Analysis: Senator Elizabeth Warren Appears to be Distorting Reality in Order to ‘Sell’ Her Wealth Tax Proposal

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently revived her campaign proposal for a wealth tax on taxpayers with a net worth exceeding $50 million. Unfortunately, the plan retains the same defects as her previous proposals to tax wealth, along with the same distortions she used to defend it last time.

Warren’s proposal, introduced along with companion legislation in the House sponsored by Rep. Jayapal (D-WA) and Rep. Boyle (D-PA), would tax wealth above $50 million at a rate of 2 percent, and wealth above $1 billion at a rate of 3 percent.

Senator Warren has routinely presented her wealth tax proposal as a minor, moderate tax on the ultra-wealthy. Just as she did on the presidential campaign trail, Warren is describing her plan as a “two cent” tax. This dishonest framing allows Warren to pretend that the tax is small.

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Commentary: Joe Biden Is the Man Who Wasn’t There

Those things with which we are most familiar are often hardest to see. This is perhaps particularly true of such fraught subjects as politics. There we are every day staring at the same people, reading news stories that are virtually indistinguishable from one another, and what do we know?

Our situation is similar to Alice’s in Through the Looking Glass when she finds herself in a shop that seemed full of curious things. “[T]he oddest part of it all was, that whenever she looked hard at any shelf, to make out exactly what it had on it, that particular shelf was always quite empty: though the others round it were crowded as full as they could hold.”

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