| NEW YORK, Sept 19
NEW YORK, Sept 19 Roughly 25 members and
supporters of the Working Families Party gathered outside the
Waldorf Astoria here on Wednesday to protest the tax treatment
of private equity firms.
The group specifically targeted David Rubenstein,
co-founder of the Carlyle Group [CYL.UL], one of the largest
private equity firms in the world, who was speaking at a
"These firms are getting away with murder," said Dan
Cantor, executive director of Working Families, a community and
labor-based organization that advocates for the middle and
Private equity firms, which have raised more than $400
billion and done more $700 billion in the last year alone, have
their profits taxed at the capital gains rate, or 15 percent.
Lawmakers have proposed various bills that seek to raise
taxes on the profits -- known as carried interest -- on private
investment funds to 35 percent, the same as the ordinary income
Members of the protest briefly entered the conference and
hung a banner above the audience before Rubenstein. The message
was the same as on the signs and handouts: Why does Carlyle
Group founder David Rubenstein pay taxes at a lower rate than a
When asked about the protest, Rubenstein cracked several
jokes as the audience laughed and applauded.
"When history is written and people talk about the great
protests," Rubenstein said, mentioning civil disobedience
efforts from Gandhi and Martin Luther King, "I don't think that
this will be in that category."