WaPo: Warren Hides Wealth Tax Costs in New Ad

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November 15, 2019

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) will tax the wealthy at triple the rate she advertises, according to a Washington Post fact check.

Warren, a frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic nomination, claimed in a campaign ad released Wednesday that billionaires will only pay two cents per dollar under her wealth tax plan. However, Warren has also called for a 6 percent tax to help fund her Medicare for All plan.

The ad shows clips of billionaires criticizing Warren. The senator is then shown speaking at a campaign event as she describes the rationale behind her wealth tax. Warren says those who build a "great fortune" ought to "pitch in two cents so everybody else gets a chance." In the clip, she does not mention that her plan now calls for 6 percent taxes on any individual net worth valued at more than $1 billion.

In the ad, Warren was likely discussing her "Ultra-Millionaire Tax" plan that imposes a 2 percent tax on wealth earned above $50 million.

Over the past few months, the Massachusetts senator has faced pressure to explain how she would pay for her costly Medicare for All plan. She repeatedly dodged questions on whether middle-class taxes would go up. On Nov. 1, Warren announced the cost of government-controlled health care would be funded in part by a 6 percent wealth tax on billionaires.

"By asking billionaires to pitch in six cents on each dollar of net worth above $1 billion, we can raise an additional $1 trillion in revenue," Warren’s campaign website says.

Warren campaign spokesperson Saloni Sharma defended the ad despite its inaccuracies.

"This video makes clear that billionaires need to pay a wealth tax," Sharma said. "It also makes clear that a person with a gigantic fortune of over $50 million will pay 2 cents on every dollar of net worth to pay for the programs listed in the video: universal child care, universal pre-K, cancelling student loan debt, and universal free college. We're more than happy to talk about how other components of the wealth tax will be used to lower health care costs for millions of Americans and help pay for Medicare for All."

The Washington Post gave Warren's ad three Pinocchios.