Elizabeth Warren is a deeply dishonest politician.
For decades, she lied about having Native American heritage in order to obtain employment opportunities she likely never would have received otherwise. Following a discrimination lawsuit, Harvard Law School offered Warren a tenured professor position to demonstrate diversity in its hiring process, making reference to her “minority status” on numerous occasions. On the campaign trail, Warren has also claimed she was once fired from a teaching job for becoming pregnant, even though records prove the school offered to extend her contract before she resigned, by her own admission, in order to be with family.
If feigning victimhood isn’t enough to endear Warren to the voters, her newfound radicalism certainly might. For legitimately years, Senator Bernie Sanders has been advocating the very same policies which Warren has now adopted as her own in running for the 2020 Democratic nomination. In order to differentiate herself from Sanders, however, she’s fabricated a blisteringly ambitious agenda guised underneath blissfully ambiguous rhetoric. Warren’s promising “big, structural change.” It’s just not going to be the kind she’s talking about.
The crown jewel of Warren’s campaign is her proposed “Ultra-Millionaire Tax:” 2% annually on households with incomes between $50 million and $1 billion and (now) 6% on households with incomes above $1 billion. Additionally, Warren will annually target capital gains (39.6%), accrued capital gains (39.6%), net investment income (14.8% on those portfolios assessed above $250,000 in addition to the current 3.8% NIIT) and Social Security (14.8% on wages exceeding $250,000). She’ll eliminate step-up in basis, add a new financial transactions tax and gouge corporations to the tune of $2.9 trillion over 10 years while reducing the estate tax exemption and increasing the levy itself.
Warren wants to punish everyone: Living and dead, old and young, entrepreneurs and heirs. She is a faux classist masquerading as the most self-loathing millionaire in America, except she won’t actually acknowledge her wealth (“the rich are not like you and me”). She’s targeting everybody, ostensibly, except the middle class (“costs will go up for the wealthy and for big corporations and for hard-working middle-class families, costs will go down”).
A multitude of estimates fail to concur, positing instead that this grandiose tax plan simply won’t generate enough revenue. Bernie Sanders agrees. At least he’s willing to embrace soaking the middle class, reasoning that its increased tax burden will be negated by the elimination of copays and premiums. Warren, on the hand, is lying through her dentures.
These policies exist outside the United States: In the Scandinavian countries, they have fully government-funded college tuition and “free” universal healthcare. How do they pay for it? With massive wealth redistribution, including the middle class (Denmark has a top personal income tax rate of 60% percent on earnings over $60,000 annually). Even if Warren’s plans don’t include the middle class in principle, they certainly will when her sadistic wealth tax facilitates widespread capital flight, as was the case in France following its imposition of a 75% income tax on earnings above one million euros.
Warren is demonizing entrepreneurship, punishing financial success and destabilizing the American economy by undermining the innovation and enterprise which fuel it from bottom to top. Even Bill Gates, notorious for his public desire to pay more in taxes, has questioned Warren’s proposal, warning that, “If you tax too much, you risk the capital formation, innovation.” Mark Cuban, too, has criticized Warren for “selling shiny objects” to divert attention “from her income and net worth” and for “misleading the public.”
Warren has lied about her past, flipped on virtually every position she’s ever held, denied her own financial success, centered a campaign on the vilification of wealthy Americans, and managed to flip lifelong Democratic billionaires against her campaign. Warren is a terrible candidate and an unconvincing liar. The wealthy won’t foot the bill for these proposals and the middle class won’t escape splitting the check.
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Kevin Catapano is a weekly columnist for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.