Schultz: ‘I should be paying more taxes’

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Source:  MSN

Howard Schultz, the billionaire former Starbucks CEO considering a run for president, wants to pay more taxes. He just won’t say how much.

Appearing in a prime-time CNN town hall on Tuesday, Schultz demurred after repeatedly being pressed by moderator Poppy Harlow to provide a rate.

“The headline is here: I should be paying more taxes,” Schultz said. “And people who make this kind of revenue, and are of means, should pay more taxes.”

Harlow, keeping on the subject, threw out some figures: Maybe 2 percent higher? Possibly 10 percent? Or 20 percent?

“Poppy, I don’t what the number is,” Schultz conceded. “What I am saying is we need comprehensive tax reform.”

Harlow tried again, at which point Schultz launched into a criticism of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s idea of a top marginal income tax rate as much as 70 percent — calling it “punitive.”

Schultz, during the 90-minute exchange, did commit to releasing his own tax returns should he mount a White House run.

“If I decide to run for president, I 100 percent will release my taxes and be completely transparent,” he pledged, seizing the chance to swipe at President Donald Trump, who has so far refused to do so. “I think President Trump, unfortunately, has a habit of not being truthful.”

But later, when asked whether he would divest his Starbucks holdings should he be elected, Schultz was again noncommittal, calling the idea “way premature.”

“I think the best way to say that is, I will do nothing whatsoever to have any conflict of interest between my investments overall or my interests in the company that I love because I will put the role and responsibility and the accountability for results first if I run for president and I’m fortunate enough to win,” he said. “And that is a promise I make to the American people.”

When Harlow followed on whether Schultz would sell all his Starbucks shares, he had this answer: “I don’t think that’s the question. I think there are multiple ways to do this,” he said.

“No, no, I’m not evading the question,” Schultz insisted. “There’s multiple ways to do this — set up a blind trust, to do lots of things to remove any conflict of interest.”

Harlow moved on.

 

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