Sir Richard Branson, an English businessman and founder of the Virgin Group, said Americans should pay higher taxes, although he acknowledged he is not American during an appearance on MSNBC on Friday.
Branson appeared on MSNBC to discuss Virgin Galactic's partnership with New Mexico to build the first-ever commercial spaceport. At the end of the interview, host Yasmin Vossoughian asked Branson about income inequality and the role people like him "should play with regards to income inequality."
"We have a very important role. I think if anybody is fortunate to be successful, wealth, and sometimes extreme wealth, comes with it and there's an enormous responsibility to redistribute that wealth by setting up, in our case, many, many different kinds of programs," Branson said.
Branson added that the "extremely wealthy most likely should bear more of the burden than they currently do."
"And do you agree with the likes of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates saying individuals like you should be paying higher taxes in this country?" Vossoughian asked.
"Yes, I mean, I'm not American, but I think the answer is yes. I think that, you know, the enormous tax breaks have benefited the very wealthy and that is wrong. And we don't need them in the way that other people do," Branson responded.
The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found the average middle class family kept almost $1,000 due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Republicans. An article published by Fox Business earlier this year highlighted other benefits of the tax cuts:
A family of four with annual income of $73,000 is seeing a 60 percent reduction in federal taxes — totaling to more than $2,058. According to the Heritage Foundation, the typical American family will be almost $45,000 better off over the next decade because of higher take-home pay and a stronger economy.
Tax reform doubled the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000, giving over 22 million American families important tax relief. The standard deduction was doubled from $6,000 to $12,000 ($12,000 to $24,000 for a family) giving tax relief for over 105 million taxpayers that took the deduction prior to tax reform and simplifying the code for tens of millions Americans that will not take the standard deduction instead of itemizing.
The United States declared its independence from Branson's country in 1776.