Today, Morris Pearl, Chair of the Board of the Patriotic Millionaires, challenged Michael Sommers to a public debate on the carried interest tax loophole. This is the policy which allows fund managers to pay a lower tax rate than most other Americans.
Two weeks ago, Mr. Sommers became president of the Private Equity Growth Capital Council, the top lobbying organization for the investment fund industry. Previously, Mr. Sommers was the Chief of Staff to former Speaker of the House John Boehner.
You can see Mr. Pearl’s letter to Mr. Sommers below.
We eagerly await his response.
Private Equity Growth Capital Council
799 9th St NW STE 200
Washington, DC 20001
Dear Mr. Sommers,
I write to you as the Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires to invite you to join me in a public forum to discuss the taxation of carried interest.
The Patriotic Millionaires are a group of 200 high net-worth individuals working together to create a more prosperous, stable, and inclusive nation. We support public policies that advance political equality, just wages, and fair tax policies.
As you well know, the PEGCC is at the center of the investment industry’s fight to protect the preferential tax treatment of carried income. We, the Patriotic Millionaires, believe the carried interest “loophole” is intellectually indefensible and a prime example of money’s corrupting influence on our public policy.
We hope that with your new leadership, it might be possible to correct some of the inaccuracies put forward by your organization under your predecessor regarding this policy.
Below please find the letter that your predecessor issued on April 15, 2015 in response to The Carried Interest Fairness Act presented to Congress by Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representative Sandy Levin. I have taken the liberty of annotating the original letter with notes challenging certain assertions of both fact and causality.
According to Representative Hoyer, you are a policy expert who conducts himself with honesty and integrity. If this is the case, I believe we can speak candidly and publicly about why it is/is not appropriate for fund managers to pay a lower tax rate than the majority of the American workforce.
I am willing to meet you at any time, any place to have a frank and honest dialogue on this policy.
The American people deserve it, members of Congress deserve it, and the private equity firms and hedge funds that you and the PEGCC represent deserve it.
I look forward to your response,