Dimon, himself a billionaire thanks to his decades running some of the biggest U.S. lenders, was asked by CNBC’s Wilfred Frost if Democratic presidential hopeful Warren was anti-business.
“You really have to ask her what she really means,” Dimon said in the interview, parts of which were scheduled to air on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”
“She uses some pretty harsh words, you know, some would say vilifies successful people,” Dimon said. “I don’t like vilifying anybody. I think we should applaud successful people.”
Warren has been chiding billionaires critical of her proposal to raise taxes on the ultra rich to help defray the costs of her ambitious plans to reduce inequality in the U.S. That has led to a public spat with Cooperman, who, among other things, has said that Warren is “s—-ing on” the ’f—–ing American dream.”
The Massachusetts senator has ratcheted up her pressure on the billionaire class recently, saying that her tax proposal could be doubled to 6% on fortunes over $1 billion to help pay for a “Medicare for All” plan.
Cooperman and Dimon have both voiced general support for a progressive income tax structure and higher taxes on the wealthy. But Dimon said that Warren’s proposed Accountable Capitalism Act would change “the complete nature of how you run a corporation.”
“I think we have to look at [how] America was founded on free enterprise; freedom and free enterprise are interchangeable,” Dimon said. “If people have very specific things that we should do different, than we should think about doing them different.”
While Dimon reiterated his support for a negative income tax that would encourage more people to work, he cautioned that sweeping policy changes could fail to solve the country’s problems.
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions when it comes to policy,” Dimon said. “A lot of government programs have been abysmal failures, and we should acknowledge that both problems need to be fixed, and those solutions didn’t work. Let’s try something different.”