David Rubenstein, co-CEO of private equity giant The Carlyle Group (CG), isn’t worried about Congress possibly raising his taxes by raising capital gains rates or closing the so-called carried interest loophole. Not because he thinks either of those things should happen (he doesn’t), but because he’s giving his money away anyway.
Rubenstein is a signatory to The Giving Pledge, a commitment by wealthy individuals and families to donate a majority of their estates to philanthropy. He also was recently profiled by 60 Minutes for his efforts to preserve American historical properties like the Washington Monument and the Iwo Jima Memorial.
Earlier today, he explained his thinking on taxes to Bloomberg TV:
“I have many things i’m worried about, but my tax rate is not one of them. I’m actually giving away all of my money anyway so it’s not my major concern. My major concern is growing the economy and making good investments and ultimately giving away more money. I do think tax rates are important to other people.”
Rubenstein added that while he supports both corporate tax and personal income tax reform, he doesn’t believe either will happen until after the next presidential election. He did not, however, explain what he’d want such reform to entail, given that he expressed worries about raising capital gains rates too high (it could produce “disincentives”) and that closing the carried interest loophole on only private equity firms would produce too little revenue to be worthwhile (and expanding it to include real estate, venture capital and energy partnerships, he believes, would be politically and economically untenable).
In other news, Rubenstein told Bloomberg that Carlyle is not in talks with the SEC over the fees it charges to its investors. Earlier this week, rival private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. reached a $30 million settlement with the SEC over alleged misallocation of fees.
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