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07 Apr 2021 | 11:21

JP Morgan's Dimon urges rich to accept higher taxes

(Sharecast News) - JP Morgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said higher taxes on wealth may be necessary to heal the US and that rich people would benefit from the improvements. In his annual letter to shareholders, the US's leading banker said the US was heading for a post-pandemic economic boom fuelled by Covid-19 vaccinations, high savings and President Joe Biden's stimulus spending. The recovery could last well into 2023, Dimon said.

But he said the US was deeply divided by race and income and weighed down by incoherent policy responses. He urged business and government to work together on income inequality, education and healthcare for all, fixing infrastructure, affordable housing and other fundamental matters.

In a nod to Biden's language of reconciliation and collaboration, Dimon said political parties should work together. "Rugged individualism" and free enterprise are not at odds with supporting those in difficulty and lifting up the country's poor, he said.

The JP Morgan boss published his letter a day after Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate minority leader, told big companies to stay out of politics apart from making financial contributions. Dimon, whose wealth is estimated at $1.8bn, has spoken before about the need for capitalism to renew itself and spread opportunity.

In his letter, Dimon said: "Republicans need to acknowledge that America can and should afford to provide a proper safety net for our elderly, our sick and our poor, as well as help create an environment that generates more opportunities and more income for more Americans.

"Republicans could acknowledge that if the government can demonstrate that it is spending money wisely, we should spend more - think infrastructure and education funding. And that may very well mean higher taxes for the wealthy. Should that happen, the wealthy should keep in mind that if tax monies improve our society and our economy, those same individuals will be, in effect, among the main beneficiaries."
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