‘Yes, Jeff Bezos, I’m Looking At You’: Elizabeth Warren Renews Call For Wealth Tax
2020 US Democratic Presidential hopeful US Senator from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren speaks on-stage during the Democratic National Committee's summer meeting in San Francisco, California on August 23, 2019. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)
JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

Following Jeff Bezos’ successful Blue Origin rocket launch, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) renewed her call for a wealth tax.

On July 20, the Amazon founder and three other passengers made a successful voyage into space, reaching an apogee of nearly 67 miles above the planet’s surface before landing safely in the Texas desert. The mission came days after Richard Branson — who founded space tourism company Virgin Galactic — completed his own trip to space.

Warren, however, has been critical of Bezos and other wealthy Americans. She recently alleged that Bezos’ trip to outer space was “financed by all the rest of the U.S. taxpayers who paid their taxes so that Jeff Bezos didn’t have to.”

On Wednesday, she argued on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” for a tax on wealth for Americans with assets above $50 million.

“However your wealth is tied up, it shouldn’t make a difference,” she asserted. “Whether you have real estate, or whether you have cash, or whether you have a bazillion shares of Amazon — yes, Jeff Bezos, I’m looking at you — whatever form you have your assets… I think there ought to be a tax on that annually. Just a tiny little tax, and only for the people who have more than $50 million in assets.”

“But notice: if we put that tiny little tax in place, that would be enough to pay for universal child care, enough to pay for our kids to be able to go to college, enough for us to pay for all those roads and bridges and bring them into the twenty-first century at the top of the line,” she continued.

“We could pay for all of that if we just ask those at the top, ‘Pay a little bit more.’”

Warren’s wealth tax proposals differ from income taxes in that they would apply to assets already purchased with after-tax dollars.

Warren’s “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” proposal unveiled in March called for a 2% annual tax on the net worth of households and trusts between $50 million and $1 billion, as well as a 1% additional tax on the net worth of households and trusts above $1 billion.

“The ultra-rich and powerful have rigged the rules in their favor so much that the top 0.1% pay a lower effective tax rate than the bottom 99%, and billionaire wealth is 40% higher than before the COVID crisis began,” said Warren in a press release announcing the legislation. “As Congress develops additional plans to help our economy, the wealth tax should be at the top of the list to help pay for these plans because of the huge amounts of revenue it would generate. This is money that should be invested in child care and early education, K-12, infrastructure, all of which are priorities of President Biden and Democrats in Congress.”

Last week, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) called for a tax on private space travel. The Securing Protections Against Carbon Emissions (SPACE) Tax Act would create a new excise tax on space flights carrying humans for purposes other than scientific research. 

The first tier of taxation would apply to suborbital flights rising 50 miles above the Earth’s surface, and the second would affect orbital flights rising 80 miles above the Earth’s surface.

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