Finance

Cathie Wood says she will vote for Donald Trump in election

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Former President Donald Trump got the endorsement of another high-profile member of the business community—sort of. 

ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood said she plans to vote for Trump because of his track record on the economy—the single most important issue to her, she said during an interview with YouTuber Kevin Paffrath. 

Wood said she had discussed the topic with her three children, who are split on whom they will cast their votes for. 

“As I’ve said to them, ‘Look, I am going to vote for the person who’s going to do the best job for our economy,’” Wood said. “I am a voter when it comes to economics, and on that basis, Trump.”

The interview with Wood was originally posted to Paffrath’s X page, but he has since taken it down. In a post explaining why, Paffrath says Wood later told him her remarks did not adequately represent the nuance of her political views. Paffrath went on to say he felt he’d “ambushed” Wood with the question about which candidate she would support in the upcoming presidential election. After pushback from Wood’s team, Paffrath wrote that he interpreted Wood’s explanation to mean “there’s more to a vote than economics.” 

He then apologized to Wood. “We are saddened that we have disappointed you,” Paffrath continued. 

ARK Invest did not respond to a request for comment. 

A well-known tech investor, Wood made her name in financial circles aligning herself with another famous and polarizing figure in Elon Musk. ARK Invest was an early investor and evangelist of Tesla, whose soaring stock price made her a fortune. 

The former president’s support among the corporate class has been the subject of much discussion, as he courts their deep pockets in what is expected to be an extremely tight race. Trump reportedly met with a group of energy CEOs and offered them a plethora of favorable legislation in exchange for $1 billion in campaign financing. Wall Street CEOs in particular have warmed to Trump again, after keeping him at arm’s length following the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Other CEOs though are still keeping their distance, wary of Trump’s proposed 10% tariffs on all imports and his disdain for global trade agreements. Yale business school professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld told CNBC on Monday there was a “historic break” between corporate America and Trump.

Another Trump presidency would feature more tax cuts 

Trump still retains support among some Republican stalwarts. During her interview, Wood paraphrased comments from Art Laffer, an economist who worked in the Reagan administration, in which he said Trump was the best president in a century for the economy, until the pandemic struck. “I would agree,” Wood told Paffrath. 

Laffer, an avowed Biden critic, is also known for popularizing the Laffer curve, which suggests that cutting taxes to a certain rate can actually increase government revenue. It is often cited for cutting taxes on corporations and those in the highest tax brackets. But the accuracy of the Laffer curve is often debated.  

The ideas behind the Laffer curve provided justification for the Trump-era tax cuts passed in 2017. Those cuts—officially known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—were the signature economic policy and legislative achievement of Trump’s presidency. A study from March found that while the bill did spur investment, it didn’t do so to the level that would have offset the major drop in tax revenue. Instead the bill added $100 billion a year to the U.S. national debt. 

If he were to win the election in November, Trump would extend his earlier tax cuts and implement further cuts. “When President Trump is back in the White House, he will advocate for more tax cuts for all Americans and reinvigorate America’s energy industry to bring down inflation, lower the cost of living, and pay down our debt,” Trump campaign press secretary Karoline Leavitt said in an emailed statement. 

On the campaign trail, he has proposed a set of policies that would eliminate most, if not all, income taxes and replace them with tariffs on all imported goods. That idea, far outside the usual bounds of economic policies, would lead to the “mother of stagflation,” according to former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. 

For his part, Biden has overseen a record-breaking job market with a streak of sub-4% unemployment that was the longest since the 1960s, helped by a series of legislative packages meant to incentivize spending from both the public and private sectors. And while inflation remains above the Fed’s 2% target, it is well below the soaring 9% rate of June 2022. 

But Wood has said she is worried about deflation in 2024 and warned unemployment could go above 5%. “Now I’m saying that knowing that this is an election year and that this administration probably will try and spend more than is currently in the budget through executive order or what have you,” she told Bloomberg earlier this year.



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