Warren: Billionaires should ‘stop being freeloaders’

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJulián Castro defends going on Fox: I'm focused on 'the people out there watching' Julián Castro defends going on Fox: I'm focused on 'the people out there watching' O'Rourke unveils plan to support women, minority-owned businesses 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 Devi HarrisThe generational divide of Joe Biden and the Democratic Party 2020 Democrats mark 7th anniversary of DACA 2020 Democrats mark 7th anniversary of DACA MORE (D-Calif.), who announced this month her presidential campaign, and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg on Biden's Iraq War vote: 'that vote was a mistake' Buttigieg on Biden's Iraq War vote: 'that vote was a mistake' The generational divide of Joe Biden and the Democratic Party 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.