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Wealth taxes

In a recent interview with the Daily Mail, O’Leary was adamant that Biden’s billionaire tax proposal will “never happen.”

O’Leary is not a fan of wealth taxes, pointing out their failure in other countries.

“The problem with wealth taxes is they've been tried,” he told the Daily Mail. “They've been tried in Britain and in France and it doesn't work. People just leave. Now these people pay 46 percent of taxes so you've got to be careful. You don't want them leaving the country.”

O’Leary was referring to a statistic from a report by the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, which suggested that the top 1% of earners in America paid 46% of all income taxes in the country for the tax year 2021.

When referring to Biden’s State of the Union promise of taxing billionaires 25%, O'Leary added, “None of this stuff is ever going to become law, and everybody knows that. But it's great campaign rhetoric. There was not a whole lot in terms of substance.”

He added, “I'm not being critical, I'm just saying he did the right thing: rallied the troops by bringing out the themes like 'tax the rich!' which worked for him last time.”

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Barrier to a second term

While O’Leary believes that Biden’s proposal was good campaign rhetoric, he points to a major barrier to the president’s reelection — rising price levels.

“Inflation is always the enemy of the incumbent. It doesn't matter who you are in the White House when there's inflation,” O’Leary explained. “People go to the voting booth remembering what it cost them for their cornflakes and milk in the morning, and what it cost to fill up the car to drive there.”

To be sure, headline inflation has subsided in America. The latest data indicates that, in February 2024, the U.S. consumer price index saw an annual increase of 3.2%, down from its peak 9.1% increase registered in June 2022.

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About the Author

Jing Pan

Jing Pan

Investment Reporter

Jing is an investment reporter for MoneyWise. He is an avid advocate of investing for passive income. Despite the ups and downs he’s been through with the markets, Jing believes that you can generate a steadily increasing income stream by investing in high quality companies.

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