Billionaire Leon Cooperman Calls Warren’s Proposed Wealth Tax “Foolish,” Expresses Worry About Attitudes Toward Wealthy People

Leon Cooperman, an investor and hedge fund manager worth roughly $3.2 billion, has criticized Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for her proposed wealth tax, calling the idea “foolish.”

“The idea has no merit. It’s foolish. It probably is not legal,” he said in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “If the wealth tax passes, go out and buy yourself some gold because people are going to rush to find ways of hiding their wealth.”

“I believe in the progressive income tax structure. I believe that rich people should pay more,” Cooperman said, adding that “The question we have to coalesce around as a nation is what should the maximum tax rate be on wealthy people?”

“Because that will define the revenue yield to the government and the government should basically assign its activity to that revenue yield,” he said.

Cooperman also expressed concern about attitudes toward the wealthy. Calls to tax the rich have only continued to grow louder as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to lay bare what many Americans believe are fundamental issues of inequality. Last week, a Hill-HarrisX poll found that 67%––more than two-thirds––of registered voters support a wealth tax on the rich to close the wealth gap.

“We all have to work together to deal with our problems, and it’s as simple as that. You’ve got to decide whether you’re a capitalist or whether you’re a socialist,” Cooperman said.

You can watch his interview below.

Warren, along with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and others, proposed a 2% annual tax on wealth over $50 million, rising to 3% for wealth over $1 billion.

“The ultra-rich and powerful have rigged the rules in their favor so much that the top 0.1% pay a lower effective tax rate than the bottom 99%, and billionaire wealth is 40% higher than before the Covid crisis began,” Warren said Monday.