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Excerpt: "The 'wealth tax' reportedly being considered by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) reflects the fact that income inequality has become an early battleground of the 2020 campaign."

Senator Elizabeth Warren. (photo: AP)
Senator Elizabeth Warren. (photo: AP)


2020 Could Be the First Presidential Campaign in Our Lifetimes in Which "the Rich" Genuinely Have Something to Fear

By Dan Primack and Felix Salmon, Axios

13 April 19

 

he “wealth tax” reportedly being considered by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) reflects the fact that income inequality has become an early battleground of the 2020 campaign.

Why it matters: This is new in American politics, pushed by rising awareness of — and efforts to weaponize — the top 1%. At the same time, the left has more of a platform than ever, with liberal ideas dominating the primary so far, and Democrats in control of the House.

Driving the news: The Washington Post, citing an economist advising Warren, reports that she will propose a new annual “wealth tax” on Americans with more than $50 million in assets:

  • "Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, two left-leaning economists at the University of California, Berkeley, have been advising Warren on a proposal to levy a 2 percent wealth tax on Americans with assets above $50 million, as well as a 3 percent wealth tax on those who have more than $1 billion."

The backdrop: The economy is technically as strong today as it has been in years, particularly the labor market.

  • But that's perhaps the problem: Many people see all these good numbers and wonder why they're still struggling so much economically, and what will happen when things turn south: "If this is the best case scenario ... uh-oh!”

  • So this is a way for Democrats to harness economic anxiety, as Trump did on the other side in 2016.

Be smart: 2020 could be the first presidential campaign in our lifetimes in which "the rich" genuinely have something to fear from one of the final candidates. 

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-1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-04-14 07:00
Well, let's hope the rich have something to fear from the 2020 elections. They still have control of the congress, so a president Sanders or Warren will have to work with the lackeys in congress.

Obama talked a good line in 2015, but sold us out when he made the Bush tax cuts for the rich permanent. There is every reason to be worried that Warren or Sanders will sell us out as well. They will get the message behind closed doors that the rich can simply crash the whole economy if they are pushed too hard.

We don't need to "tax the rich." We need for everyone to pay their fair share. Many corporations like Amazon pay no taxes. They use the public infrastructure to run their business but they pay nothing for it.

Demos need to be more careful about the language they use. George Lakoff has been telling them this for 30 years and they have never listened. In contrast, republican language specialist Frank Luntz has been telling republicans the same things and they listen. Their messages and terms are carefully crafted.

No one should be trying to make the rich fear or to tax them to death or anything close to those. We want a fair tax system in which people and corporations that all use the services of government pay their fair share.
 
 
+1 # opinionaire 2019-04-14 07:04
I attended a gathering supporting Elizabeth Warren yesterday, and left even more convinced that this entirely unassuming, bright, and committed woman is our best hope for turning around the future of this nation, which was--and still is--great, in spite of the liar-in-chief making so many attempts to undercut it.
 
 
+5 # lfeuille 2019-04-14 14:33
I truly hope the rich have their worst fears realized. I've often thought that a wealth tax shouldn't be automatically discounted. The government has a back log of expensive things that have to be done at this point in time, partly to deal with global warming and partly because the rich and corporations have been so successful in tax avoidance for so long that basic day to day maintenance on our infrastructure has been neglected. They caused the problem and are the ones who should bear the lions share of the cost of fixing it.

But I don't think Warren needs to be the one to implement it. I still think Bernie is the best available choice to lead us out of this mess.
 

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