Just how far left have 2020 Democratic candidates become? They’re so desperate to take power back from President Donald Trump, they’re now attacking anyone that calls for unity among Americans.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren lashed out earlier this month at her moderate Democratic rivals seeking the White House, attacking them for accepting Republican calls for unity rather than standing up for socialist values.
The Massachusetts senator strongly defended her socialist vision for the nation rebuilt on record-high taxes. Warren didn’t name former Vice President Joe Biden or Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, but she was clearly taking aim at them — suggesting that long-simmering tensions between the party’s centrist and socialist wings are boiling over.
“Unlike some candidates for the Democratic nomination, I’m not counting on Republican politicians having an epiphany and suddenly supporting the kinds of tax increases on the rich or big-business accountability they have opposed under Democratic presidents for a generation,” Warren said during a speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.
“Unlike some candidates for the Democratic nomination, I’m not betting my agenda on the naive hope that if Democrats adopt Republican critiques of progressive policies or make vague calls for unity that somehow the wealthy and well-connected will stand down,” she said.
The comments were some of the most strident for a candidate who rode a steady rise in the polls throughout the summer to become a front-runner but lately has seen that support stall as Buttigieg and Biden seem to have grabbed some momentum.
“We know that one Democratic candidate walked into a room of wealthy donors this year to promise that ‘nothing would fundamentally change’ if he’s elected president,” Warren said, referring to past comments by Biden. Referencing Buttigieg’s fundraising prowess, she said, “We know that another calls the people who raise a quarter-million dollars for him his ‘National Investors Circle,’ and he offers them regular phone calls and special access.”
“When a candidate brags about how beholden he feels to a group of wealthy investors,” Warren added, “our democracy is in serious trouble.”
Warren remains bunched near the top of the polls with Biden, Buttigieg and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the race’s other socialist. But rather than contrasting herself with Sanders to shore up the Democratic left, she has increasingly gone after the mayor and the former vice president — as well as billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The division is growing as the first votes of the Democratic primary near, and there’s mounting concern that no clear front-runner will emerge from the initial slate of contests.
In response to Warren’s speech, Buttigieg senior adviser Lis Smith warned she may ultimately undermine Democratic unity.
“Sen. Warren’s idea of how to defeat Donald Trump is to tell people who don’t support her that they are unwelcome in the fight and that those who disagree with her belong in the other party,” Smith said.
Warren has centered her candidacy on proposing total structural changes to America and promises to remake the country’s entire political and economic system. She wants a 2% tax on fortunes worth $50 million-plus and a levy three times that on anyone who has a net worth of more than $1 billion. She pledges to use that tax money to offer universal child care and free tuition at public universities while wiping out most student debt for 42 million Americans and helping finance a “Medicare for All” plan providing government-sponsored health care nationwide.
The University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Wharton Budget Model — which provides nonpartisan analysis of public policy proposals — released findings showing that Warren’s wealth tax would only raise $2.3 trillion to $2.7 trillion over 10 years, $1.4 trillion less than Warren’s campaign estimates.
The analysis also concluded that the new taxes would cause the economy to contract 0.9% to 2.1% by 2050 and says the new tax would reduce “private capital formation” enough to drive the U.S. economy’s average wage down 0.9% to 2.3%.