David Tepper just finished a rare appearance on Squawk Box this morning, covering everything from the Fed to the situation in Europe.
The billionaire founder of hedge fund Appaloosa Management also got into politics, as people are wont to do during these fiscal cliff days, and lucky for us, the folks at Squawk got him right to the point.
They asked Tepper what he would do as President of the United States right now.
“What I would do if I was President?,” Tepper responded, “hard job… I would really lead on Medicare stuff that everybody knows has to get done.”
Tepper went on to explain that he thinks the President needs to lead on that front since it’s hard for Republicans to say what they want to cut. He’s in favour not of massively gutting the program (“like some of these guys are”) but he does think it’s time to raise the age for eligibility since Americans are living longer.
Of course, that’s just the spending side. On the revenue raising side, Tepper was probably even more adamant about what should be done.
“Raise my rate, I don’t care. I know some guys are going to be mad at me but, get rid of this stupid carried interest. I hope it’s gone.”
Carried interest is a big deal for hedge fund managers and private equity firms. It’s the money that is left over for an investment manager, after expenses, salaries, and investors are paid etc., and it is taxed as capital gain (15%) rather than as regular income (35%). Critics have said, though, that funds don’t take enough risk with that money for it to be taxed at a lower rate, especially when they have a fixed pool of investment capital.