There continues to be a notion that carried interest is something that needs to be fixed because of a seemingly unfair low-tax capital gains income rate.
It is true the rate is low. But so what? It’s not as though the income isn’t from capital gains. If the law was changed so that the operators were taxed at ordinary income only, it wouldn’t get rid of those gains — it would simply mean that the investors get the benefit of the capital gains lost by the operators. This fixes nothing.
Ultimately such a change –which is being proposed by President Trump like it was by President Obama — will merely shift the tax benefit from the operators to the investors. This takes a tax break away from people who are working for a living and gives it to millionaires who are just investing – pure hypocrisy from liberals who wish to inflict additional taxes on the wealthy at every step. It make compensation deals for hedge fund operators a bit more complicated (i.e. requiring more assistance from accountants), but the amount of compensation stays revenue neutral.
Therefore, it takes a whopping dose of either incompetence or disingenuousness from the many carried interest critics to look at the hedge fund industry and proclaim that “carried interest” is a problem that needs to be addressed.