Obama insists that it is not "anti-business" to demand that Hedge Fund managers pay the same rate of taxation as their secretary.
It came after he was read this outrageous quote from Steve Schwarzman, the CEO of Blackstone.
"It's a war," Schwarzman said on the struggle with the administration over increasing taxes on private-equity firms. "It's like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939."Obama responded:
Where do these whining buggers even get the gall to put forward the arguments which they are currently making? What sense of overwhelming entitlement would one have to possess to argue that paying the same rate of taxation as one's secretary is akin to Hitler invading Poland?
Well I don't know where that comes from. That's my point... I guess. It is a two way street. If you're making a billion dollars a year after a very bad financial crisis where 8 million people lost their jobs and small businesses can't get loans, then I think that you shouldn't be feeling put upon. The question should be how can we work with you to continue to grow the economy.
A big source of frustration, this quote that you just said, this was me acting like Hitler going into Poland had to do with a proposal to change a rule called carried interest which basically allows hedge fund managers to get taxed at 15% on their income.
Now everybody else is getting taxed at... you know, a lot more. The secretary at the hedge fund is probably being taxed at twenty five, twenty eight, right? And these folks are making... getting taxed at fifteen. Now there are complicated economic arguments as to why this isn't really income, this is more like capital gains and so forth, which is a fair argument to have. I have no problem having that argument with hedge fund managers, many of whom I know and went to school with and I respect their business acumen, but the notion that somehow me saying maybe you should be taxed more like your secretary when you're pulling home a billion dollars or a hundred million dollars a year, I don't think is me being extremist or being anti-business.