Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) wealth tax came under the spotlight during the Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday night.
The Massachusetts senator was asked about her ultra-millionaire tax, which would impose an annual tax of 2% on every dollar a household has above $50 million, which increases to 6% for households with more than $1 billion.
“I’m tired of freeloading billionaires,” Warren said at the podium. “I think it’s time that we ask the very top to pay more.”
Warren recently unveiled a Calculator for the Billionaires, which features sections for high net worth individuals, like Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos and Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg, to show what they would pay with her wealth tax. It also allows individuals who identify as billionaires to enter in their respective incomes to find out how much they would pay.
“Here’s the thing: Doing the wealth tax is not about punishing anyone,” Warren said. “It’s about saying ‘you built something great in this country, good for you. But you did it using workers all of us helped pay to educate. You did it getting all of your goods on roads and bridges all of us help pay for. You did it protected by police and firefighters all of us help pay the salaries for. So when you make it, you make it really big, you make the top 10th of 1% big, pitch in $0.02 so everybody else gets a chance to make it.’”
However, not everyone else on the stage echoed that sentiment. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) described the proposed wealth tax as “cumbersome.”
“It’s been tried by other nations,” he said. “It’s hard to evaluate. We can get the same amount of revenue through just taxation.”