Warren goes after Schultz: Billionaires think the government works great 'the way it is'

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Democratic senators ask inspector general to investigate IRS use of location tracking service MORE (D-Mass.) on Tuesday took on Howard Schultz, the billionaire founder of Starbucks who is publicly considering an independent run for the presidency.

"Look this is the problem — billionaires think that this government works just great the way it is. But it’s not working for anybody else,” Warren, who formed a 2020 presidential exploratory committee this month, told Hill.TV.

Earlier in the day, NPR aired an interview in which the former Starbucks CEO criticized Warren's proposed 2 percent annual tax on Americans whose net worth exceeds $50 billion, saying it's "ridiculous" and Warren knows it's "not ever going to be passed."

"I think what [Schultz] particularly seemed to object to was a wealth tax on billionaires," Warren said.

“How about instead of leaving all that money with the billionaires, we take just 2 percent of it and move it over? … How about instead of saying that they all get to walk away without paying those taxes — we say that what this government is about is saying everybody pays a fair share and then we make the investments in building — not just for the children of billionaires but for everyone's children,” she continued.

The Massachusetts Democrat said "that’s enough money to make a real investment in child care for every kid across this country — to make a real investment in bringing down student loans for everyone across this country.”

Some in the Democratic Party worry an independent bid could help reelect President TrumpDonald John TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance MORE by dividing the party in a three-way race. Warren wouldn’t weigh in on Schultz’s potential impact on a three way race, however.

"I think you need a pundit for that one,” Warren said. "Because I really don't know.”

— Molly K. Hooper