Politics

Wealthy 2020 Prospects Don’t Like Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax

Billionaires Howard Schultz and Michael Bloomberg, who have toyed with running in 2020, called her plan "ridiculous" and "pie in the sky."


michael bloomberg and howard schultz

Photos via AP

Elizabeth Warren is taking aim at Howard Schultz and Michael Bloomberg today after the billionaires poo-pooed her proposal for a wealth tax on, well, them.

“Billionaires like Howard Schultz & Michael Bloomberg want to keep a rigged system in place that benefits only them and their buddies,” she wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “And they plan to spend gobs of cash to try and buy the Presidency to keep it that way. Not on my watch.”

Her plan, which she announced last week and has called an “Ultra-Millionaire Tax,” would tack on a 2 percent tax on assets over $50 million, and a 3 percent tax on assets over $1 billion. She claims it will raise nearly $3 trillion over 10 years from a group of about 75,000 Americans.

At a stop in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Bloomberg dismissed the proposal as “pie in the sky,” suggesting it might be unconstitutional, and calling it a policy better suited for Venezuela.

“If you want to look at a system that’s non-capitalistic, just take a look at what was once, perhaps, the wealthiest country in the world and today people are starving to death,” said Bloomberg, a businessman with an estimated net worth of $47 billion. “It’s called Venezuela.” Venezuela does not have a wealth tax.

Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO worth an estimated $3 billion, also had harsh words for a tax paradigm that would personally cost him millions, calling it “ridiculous.”

“When I see Elizabeth Warren come out with a ridiculous plan of taxing wealthy people a surtax of 2 percent because it makes a good headline or sends out a tweet when she knows for a fact that’s not something that’s ever gonna be passed, this is what’s wrong,” he said on NPR’s Morning Edition. “You can’t just attack these things in a punitive way by punishing people.” Schultz instead argued for “comprehensive tax reform,” without offering specifics.

“What’s ‘ridiculous,'” Warren wrote in response, “is billionaires who think they can buy the presidency to keep the system rigged for themselves while opportunity slips away for everyone else. The top 0.1%, who’d pay my #UltraMillionaireTax, own about the same wealth as 90% of America. It’s time for change.”