Many have attacked Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare-for-All plan for being too expensive, claiming the program would add trillions to the national debt.
Warren’s answer is a wealth tax of 6% on fortunes above 1$ billion.
Advocates of all universal healthcare proposals make the point that a country as wealthy as the US should be able to afford such programs. They argue that all the tax reforms of the last thirty-five years have benefited the ultra rich and it’s time the pendulum swung back. Many compare today’s US economy to the gilded age of the late 19th century, when industrialists amassed incredible fortunes while the majority of our population suffered from poverty and poor working conditions.
A new study by economists, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, concluded that the 400 richest families pay a lower effective tax rate than the bottom half of all US households and it’s the first time the top forty families have paid a lower tax rate than the middle class in 100 years.
In response to the plan, several billionaires have argued that Warren is punishing success. Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase told CBS News that Warren “vilifies successful people.”
Bill Gates made a joke that he might have to pay $100 billion of his $109 billion fortune under Warren’s tax. Then, he went on to question, “I don’t know how open-minded she is or if she’d even be willing to sit down with somebody who has large amounts of money.”
Warren responded that she would love to sit down with Gates to explain how much he would pay. How would you like to be a fly on the wall in that meeting? It’s a discussion that will be central to the next election cycle.