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Donald Trump on CEO pay: ‘It’s disgraceful’

In this Sept. 9, 2015, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks on Capitol Hill. A wave of criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike rose Thursday after GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump insulted the physical appearance of his party's only female White House contender. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Donald Trump ramped up his populist rhetoric Sunday, calling pay for chief executives in the United States a "complete joke." 

"It's a shame, and it's disgraceful," he told John Dickerson of CBS's "Face the Nation." " … And you see these guys making enormous amounts of money, and it's a total and complete joke."

When it comes to raising taxes on the wealthy, Trump, the GOP front-runner, is one of the more liberal candidates in the Republican presidential race.

[Why some liberals love Donald Trump]

He has called for eliminating tax breaks for the wealthy, such as the carried-interest loophole that allows some hedge-fund managers and venture capitalists to pay a lower tax rate than average Americans — the idea being that investment carries inherent risk and should be taxed at a lower rate.

"I would let people making hundreds of millions of dollars a year pay some tax, because right now they are paying very little tax, and I think it's outrageous," Trump told Bloomberg News's "With All Due Respect" in August.

Trump also said he wouldn't mind paying more taxes himself.

His economic platform has earned him praise from progressives such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D).

Other Republican candidates also have begun to speak out against income inequality.

[Raising taxes on the wealthy? Calling out income inequality? Meet the new GOP.]

Economic populism is a go-to line for Trump. In Sunday's "Face The Nation" interview, Trump slammed establishment candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Florida governor Jeb Bush for taking campaign money from hedge-fund managers. The fact that Trump, who has made billions in real estate, doesn't have to raise money from other billionaires has been a frequent applause line for him on the campaign trail.

On Sunday, Trump said he's not sure how to lower pay for CEOs, which Dickerson pointed out is about 350 times more than the average American's. Trump said he plans to release a tax plan in the coming weeks that he says will lower corporate tax rates and lower taxes on the middle class.

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