JPMorgan Chase CEO talks tax policy and minimum wage with Ohio business leaders
The CEO of one of Ohio’s largest employers, JPMorgan Chase, talked taxes and future trends with members of the state’s largest business lobbying group, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon took questions from Chamber President and CEO Steve Stivers, a Republican former congressman from central Ohio. But he didn't take any questions from the audience.
Dimon said tax policies that encourage economic growth can help take care of the bottom 20%, who he said "haven’t had a pay increase in 20 years" and are more likely to be uninsured and discriminated against.
“I support raising the minimum wage. I support increasing the earned income tax credit. I think jobs bring dignity. We need to get more money in the hands of the lower-paid and better skills. We will have a better society and faster growth," Dimon said. "And if the wealthy have to pay a little bit more one way or the other, so be it.”
Majority Republicans in the state legislature have long opposed raising the minimum wage, which has been proposed by minority Democrats several times. Republicans did create an earned income tax credit for low-income Ohioans with children in the state budget in 2013. That EITC zeroes out tax liability, but does not create a tax refund. Democrats have advocated for a refundable EITC, which would result in a tax refund.
A bill proposed in the Ohio Senate would eliminate the state's personal income tax over the next ten years. Republicans say it would make Ohio more competitive against states with no income tax like Florida and Texas. But critics, such as Policy Matters Ohio, have noted the state has cut income taxes for two decades, and that it hasn't boosted economic development.
JPMorgan analysts said this week that gas prices could reach $6 a gallon nationwide by late summer. Dimon said inflation is going to be around for a while, and admitted gas prices could keep going up.
“Commodity prices could easily get worse. I’m talking about oil, gas, wheat, a whole bunch of other stuff that we all need to buy to build homes and things like that," Dimon said. "And because of that, the Fed’s got to raise rates. So they’re meeting this coming train.”
But with the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, Dimon said there’s still a chance for what he calls a soft landing.
Dimon also praised the $20 billion deal to bring Intel to central Ohio for the largest economic development project in state history, backed with $2 billion in state incentives. The semiconductor plants planned for Licking County could end up being a $200 billion investment and Intel's largest silicon manufacturing location on the planet.
Dimon told the audience that's not only "great for you", but "for the country it's fabulous." He said semiconductor manufacturing facilities shouldn't be "in hostile nations" and "have to be brought back to a friendly place."