Private equity billionaire Steven Schwarzman said during a discussion on the economy today at Lincoln centre that the U.S. needs to get in shape, Bloomberg reported.
Currently, he says, it’s like an athlete that hasn’t worked out in a while, and has been eating too much. This is no way to compete.
In order to get competitive again, he thinks there needs to be an overhaul of the tax system.
Here’s his plan. Disclosure: He delivered it after skipping his morning workout – but he declined the conference’s breakfast of Greek yogurt and homemade granola.
“Two brackets, and you get rid of deductions,” the Blackstone Group co-founder said.
“It becomes so simple you can sell it politically. I usually like to try to do easy deals, because they’re hard enough.”
Schwarzman, who has an estimated net worth of $4.7 billion, told CNBC in an interview earlier this month that he’s “not feeling under taxed,” saying that he paid 53% in personal income taxes last year.
Schwarzman is also an advocate for the flat tax.
Following Warren Buffett’s call to raise taxes on the uber rich, Schwarzman wrote his own op-ed in the Financial Times called An olive branch to Obama: I will share the pain.
“Shared sacrifice” sounds like cheap political rhetoric. But if we are to reform taxes and cut spending sufficiently to make a difference, virtually everyone will be affected. Broad-based tax reform will put everything on the table, from the rates we pay at every bracket to serious thinking about a flat tax regime with few or no deductions. Entitlement reform of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will affect the benefits we receive and the amounts we all have to contribute. There will probably not be a single American untouched by the spending cuts needed in the rest of the federal budget.
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