David Rubenstein
Managing Director, The Carlyle Group
01:37

Re: Is the income gap growing?

To embed this video, copy this code:

Rubenstein thinks we should simplify the tax code.

David Rubenstein

David M. Rubenstein is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. Mr. Rubenstein co-founded the firm in 1987. Since then, Carlyle has grown into a firm managing more than $85 billion from 29 offices around the world.  Prior to co-founding Carlyle in 1987, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in New York, with the firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; served as deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy in the Carter administration; and practiced law in Washington, D.C., with the firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge. Mr. Rubenstein is a member of the Board of Directors of The Council on Foreign Relations, the Institute for International Economics and Freedom House; the Board of Trustees of Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Dance Theatre of Harlem; and a member of the Visiting Committee of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and the National Advisory Committee of J.P. Morgan Chase. He is based in Washington, DC.

Transcript
There’s no doubt that there has become a growing concern about the income disparity in the United States. CEOs are making incomes than ever before, and the gap between what CEOs are making and the lowest paid workers in those companies are making is increasing. And there’s no doubt that after 30 or 40 years of a war on poverty, we still have a great deal of poverty in the United States and we are the wealthiest country in the world. Clearly in other countries in the world, in the developing countries, emerging countries, the poverty level is far greater than even here. I’m not sure that increasing taxes on private equity is gonna solve all these problems. I do believe, though, that Congress needs to look at how to reform the tax code in ways that does make everything work a little bit more fairly. For example, right now the tax code is 10,000 pages or more. It’s virtually incomprehensible. At our firm, the former head of the IRS is . . . is an employee, and he cannot fill out his own tax returns. And I doubt if any former head of the IRS or current head of the IRS can fill out their own tax returns because it’s too complicated. I think we need to simplify the system much better. And I think with simplification would come greater equity. That’s one of the things we should do. But there’s no doubt that the income disparity in our country has increased, and we should do some things to deal with it as soon as we can. Recorded on: 9/13/07

×