“America is the best country on the planet. I’m a complete patriot,” Dimon said in a live interview from Chicago. “It is the shining city on a hill. But we should acknowledge our problems and fix them.”
The comments came a few weeks after Dimon blew up during his bank’s second-quarter earnings call. He ripped the current climate, saying, “It’s almost an embarrassment being an American citizen traveling around the world and listening to the stupid s— we have to deal with in this country.”
On Tuesday, he softened his rhetoric somewhat but said it’s urgent that Congress implements tax reform at a time when the U.S. has the highest corporate rate in the world. And he pressed for education reforms as the Trump administration pushes for apprenticeship programs to teach young people better skills.
“We don’t have a competitive tax system here,” Dimon added. “Our tax system has become less competitive over the last 20 years. Everyone has improved theirs. We simply haven’t.”
Despite his heated rhetoric, Dimon has avoided appearing partisan. He has signed on to help President Donald Trump promote his economic agenda and is chairman of the Business Roundtable, a consortium of big-business leaders looking to improve the U.S. economic climate.
Asked to pin blame on either side, he did note a possible difference in priorities.
“I’m not going to blame anyone,” he said. “Everyone wants to get it done, or at least everyone in the Republican Party. We don’t quite know what the Democrats want to do with tax reform. But my major point is we should all get together and work as hard as we can to get it done. If we fail, we fail. But I’m going to give it my best shot. I think it’s just critical to America.”
That shot, though, apparently does not entail a personal foray into politics.
“No I’m not stepping into the arena,” he said. “And I’m not criticizing Washington, I’m criticizing us collectively. Collectively, the leadership of America hasn’t done the thing that could get us growing faster — jobs and wages.”
Dimon said he believes the economy could be growing faster than its current 2 percent pace if Washington gets tax reform and other priorities finished.