One of the cornerstones of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s platform is already starting to crumble, according to a top House Democrat.
Warren has proposed a wealth tax that would offset the cost of her $52 trillion “Medicare for All” proposal. According to her latest proposal, anyone with an income of over $1 billion would pay 6 percent to offset the costs of her program, according to CNBC.
“I’m tired of freeloading billionaires,” the Massachusetts senator said during Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate, according to Yahoo News. “I think it’s time that we ask the very top to pay more.”
During the debate, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey attacked Warren by calling her wealth tax “cumbersome” and saying that “pathways to prosperity for more Americans” should be the focus, not simply taxing the rich, according to the Boston Globe.
Enacting a wealth tax would require Congress to embrace it, and therein lies the rub.
“If you’re asking about the wealth tax, no,” Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, a senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said, according to Bloomberg.
“We are a long way from making any determination” on any wealth tax, Democratic Rep. Judy Chu of California said. “We’ll have to see how the primaries turn out before we consider taking that up.”
Unlikely congressional approval of Warren’s plan led billionaire and “Shark Tank” star Mark Cuban to denounce Warren for proposing plans that can never take shape.
“Intellectually she knows she is misleading the public,” he tweeted earlier this month. “That the chances of getting all the necessary line items she needs for M4All approved within 4 years are nearly impossible.”
Let’s be real. @ewarren probably is the smartest of all the candidates. Intellectually she knows she is misleading the public . That the chances of getting all the necessary line items she needs for M4All approved within 4 years are nearly impossible
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) November 9, 2019
Other critics are picking at Warren’s plan as well.
Warren’s “wealth tax” is a proven failure.
➡️ 42,000 millionaires fled France following wealth tax
➡️ 12 European countries tried wealth taxes, now only 3 have them
Warren’s tax will not raise revenue but push money out of the country!
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) November 21, 2019
“When France, Germany, Denmark and Sweden all tried a wealth tax, they ended up repealing it because it had massive implementation problems and it did not generate anywhere near the revenue they had hoped for.” -Andrew Yang on Sens. Warren and Sanders favoring a wealth tax pic.twitter.com/LRfW255duJ
— CNN (@CNN) November 19, 2019
In an Op-Ed in The Washington Post, columnist Megan McArdle said a wealth tax was not a panacea for America’s ills.
“But there is one thing a wealth tax can do better than anything else: destroy fortunes,” she wrote. “That money doesn’t necessarily go to anyone else, mind you; it may just get eaten up by compliance costs and dead-weight losses. But the rich people definitely won’t have it. This is a fairly useless policy goal unless you happen to be in direct competition with wealthy people for social status and scarce resources such as elite school places.”
“The best way to understand a wealth tax, in other words, is not in terms of rich and poor but as an intra-elite battle,” McArdle wrote, adding that the tax “sounds like it does something for the poor, allowing them, and Warren, to congratulate themselves that they’re really a finer grade of person, rather than some self-interested boob who votes from the pocketbook.”
She summed up Warren’s wealth tax as one of Warren’s “policies that sound like they help the poor while somehow delivering the greatest benefits to the educated elites.”
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