Sen. Elizabeth Warren: Billionaires should ‘stop being freeloaders’

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who declared an exploratory committee for president a month ago, guarded her new recommendation that would ramp up taxes on the country’s highest earners.

“You know that top one tenth of 1% this year, taxes all in, they’re gonna pay about 3.2% of their total worth in taxes to help keep everything running around here. You know what the 99% is gonna pay this year? They’re gonna pay about 7.2% of their wealth. That’s more than twice as much,” she said on CNBC Thursday.

“What I want is I want these billionaires to stop being freeloaders. I want them to pick up their fair share. That’s how we make a system that works not just for the rich and the powerful but works for all of us.”

Warren, who is one of a few progressive candidates likely looking for the Democratic nomination in 2020, proposed a “ultra-millionaire tax,” this end of the week for those with a net worth that exceeds $50 million.

“All I’m asking for is a little slice from the tippy, tippy top. A slice that would raise — and this is the shocking part, Jim — about $2.75 trillion over the next 10 years,” she said Thursday. “That’s money we need so that every kid in this country has a decent childcare opportunity, has an opportunity for pre-K, has an opportunity for a decent school.”

Warren has hit back against criticism of the plan from Michael Bloomberg and Howard Schultz, two billionaire businessmen who are thinking about Democratic and Independent presidential bids, respectively.

“We have watched billionaires stand up and say, ‘Look, I want to run for president. And one of the first planks in my plan is going to be no new taxes for billionaires,’” she said Thursday.

Warren’s tax proposal comes as Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who declared for the current month her presidential campaign, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), considered by numerous individuals to be a likely candidate, introduced their own tax plans ahead of a fight to court the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.