Michael Burry, whose huge, profitable bets against the housing bubble were made famous in “The Big Short,” denounced what he called U.S. class warfare and challenged the notion that the rich don’t pay enough taxes.
Burry said the wealthiest 1% paid a tax rate that’s seven times the one paid by the bottom 50%, in a tweet that asked if higher earners were due a tax cut. He also posted a series of tweets on a range of topics including the treatment of Covid-19, gender, and a defense of Donald Trump.
Some observers on Twitter indicated they viewed Burry’s tweets as more of a thought experiment than representative of his actual opinions, since he used some of them to spotlight how few people check the sources he cites. While only approved followers can view Burry’s Twitter feed, the thread was republished by other users.
— Michael Burry Archive (@BurryArchive) October 13, 2021
Burry’s comments come as Democrats in Congress debate a social spending bill that would hike taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Their plans include a higher rate on capital gains, a surtax on the wealthiest households and restrictions on techniques used to avoid the estate and gift tax.
A White House report last month said the 400 richest families paid an average an average rate of 8.2%. The analysis used an unconventional method to calculate tax rates, taking into account both cash income and unrealized capital gains.
Burry, the head of Scion Asset Management, rose to prominence after his winning wagers against mortgages ahead of the 2008 financial crisis. He said in another tweet that “misinformation and persecution targeting conservatives now permeates society” and he accused the media, Big Tech, the intelligence agencies, the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service of being complicit.
Burry, who was played by Christian Bale in the film version of Michael Lewis’s best-selling account of the 2008 financial crisis, “The Big Short,” was originally a doctor. After gaining his M.D. at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, he was an early adopter of discussing stock trades on online message boards and switched to professional investing.