Dispute between Wyden, son on taxes becomes public
A disagreement over taxes between Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and his son Adam Wyden has become increasingly public in recent weeks as Democrats seek to enact a social spending package that is paid for in part by tax increases on high earners.
Ron Wyden, 72, is a leading proponent of raising taxes on the rich, and he’s been pushing to add to the social spending package his proposal to tax billionaires’ unrealized capital gains annually. Adam Wyden, a 37-year-old, Florida-based hedge fund owner, has criticized his father’s efforts to raise taxes on the rich on social media and in media interviews.
The dispute between father and son was spotlighted in a New York Times article on Friday.
“The issue is bigger than my father. I’m not interested in discussing anything personal,” Adam Wyden told the Times. He described himself to the Times as a libertarian.
Ron Wyden told the Times, “He doesn’t talk to me about his business, and I don’t talk to him about mine.”
The Times article noted that Adam Wyden last month responded on a Twitter thread in which his father took issue with Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s poll about whether he should sell 10 percent of his stock in the company.
“Why does he hate us / the American dream so much?!?!?!?!” the younger Wyden tweeted. “Reality is: most legislators have never built anything… so I guess it’s easier to mindlessly and haphazardly try and tear stuff down.”
“Thankfully, I think I can compound faster than my dad and his cronies can confiscate it,” Adam Wyden said in a second tweet.
The younger Wyden subsequently was asked about his tweets in a CNBC interview.
In the interview, Adam Wyden said that he and his father “have a mutual respect for one another” and that his tweets were “made a little bit tongue in cheek.” But he also said he wants to ensure that people continue to come to the United States to build businesses.
“It’s clear to me that the people that are making these policy decisions have never experienced the up and downs of running a business,” he told CNBC.
The Times reported that Adam Wyden would not personally be hurt by his father’s billionaire tax proposal, which currently is not in the social spending package, but could be affected by a provision in the House’s version of the bill that would create a 5 percent surtax on income above $10 million.