Most Americans would "rather be rich and pay 2 cents" through a wealth tax, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Tuesday while defending her proposal to leverage an annual tax on people who have wealth over $50 million.
"We do understand the direction we’ve been going," said the Massachusetts Democrat on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "This pandemic has created more billionaires. The people at the top are not barely hanging on by their fingernails at a time when people making less than $30,000 in America have an unemployment rate at about 20%."
Warren added that the "folks at the top increased their wealth by $1.3 trillion. So this is just trying to say, when you're in that space, you've got to pay 2 cents, 3 cents."
Warren, D-Mass., along with Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Monday proposed the wealth tax on households with a net worth of more than $50 million.
The measure would include a 2% annual tax on households and trusts valued at between $50 million and $1 billion, or 2 cents on every dollar of wealth worth over $50 million. People with fortunes worth more than $1 billion would be taxed annually at 3%, or 3 cents on every dollar over that amount.
"This is not very fancy," Warren said. "It really is a tax on fortunes above $50 million."
The proposed tax is "set up now to say we’re not going to collect taxes on any asset worth less than $50,000, so this is not intrusive," the senator added. "It’s not about coming into people’s homes and valuing their Sub Zeros or figuring out what their 4-year-old cars are worth. But it says if you’ve got a fortune above $50 million, you pay on it. And if your fortune is below $50 million, you don’t. Good for you, either way."
The senator campaigned on a similar plan while running for the presidential nomination in 2020. Sanders, like Warren, also favored a wealth tax during his campaign.
Warren said her plan, if implemented, would raise $3.75 trillion over the next 10 years.
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