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Private equity investor Leo Hindery: Trump’s “economic miracle” is a mirage

CM: In relation to the 2020 race, what big policy ideas would you like to see Democratic candidates embrace that would address the real unemployment rate? And more generally, the pervasive economic inequality that is still affecting very large swathes of the American population?

LH: Roughly two years ago, we saw the Trump tax plan. I hope our candidates in 2020 will throw it out the window, it should have been thrown out a long time ago. And I hope there will be another tax plan, this one that focuses on the middle class of this country rather than the wealthiest. We still have large pockets of underserved healthcare recipients [for whom], as good as the Obamacare program is, as grateful as we are that it has survived the Republican onslaught, there are still holes, and there’s still millions of women, men, and children who deserve better healthcare than they’re receiving today.

CM: Do you think the Democrats can win on a platform that calls for major increases in taxes on the wealthy, as we’re starting to see from some of the candidates?

LH: Sure they can. They should. We’ve abandoned the progressive taxation structures of this country that we built our tax code on. Too many of the wealthy of this country have a lesser tax rate than the hard-working middle-class women and men who serve this nation so ably. The sobering statistic that we have to never forget is that about half of this nation’s income is earned by about 3% of our wage earners. And the other half is earned by 97% of our wage earners. The disparity in income, the abuse of income, is indisputable and ne to be a major part of the 2020 campaign for whoever becomes our candidate.

CM: What would you like to see from business leaders in the lead-up to the 2020 election when it comes to economic fairness?

LH: All I ask is that we get back to what stood us in such good stead for fully a century, which is concurrent responsibility on the part of business–not just to shareholders, but to employees, to their communities, to our customers, and if you’re large enough, to the country itself. We have to get rational again in executive compensation, which now is measured in the hundr of times what the average employee makes.

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