Last updated on February 1, 2021
Conservatives love to mythologize wealthy people as brave, resolute, patriotic captains of industry who won’t let anything get in the way of their success. At the same time, they also frequently portray the rich as timid little whelps who will instantly grab their balls and go home if anyone tries to pluck so much as a single guilder from their hulking dragon hordes.
And as wealth has been siphoned upward over the past several decades—with the help of a pro-plutocrat political system that continually rewards silver-spoon dipshits for their mediocrity—many in the media have bought into the notion that the wealthy are a special class of people who need to be handled with great care, like a vintage Porsche or a queen bee.
When, in reality, this is what we should be doing:
You’re coming with ME, queen bee! Your new home is a dead llama’s moldering asshole in the parking lot of an abandoned Tucson Del Taco. Enjoy!
So obviously that bee thing was just a lame excuse to embed a video of my new favorite X-Men character, Admiral Bee Arms. But I do have a point. Or, rather, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has one.
CNBC’s SARA EISEN: “… also chase wealthy people out of this country, as we’ve seen has happened with other wealth taxes. You just said how much we need the economy to be revitalized right now, for companies to start adding jobs and not subtracting them anymore.”
WARREN: “I’m sorry, there is no evidence that anyone is going to leave this country because of a 2 cent wealth tax. Can we just keep in mind right now in America who is paying taxes? You know, the bottom 99 percent last year paid about 7½ percent of their total wealth in taxes. … The top one-tenth of 1 percent, you know how much they pay? They pay about 3.2 percent. If they added a 2-cent wealth tax they’d still be paying less than most of the people in this entire nation. Look, someone has to pay to keep this nation going, and right now with the top one-tenth of 1 percent, the wealthiest people in this country have said is, ‘Let’s let everyone else pay for it,’ because what they want to do is not only keep their wealth, they want to keep building their wealth faster than everyone else. All I’m saying is can we have just a little fairness here? A 2-cent wealth tax, so that we can have universal child care …”
EISEN: “I’m just presenting the counterargument.”
WARREN: “Well, how about a counterargument, though, [based] on facts? The wealthiest in the country are paying less in taxes than everyone else. Asking them to step up and pay a little more, and you’re telling me that they will forfeit their American citizenship if they had to do that? And I’m just calling your bluff on that.”
For the record, here’s some info on what Warren is proposing, from her presidential campaign website:
We need to fundamentally transform our tax code so that we tax the wealth of the ultra-rich, not just their income. That’s what the Ultra-Millionaire (or two cent) tax is about in order to create a better economy and a better democracy for all of us.
Here’s how it works: A family with a net worth of more than $50 million – roughly the wealthiest 75,000 households – would pay a 2% (or 2 cents) tax on every dollar of their net worth above $50 million and a 6% (or 6 cents) tax for every dollar above $1 billion.
That’s it – simple.
Wealth in this country is so lopsided that this small new tax on the tiny sliver of ultra-rich families will bring in $3.75 trillion over the next ten years. Think about how that money could be used.
Now, to be fair, the rich pay more in taxes than the poor and middle class if you’re counting total dollars. But then it’s really easy to stay rich and get richer if you’re born rich, in part because the wealthy have gamed the system so thoroughly in their favor. And, yes, there’s some controversy over the constitutionality of what Warren is proposing, though many experts think the Constitution would hardly be a barrier to such a measure.
But then the Constitution isn’t conservatives’ first line of defense against a wealth tax. Their opening feint is always to whine about how put-upon the wealthy are in this country, which—surprise, surprise!—taxes them at far lower rates than most other rich industrialized nations.
I think as a country we’re pretty much over that hoary old talking point. So is anyone listening?
This guy is a natural. Sometimes I laugh so hard I cry.” — Bette Midler on author Aldous J. Pennyfarthing, via Twitter. Trump is gone, but the righteous mocking goes on forever. Thanks to Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, Dear Fcking Lunatic: 101 Obscenely Rude Letters to Donald Trump, Dear Prsident A**clown and Dear F*cking Moron, you can purge the Trump years from your soul sans the existential dread. Only laughs from here on out. Click those links!
The Politicus is a collaborative political community that facilitates content creation directly on the site. Our goal is to make the political conversation accessible to everyone.Any donations we receive will go into writer outreach. That could be advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit or person-to-person outreach on College campuses. Please help if you can: