Billionaire says paying his 'fair share' of tax is a 'bulls**t concept'
In 2019, there were 34 million Americans living in poverty
A notable Wall Street businessman has claimed that being asked to pay his fair share of tax is a "bulls**t concept".
According to billionaire hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman, asking people to pay their fair share of taxes is just "an attack on the wealthy".
Cooperman made the remarks in an interview with news outlet CNBC on Thursday. He was invited on discuss recent events surrounding Reddit users bying up shares in GameStop, which sent shockwaves throughout Wall Street, causing many established hedge funds to lose a lot of money.
Users of the r/WallStreetBets subreddit proceeded to co-ordinate a mass purchase of GameStop's shares, sending the US high street game retailer's share value skyrocketing, and costing GME short sellers $1.6 billion (£1.2bn) in one day.
When asked what he thought would eventually happen to the Reddit traders, Cooperman said:
"I'm not damning them. I'm just saying from my experience, this will end in tears.
"GameStop is not worth $500, not worth $400, not worth $300, not worth $200, not even worth $100, not even worth $50."
He then took a more personal stab at the online forum users, saying they were "people [who] are sitting at home, getting their checks from the government, basically trading for no commissions and no interest rates".
What really set the 77-year-old off was a question about taxes, and whether he paid his fair share.
He responded by saying "I hate that expression with a passion!"
He then questioned the entire concept.
"What does fair share mean?" he said.
"I'm willing to work six months a year for the government, and six months for myself — which means a marginal tax rate of 50%. If you live in California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, you're already well past that.
"This fair share is a bulls**t concept! It's just a way of attacking wealthy people."
Former Democratic presidential nominee Bernie Sanders took issue with Cooperman's comments.
Leon Cooperman ranted on CNBC that the idea of a "fair share" is a "bullshit concept" that just attacks wealthy people. https://t.co/nLiURhwxDU
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) January 29, 2021
Sanders tweeted "Oh look, another billionaire is mad that he might have to pay more taxes while children in America go hungry and veterans sleep on the street. Cry me a river.
"Yes. We will make Wall Street billionaires pay their fair share of taxes and create an economy that works for all of us."