Senator Elizabeth Warren to grill billionaire who said the rich would hide their assets from a wealth tax
- Senator Elizabeth Warren has invited billionaire and wealth tax critic Leon Cooperman to testify at a hearing.
- Cooperman sharply criticized Warren and his wealth tax proposals.
- The hearing, which is reserved for the chairmen of the Senate finance subcommittee, Warren, will examine taxes.
- See more stories on the Insider business page.
Senator Elizabeth Warren has invited one of her most vocal critics to debate her flagship policy, the wealth tax, on Capitol Hill.
On Monday, Warren invited billionaire Leon Cooperman to testify at a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee‘s Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth, which Warren chairs first. reported by CNBC. The subject of the hearing: “Creating opportunities through a fairer tax system”.
It is the latest in an ongoing debate between the two. In a March CNBC segment, Cooperman slammed Warren’s Ultra-millionaire tax law, which would impose additional taxes on households with net worth of $ 50 million or more. He also criticized Warren’s wealth tax plea and wrote him a five-page letter in 2019 in response to a tweet she sent him asking him to “introduce some more.” Warren even incorporated Cooperman in one of his presidential campaign videos on the need for a wealth tax.
Cooperman’s point of view: the rich would hide their assets from a wealth tax
In March, Cooperman told CNBC: “If the wealth tax passes, go out and buy yourself some gold because people will be rushing to find ways to hide their wealth.” This remark referred to his previous claim that people would use gold as an asset to hide their wealth.
He said that a wealth tax is “foolish”, has “no merit” and that there are other more efficient ways to generate income, eliminating waste as the best option.
“I don’t think it’s smart. I don’t think it’s legal,” he told CNBC wealth tax at the time.
Implementation issues – and whether the rich would simply avoid a wealth tax – emerged as the two most important critiques of Warren’s plan. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen has previously cited the difficulty of implementing such a tax, although the Biden administration has not explicitly excluded it. A recent study According to IRS researchers and economists, the richest 1% of Americans do not report about 21% of their income. Over $ 1 trillion a year in taxes may not be recovered, according to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.
Warren’s take: a wealth tax could help tackle inequality and raise trillions of dollars
Warren campaign on a wealth tax during the 2020 presidential campaign, and continued to advocate for it as a measure to help tackle growing inequalities during the pandemic. His ultra-millionaire tax law could raise at least $ 3 trillion over the next 10 years, says one Analysis economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.
If the wealth tax had been implemented in 2020, it would have raised $ 114 billion from billionaires, according to a Analysis Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). In the past 13 months alone, US billionaires have added $ 1.62 trillion to their collective net worth, according to a report by ATF / IPS.
A wealth tax is also a popular measure among Americans: recent poll of Hill-HarrisX found that more than half of Americans see a wealth tax as a way to fight inequality. Wealth taxes have also gained ground internationally, with the International Monetary Fund saying that one-off measures could help support economic recovery.
Now the two can discuss their views at a congressional hearing
Warren invited Cooperman to testify on this bill at the April 27 hearing; and she asked him to confirm his presence by April 22.
“This hearing is an opportunity to share your perspective on how to strengthen the national tax system to tackle economic inequalities, increase income to finance investments essential for growth in families and communities, and to strengthen our long-term financial and economic prospects, ”she wrote in her invitation, which was seen by Insider.
In a statement to CNBC, Cooperman said he was “trying to determine if she was objective or if she was just trying to promote her own agenda.” He added: “I’m a little suspicious considering that she never responded to the letter I sent her before.” Cooperman did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
In his invitation, Warren said that, “as we move quickly to consider changes to our rigged tax code so that the rich pay their fair share, I believe you should have a chance to present your point of view. directly to Congress. “
She added, “The opportunity will allow you to fully broadcast your views, not only to the financial news audience where you often express them, but to the entire American people.”