Elizabeth Warren Can't Get Her Story Straight on Wealth Tax

Elizabeth Warren Can’t Get Her Story Straight on Wealth Tax

Elizabeth Warren can’t seem to get the messaging or math straight behind her wealth tax.

November 15, 2019
Elizabeth Warren Can’t Get Her Story Straight on Wealth Tax

Elizabeth Warren can’t seem to get the messaging or math straight behind her wealth tax. The Washington Post fact-checked Warren’s latest campaign ad that targeted four private citizens saying billionaires would pitch in two cents under her new wealth tax. The ad received 3 Pinocchios since billionaires would “pitch-in” three times more than what her ad says they would.

Washington Post: “As we said, we have a reasonable-person test here. The ad – which is titled “Elizabeth Warren Stands Up to Billionaire” — does not specifically say the “two cents” would apply to billionaires, but that’s certainly the implication. But in reality, Warren would charge billionaires six cents, as she and her website have made clear.

“Perhaps “six cents” is not as snappy as “two cents.” But it would have been accurate. The ad as framed is highly misleading about what billionaires would pay under Warren’s various plans. She earns Three Pinocchios.”

Her campaign ad isn’t the only time she’s attempted to mislead reporters and voters on the wealth tax. When discussing her financing plan for Medicare for All, a reporter asked Warren if she could define who the middle class is in reference to who would pay the cost of the new plan.

She refused to identify who the middle class was and instead mislead reporters: “Anyone with under $1 billion in net worth, she said, ‘is not paying a penny more.’ Asked again how she defined middle class, she repeated the assertion. ‘Understand this,’ she said. ‘This is no increase in taxes for anyone except billionaires. Period. Done.’”

New York Times: “But that is not what she proposed on Friday. Ms. Warren’s plan for Medicare for all, which calls for $20.5 trillion in new federal spending over a decade, would be financed through a mix of sources, including taxes on businesses and $3 trillion in total from two proposals to tax wealthy Americans.

“One of those measures would steepen her proposed wealth tax on net worth above $1 billion. But the other — accounting for $2 trillion of the $3 trillion total — would go far beyond billionaires. For the top 1 percent of households, Ms. Warren would increase taxes on investment gains. She would put in place a new system in which capital gains are taxed annually instead of when investments are sold, and she would raise the tax rate on capital gains to be the same as on ordinary income like wages.”

The only way Warren is going to be able to sell this boondoggle to voters is to mislead on who will pay and how much they will pay. It’s no way for Warren to continue a campaign that is apparently based on “having a plan for that.” 

Other fact checks related to Warren’s wealth tax:

CNN: Fact-checking Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax claims

Facts first: According to studies commissioned by her campaign, the math might work. It also might not. Other estimates place the total revenue from the tax plan far lower and there are several procedural problems with the proposal, including its legality.”

FactCheck.org: Facts on Warren’s Wealth Tax Plan

“Will it really raise as much as Warren claims? (Spoiler: Some economists doubt it.)”

NY Times: Fact-Checking Elizabeth Warren on the Campaign Trail

“But any number of factors could throw Ms. Warren’s plan off course and into the red.”