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Warren: Billionaires should ‘stop being freeloaders’

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Overnight Health Care: CDC panel meets on vaccines and heart inflammation | Health officials emphasize vaccine is safe | Judge rules Missouri doesn't have to implement Medicaid expansion Democrats urge Biden to extend moratorium on student loan payments MORE (D-Mass.), who announced an exploratory committee for president last month, defended her new proposal that would ramp up taxes on the nation’s highest earners.

“You know that top one-tenth of 1 percent this year, taxes all in, they're gonna pay about 3.2 percent of their total worth in taxes to help keep everything running around here. You know what the 99 percent is gonna pay this year? They're gonna pay about 7.2 percent of their wealth. That's more than twice as much,” she said on CNBC Thursday.

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“What I want is I want these billionaires to stop being freeloaders. I want them to pick up their fair share. That's how we make a system that works not just for the rich and the powerful but works for all of us.”

Warren, who is one of several progressive candidates likely seeking the Democratic nomination in 2020, proposed a “ultra-millionaire tax,” this weekend for those with a net worth that exceeds $50 million. 

“All I'm asking for is a little slice from the tippy, tippy top. A slice that would raise — and this is the shocking part, Jim — about $2.75 trillion over the next 10 years,” she said Thursday. “That's money we need so that every kid in this country has a decent child care opportunity, has an opportunity for pre-K, has an opportunity for a decent school.”

Warren has hit back against criticism of the plan from Michael Bloomberg and Howard Schultz, two billionaire businessmen who are considering Democratic and independent presidential bids, respectively.

“We have watched billionaires stand up and say, ‘Look, I want to run for president. And one of the first planks in my plan is going to be no new taxes for billionaires,’ ” she said Thursday. 

Warren’s tax proposal comes as Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisRick Scott blocks Senate vote on top cyber nominee until Harris visits border Head of Border Patrol resigning from post Migrant children face alarming conditions in US shelter: BBC investigation MORE (D-Calif.), who announced this month her presidential campaign, and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' Briahna Joy Gray: Biden is keeping the filibuster to have 'a Joe Manchin presidency' On The Money: Biden to fire FHFA director after Supreme Court removes restriction | Yellen pleads with Congress to raise debt ceiling MORE (I-Vt.), considered by many to be a likely candidate, introduced their own tax plans ahead of a fight to court the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.