Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in her first year as a member of the House, has already made a name for herself by championing outlandish idea like those found in her Green New Deal proposal to combat climate change, and her 70% tax rate on all income above $10 million per year.
But a recent idea pushed by investing legend Warren Buffett is garnering the attention of the freshman firebrand from New York: The government should go after the personal wealth of CEOs of banks that were bailed out by U.S. taxpayers.
Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., fired off a tweet over the weekend referring to a CNBC report from earlier this month where Buffett said the CEOs of failing banks should lose everything they’re worth, rather than walking away with millions in bonus money.
“If a bank gets to where it needs government assistance, the responsible CEO should lose his net worth and his spouse’s net worth,” Buffett said at Berkshire’s shareholders meeting, per CNBC. Whenever a situation like this arises, “it’s the shareholders who pay.”
Buffett’s remarks reportedly received cheers from the crowd, and Ocasio-Cortez cheered the idea on Twitter over the weekend.
“It blows my mind that the CEOs who crashed our economy + caused millions of people to lose their homes not only escaped handcuffs; but got bonuses, too,” she tweeted. “Many still have influential roles shaping the economy today. But we’re the crazy ones for wanting to tax’em, right?”
It still blows my mind that the CEOs who crashed our economy + caused millions of people to lose their homes not only escaped handcuffs; but got bonuses, too.????
Many still have influential roles shaping the economy today.
But we’re the crazy ones for wanting to tax ‘em, right? https://t.co/oRWlw7Ogrj
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 18, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez then gave her ideas on how to bail out Main Street and not Wall Street:
- Cap All Interest Rates at 15% (includes Credit Cards & all lending)
- Federal Student Loan Cancellation (for the past)
- Tuition-Free Public Colleges (for the future)
- Medicare for All (no egregious medical debt w/single payer)
A number of CEOs who led banks that ended up failing in 2007 to 2008 have now found new, high-level positions in the financial industry.
Former Wachovia CEO Ken Thompson is currently serving on the board at Lending Tree, former Morgan Stanley CEO John Macks is on the board of Lending Club, former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain was the CEO of CIT Group within a year, and he now sits on the board at the recently IPO’ed Uber.
Editor’s note: Do you think the federal government should be able to go after CEOs of failed banks, or is that a slippery slope that will lead to abuse? Share your thoughts below.