in addition to the entire U.S. economy and political lobbying industry.”
Warren’s plan to tax the wealthiest Americans has also prompted pushback from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
“If I had to pay $20 billion, it’s fine,” Gates said during a New York Times DealBook conference. “But when you say I should pay $100 billion, then I’m starting to do a little math about what I have left over.” He added that he was “just kidding” when the crowd laughed.
“I’m not going to make political declarations,” Gates said. “But I do think no matter what policy somebody has in mind […] whoever I decide will have the more professional approach in the current situation, probably is the thing I will weigh the most. And I hope that the more professional candidate is an electable candidate.”
“I’m not sure how open-minded she is, or that she’d even be willing to sit down with somebody who has large amounts of money,” he added.
In the meantime, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in January that Warren’s tax was “probably unconstitutional.”
“People earn money to pay their taxes, and then they don’t expect the government to come back and take some of it away,” he added. “I think you can question whether or not we have the right tax rates.”