Elizabeth Warren Hits Back at Billionaires, Hard

New campaign ad takes billionaires to task over criticism of her wealth tax
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2019 1:43 PM CST

A number of billionaires have come out against Elizabeth Warren's proposal to dramatically increase their taxes, and now the senator and 2020 presidential candidate is hitting back with a new campaign ad. Titled "Elizabeth Warren Stands Up to Billionaires," it features clips of billionaires Leon Cooperman, a longtime investor; Joe Ricketts, the former CEO of TD Ameritrade; Lloyd Blankfein, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs; and Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder and Silicon Valley investor, all of them criticizing Warren's proposal as overlaid text makes observations about them such as, for Cooperman, "charged with insider trading" and, for Blankfein, "earned $70 million during the financial crash." "She’s trying to demonize wealthy people because there are more poor people than wealthy people," Cooperman, who notes he won his insider trading case, told CNBC.

A cheering campaign rally crowd is seen listening to Warren talk about her proposed wealth tax, a 2% annual tax on assets totaling more than $50 million plus an additional 1% on assets of more than $1 billion, as overlaid text says such a tax could pay for universal free childcare, pre-K, and college; canceling student loan debt; and more. But an outside analysis finds her proposed tax would crimp US economic growth by nearly 0.2 percentage points per year over a 10-year period, the New York Times reports. The Penn Wharton Budget Model's preliminary projection marks the first time an independent budget group has attempted to predict the economic effects of Warren's proposal. Other economists support Warren's plan, however, and say this analysis doesn't factor in economic benefits that would result from the aforementioned programs funded by the tax revenue, like universal child care. (Read more Elizabeth Warren 2020 stories.)

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