“The wealthy Americans they attack created world-changing technologies, entertainment empires, millions of middle-class jobs and funded countless charitable endeavors,” the ad said, flashing images of Berkshire Hathaway Chair Warren Buffett, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Oprah Winfrey. “The American dream shouldn’t punish success.”
The ad, which went live on Monday, was paid for by the Employment Policies Institute, a conservative nonprofit think tank that’s based in Washington, D.C.
It comes almost one week after Warren ran a one-minute ad — titled “Elizabeth Warren Stands Up To Billionaires” — directly attacking four billionaires: money manager Leon Cooperman, TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who have all voiced opposition to her calls for a wealth tax.
“There hasn’t seemed to be a response to those attacks, which in our minds is sort of an obvious one,” EPI managing director Michael Saltsman told FOX Business. “If you look at just the charitable endeavors alone of some of the folks that Sen. Warren or AOC have attacked, it’s almost incalculable the benefit that had to society.”
Under Warren’s proposal, individuals worth more than $50 million would pay a 2 percent tax; that would climb to 6 percent for those worth more than $1 billion. Sanders — who’s said he does not believe that billionaires should exist — went further than Warren, calling for a levy of 8 percent on individuals worth $10 billion.
But Saltsman said comments from Sanders and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about billionaires being immoral "isn't a healthy way" to view people who've created a noteworthy product or company.
“This isn’t about defending people who have a lot of money,” Saltsman said. “This is about, in a lot of ways, defending the American dream.”
Other billionaire executives who’ve criticized Warren’s candidacy include JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and former New York City Mayor (and potential 2020 rival) Michael Bloomberg.
“I’ve paid over $10 billion in taxes. I’ve paid more than anyone in taxes. If I had to have paid $20 billion, it’s fine. But when you say I should pay $100 billion, then I’m starting to do a little math about what I have left over,” Gates said last week, later adding that he was “just kidding.”
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!”