Laffer slams Biden billionaire tax plan: Rich people the 'solution,' not the 'enemies'

The wealthy, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, should be rewarded for being 'the people we need to cultivate and think'

Former Reagan economic adviser Art Laffer argued on Monday that people like Tesla CEO Elon Musk and former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos are not the "enemies," but that President Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., "are the problems."

Laffer made the argument on "Cavuto: Coast to Coast," reacting to President Biden’s plans to tax the rich

"Look what Elon Musk has done with regard to batteries and technology and these companies," Laffer told host Neil Cavuto. "Look what Bezos has done with Amazon."

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"These guys are the people we need to cultivate and think," he continued, stressing that "these great entrepreneurs," who have "created all this growth and prosperity in this country," is "what makes America so phenomenal."  

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"They’re not the ones that are the enemies or the problems," Laffer stressed. "Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden they are the problems. They are the ones trying to stifle America’s leadership in this world." 

He then said that "it really bothers" him that Biden and Warren are "trying to go after these people as opposed to sending them flowers and thanking them for all of the taxes they do pay." Laffer believes it's "wrong."

Last week, President Biden unveiled a new minimum tax targeting billionaires as part of his 2023 budget request, proposing a 20% rate that would hit both the income and unrealized capital gains of the wealthiest Americans.

The "Billionaire Minimum Income Tax" would establish a 20% minimum tax on all U.S. households worth more than $100 million, or about 0.01% of Americans. The White House projected that more than half the revenue generated by the tax would stem from the country's 700 billionaires.

"President Biden is a capitalist and believes that anyone should be able to become a millionaire or a billionaire," the White House said in a statement. "He also believes that it is wrong for America to have a tax code that results in America’s wealthiest households paying a lower tax rate than working families."

Former Reagan economic adviser Art Laffer argued people like Tesla CEO Elon Musk and former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos are not the "enemies," but that President Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren "are the problems." (AP/Reuters)

Under the proposal, the top sliver of U.S. households would be required to pay a tax rate of at least 20% on their full income, or the combination of wage income and whatever they made in unrealized gains. If a billionaire is not paying 20% on their income, they will owe a "top-up payment" that makes up the difference to meet the new minimum. 

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On Monday, Laffer stressed that rich people are not "our problem," but the "solution."

"What we need is a low rate, broad-based flat tax," he continued, referencing a tax that would apply the same rate to everyone, regardless of their income bracket.

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FOX Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.