Politics

Elizabeth Warren slams critics who say her tax proposal would stifle growth — 'They're just wrong'

Key Points
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren is asked at the Democratic presidential primary debate about economists who say her ambitious wealth tax plan "would stifle growth and investment."
  • "Oh — they're just wrong," Warren responded, prompting cheers and applause from the Los Angeles crowd.
  • South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has criticized Warren's economic plans, responded on the debate stage by claiming Americans are being given a "false choice."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate at Loyola Marymount University on December 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on Thursday offered a blunt message to critics of her ambitious tax plan: You're wrong.

The progressive Massachusetts senator was asked during the final Democratic primary debate of the year about her proposal to hike taxes on the wealthiest Americans. While other candidates have promised to raise taxes on the wealthy, Warren's plan goes further than any of her competitors, constituting "the biggest tax increase since World War II," a moderator said.

"How do you answer top economists who say taxes of this magnitude would stifle growth and investment?" the moderator asked.

"Oh — they're just wrong," Warren responded, prompting cheers and applause from the Los Angeles crowd.

Warren's wealth tax proposal includes slapping a 2% tax on net worth between $50 million and $1 billion and a 6% tax on wealth over 10 figures.

Warren said that with the new taxes, "we can invest in the rest of America," funding projects such as her climate change agenda, universal child care and health care plans and raising workers' wages.

South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has accused Warren of being "evasive" about whether her proposed policies would raise middle-class taxes, responded on the debate stage by claiming Americans are being given a "false choice" of either going "all the way to the extreme, or it's business as usual."

"Yes, taxes on wealthy individuals and on corporations are going to have to go up," Buttigieg said — but he added that we can also make "promises that we can keep" without "the kind of taxation that economists tell us could hurt the economy."

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