The Slatest

Trump on Taxes: “Hedge Fund Guys Are Getting Away With Murder”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Aug. 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama.  

Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump took a break from talking about unauthorized immigrants on Sunday to say that he would change the tax code to force people who work at hedge funds to pay more in taxes. “The hedge fund guys are getting away with murder,” he told CBS News on Sunday. The real estate mogul said that if he were president he would change the tax code to force those who work for hedge funds to pay more.

“The hedge fund guys didn’t build this country. These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky,” Trump said. “They are energetic. They are very smart. But a lot of them—they are paper-pushers. They make a fortune. They pay no tax. It’s ridiculous, ok?”

Trump said his plan to make hedge fund managers pay more tax was part of his effort to “save the middle class” by lowering their tax rates. “I want to lower the rates for the middle class. The middle class is the one. They’re getting absolutely destroyed. This country, it won’t have a middle class very soon.” In criticizing the tax that hedge fund managers pay, Trump was referring to what is known as the “carried interest loophole.” Reuters explains that it is the “provision in the tax code which allows private equity and hedge fund managers pay taxes at the capital gains rate instead of the ordinary income rate.” Trump, however, failed to specify how he would reform the tax code and change that provision.

The real estate mogul also suggested he was changing his mind on big campaign donations. He had pledged to finance his own campaign, saying other candidates were beholden to their top donors. On Sunday he said he would accept donations, but only if there are “no strings attached.” And how does he know donors often want something in return for their money? Because it’s how he operated in the past when he wasn’t involved in politics. “Look, I know the people that want something. I’ve been doing this all my life. I’ve been a very big contributor to many, many people on all sides for many, many years,” Trump said. “I don’t want lobbyists. I don’t want special interests.”