Warren plays defense on wealth tax during debate

Warren plays defense on wealth tax during debate
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Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenAll fracked up: Biden's Keystone State breakdown What do Google, banks and chicken salad have in common? Final debate: War Admiral vs. Seabiscuit MORE (D-Mass.) was forced to play defense Tuesday during an exchange in the Democratic presidential debate on her signature wealth tax plan.
Warren has floated a wealth tax of 2 percent on net worth between $50 million and $1 billion, and 3 percent on net worth over $1 billion. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOcasio-Cortez says Democrats must focus on winning White House for Biden All fracked up: Biden's Keystone State breakdown The Memo: Five reasons why Trump could upset the odds MORE (I-Vt.) has also proposed a wealth tax.
Now a leader in many polls, Warren suggested that candidates who don't support a wealth tax are prioritizing protecting billionaires — a comment that drew criticism from others on stage.
Warren said that her wealth-tax plan would raise enough revenue to finance a number of social causes, including universal child care for children up to 5 years, universal pre-K, raising wages for child care workers and teachers, and tuition-free college.
"My question is not why do Bernie and I support a wealth tax, it's why is it does everyone else on this stage think it is more important to protect billionaires than it is to invest in an entire generation of Americans," she said.
Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' MORE, who earlier spoke about his plans for raising the capital gains tax rate and eliminating tax breaks, then responded, "no one is supporting billionaires."
"No one on this stage wants to protect billionaires. Not even the billionaire wants to protect billionaires," she said, referencing fellow candidate Tom SteyerTom SteyerDemocrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein 2020 election already most expensive ever TV ads favored Biden 2-1 in past month MORE. "We just have different approaches. Your idea is not the only idea."
Warren then replied that taxing income won't be as effective as taxing wealth "because the rich are not like you and me" and make their money off their accumulated wealth. She said that Democrats win when they "dream big and fight hard, not when we dream small and quit before we get started."
Klobuchar responded that just because candidates have different ideas doesn't mean they're not fighting for regular people.
Businessman Andrew YangAndrew YangPelosi spars with CNN's Blitzer over COVID-19 aid: 'You really don't know what you're talking about' The shape of guaranteed income Biden's latest small business outreach is just ... awful MORE criticized a wealth tax, saying such taxes make sense "in principle" but noting that other countries have repealed their wealth taxes. He said he thinks it would be a better idea to impose a value-added tax.
Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeCalls grow for Democrats to ramp up spending in Texas Texas Dems highlight health care in fight to flip state House Union leader vows 'infrequent' minority voters will help deliver Biden victory MORE (D-Texas) said that he thinks a wealth tax is "part of a solution" for income inequality but that policymakers also need to lift people up.
"Sometimes I think that Sen. Warren is more focused on being punitive or pitting some part of the country against the other," he said.
Warren replied, "I'm really shocked at the notion that anyone thinks I'm punitive."
She added that she doesn't "have a beef with billionaires" but that the wealthy should pay more in taxes so that others have a chance at success.