Steven Schwarzman, the billionaire founder of private equity giant, the Blackstone Group, has long bemoaned bank bashing. But, on the subject of taxes, he's apparently not afraid to cast aspersions on the Obama administration.
Speaking to board members at a nonprofit recently, Newsweek reports that Schwarzman compared the recent Obama administration push to boost taxes on private equity firms to a "war... like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939." (Hat tip to the Business Insider.)
If Schwarzman is okay with comparing the Obama administration to Hitler, he's not comfortable with anyone engaging in bank bashing. Earlier this year at Davos, Schwarzman argued that anti-Wall Street rhetoric would make banks "insecure" and actually decrease lending. In a subsequent Washington Post op-ed, Schwarzman warned that lending could decrease if banks feel "under siege."
The Hitler analogy was apparently fueled by Schartzman's disagreement with proposals to increase the rate at which private equity managers are taxed. A long-delayed bill would increase the tax rate on the 20-percent share of profits that private equity firms charge clients. Currently, these fees are taxed at the normal 15 percent income rate. The proposal would tax these fees as corporate income -- a 35 percent rate.
In short, the bill would require Wall Street's private equity titans to pay income taxes at the same rate as the rest of America.
Check out the full article at Newsweek.
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