If politics is like a poker game, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, just raised against Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, by proposing a wealth tax scheme even more confiscatory than hers.
Punishing the wealthy is the clear object of both plans. Sanders tweeted on Sept. 24, “Billionaires should not exist” as he promoted his wealth tax plan.
The Democratic socialist’s tax would start sooner and seize more wealth, beginning with a one percent annual tax on wealth of $32 million (per couple) and increase incrementally all the way up to an eight percent annual tax on wealth over $10 billion.
“Under this plan, the wealth of billionaires would be cut in half over 15 years which would substantially break up the concentration of wealth and power of this small privileged class,” Sanders bragged.
Vox co-founder Matthew Yglesias tweeted, “Going to be sad when the Senate passes Bernie’s wealth tax only to have it vetoed by President Warren who insists on a more moderate approach.”
Bloomberg failed to include a single criticism of the plan, detailing only what Sanders’ campaign said the plan would do. In contrast, The Wall Street Journal and CNBC both acknowledged criticism that a wealth tax would be unconstitutional and that such taxes could harm the economy.
CNBC.com admitted, “Pockets of the business and investing community have warned about Sanders and Warren’s policies hurting the economy — though the candidates have worn the criticism as a badge of honor.” It also said it was “unclear” if the Supreme Court “would strike it down” as unconstitutional.”
Author and businessman Ed Conard told Fox Business anchor Stuart Varney wealth taxes from either candidate, “I think it gradually slows growth and that has an impact on our middle and working class here.”
“The economy you mean?” Varney asked on Sept. 24.
“Yeah, definitely,” Conard replied.
Months earlier, Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn said Warren’s wealth tax would be “harmful to the U.S. economy.” In an interview with Warren, CNBC anchor Jim Cramer defended wealthy business owners arguing people like Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz created jobs and “put food on the table for 300,000 people and offered a chance for baristas to go to college.”