The decade's most triggering comedy
On Tuesday, billionaire philanthropist Leon Cooperman, who has been highly critical of Senator Bernie Sanders in the past, targeted him harshly, telling CNBC’s Scott Wapner that when it came to the issue of how a Sanders presidency would affect markets, “I look at Bernie Sanders as a bigger threat than the coronavirus.” He added, “He is not a socialist, but he’s rather a communist.”
In all honesty, I don’t have any insight into the coronavirus beyond what everyone else has, but I assume, with all the great minds of the world focused on this problem, that in three or four months this will become resolved, much the way SARS and the Ebola virus were dealt with. Bernie Sanders, if you listened to his proposals, it’s only a six-trillion-dollar annual deficit; I think he’s misrepresenting himself; he is not a socialist, but he’s rather a communist, and there’s a difference between socialists and communists. Socialists advocate a redistribution of wealth; communists advocate nationalizing the means of production and tearing down the house that wealth has built.
All you have to do is read The Wall Street Journal this past Saturday on Bernie to understand what he stands for. And the fact that he’s doing so well in the polls is troublesome. I just hope the country is not prepared to elect a communist or socialist; if we do, then I think that the market is in store for a big problem.
In October 2019, Cooperman asserted to CNBC, “If Elizabeth Warren is elected president, in my opinion, the market drops 25%. Bernie Sanders, same thing … I believe in a progressive income tax structure, I believe rich people should pay more, I have no problem with that. This wealth tax is baloney … You don’t make poor people rich by making rich people poor … The main vice of capitalism is the unequal distribution of prosperity, the main vice of socialism is the equal distribution of misery … Education and faster economic growth is the answer,” to the country’s inequality problem … “At the end of the day, capitalism is what distinguishes America.”
In October, Cooperman went after Senator Elizabeth Warren, who had relentlessly attacked Wall Street. He said, “I believe in a progressive income tax and the rich paying more. But this is the f***ing American dream she is s***ting on.”
Warren responded, “Leon, you were able to succeed because of the opportunities this country gave you. Now why don’t you pitch in a bit more so everyone else has a chance at the American dream, too?”
On Tuesday, CNBC host Jim Cramer slammed Warren, writing, “The top of the Warren campaign was when she needlessly attacked Leon Cooperman who has done so much for those who are unfortunate. He is what we should aspire to be. It hurt so much for all of us that he was attacked.”
Cooperman is the son of immigrants from Poland, and was the first person in his family to get a college degree. He became a quality control engineer at Xerox in 1965, and later obtained his MBA from Columbia Business school. He has donated tens of millions of dollars to Columbia University, the Saint Barnabas Medical Center, and created the Cooperman College Scholars Fund to help high-achieving high school students pay for their college educations. He has donated to the Songs of Love Foundation, which records personalized music for those facing chronic illness.