Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is capitalizing on her feud with billionaires.
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On her campaign website, the Massachusetts senator is selling a coffee mug reading “billionaire tears” for $25.
“In November 2019, billionaire and former Goldman Sachs executive Leon Cooperman (who as recently as 2017 settled with the SEC on insider-trading charges) was brought to tears on live television while discussing the prospect that a President Elizabeth Warren might require him to pay his fair share in taxes,” the description on the website reads.
“Savor a warm, slightly salty beverage of your choice in this union-made mug as you contemplate all the good a wealth tax could do: universal child care, student debt cancellation, universal free college, and more.”
The mug is Warren's latest trolling of billionaires who’ve criticized her candidacy (and her proposal to impose a tax on the ultra-wealthy). On Thursday, her campaign released an ad, titled “Elizabeth Warren Stands Up to Billionaires,” that directly targets money manager Cooperman, TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and venture capitalist Peter Thiel.
The ad attacks Cooperman for insider trading charges levied against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2016. Cooperman contested the insider trading allegations, and In 2017, as part of a settlement with the SEC, he paid nearly $5 million in fines and penalties and agreed to have an independent compliance monitor at his fund. He did not admit any wrongdoing or agree to an industry ban.
Cooperman, who’s worth $3.2 billion, according to Forbes, previously called Warren’s plan to tax wealth “idiocy,” and in an interview with CNBC at the beginning of November, teared up discussing the 2020 election.
“I don’t need Elizabeth Warren telling me that I’m a deadbeat and that billionaires are deadbeats,” he said. “The vilification of billionaires makes no sense to me.”
Last week, Warren unveiled a wealth tax calculator for billionaires after Microsoft founder Bill Gates said he’d pay $100 billion under her plan, which calls for a 2 percent tax on individuals worth more than $50 million and a 6 percent tax on those worth $1 billion. Users of the calculator can input any billionaire’s net worth to see what they’d pay -- or choose from Gates, Cooperman or former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Gates would actually pay $6.379 billion under Warren’s plan. Cooperman would pay $151 million and Bloomberg would pay $3.079 billion.
“Good news,” Warren’s campaign wrote in the wealth tax calculator. “You’ll still be extraordinarily rich!”