Bernie Sanders Attacks Warren: 'She is a Capitalist'
Socialist lashes out at his main 2020 Democrat rival
Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) lashed out at his main rival in the 2020 Democratic race, accusing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) of committing, in his mind, the ultimate sin: Being "a capitalist."
While Sanders has been chasing frontrunner Joe Biden for the top spot in the 2020 primary race, his position has come under threat from Massachusetts Senator Warren, who has been rising up through the ranks and is now a favorite for the nomination.
Warren has seen a surge in the Democratic primary among progressive voters, and Sanders appears to be seeking to cut into the support of his rival by dismissing her as a “capitalist.”
Speaking during a Sunday interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Sanders said, “There are differences between Elizabeth and myself.”
“Elizabeth I think, as you know, has said that she is a capitalist through her bones.
"I’m not,” Sanders proudly declared.
It also follows polling showing that Democrats now view socialism more positively than they do capitalism.
Last year, when asked if she was a capitalist, Warren reportedly said, "I am a capitalist to my bones."
Sanders explained he is not a capitalist because he "will not tolerate for one second the kind of greed and corruption and income and wealth inequality and so much suffering that is going on in this country today, which is unnecessary.”
A Gallup poll this year found that 43 percent of Americans think socialism would be a good thing for the United States, while 51 percent say it would be a bad thing.
Gallup noted that in 1942, a Roper/Fortune survey that found 40 percent of Americans described socialism as a bad thing while only 25 percent called it a good thing.
The polling is fresh evidence that attitudes toward socialism are changing, amid the popularity in the Democratic Party of Democratic socialists like Sanders and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who pushes policies like “Medicare-for-all” and the Green New Deal.
Meanwhile, two economists at the University of California, Berkeley, claim that billionaires could face a 97.5 percent average effective tax rate under Sanders' plan, which would easily thump other Democrats running for president in 2020.
Emmanuel Saez, one of the professors, told Bloomberg that “with the wealth tax, you get directly at the stock instead of hitting the flow of income, making it a much more powerful de-concentration tool than income taxes."
The report pointed out that Sanders has said that the number of billionaires in the U.S. would be cut in half within 15 years under the plan.
The plan unveiled by Sanders seeks a 1 percent levy on households worth more than $32 million and proposes tax rates that would increase for wealthier people, up to 8 percent for fortunes in excess of $10 billion.
Sanders vowed to go further than Warren and generate more than $4 trillion over the next decade, substantially reducing billionaires’ fortunes.
Billionaires would face a 62 percent average effective tax rate under Warren.
Sanders’ plan goes further because it starts on fortunes worth less, kicking in at $32 million.
Warren also proposes increasing the wealth tax up to 3 percent on any net worth of more than $1 billion, while Sanders’ tax rates don’t top out until 8 percent for the richest households.
The Massachusetts senator has topped Sanders in recent polls of Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire that show her running about even with the longtime front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden, in those states.