Nov 7, 2019 - Health

The growing anti-Warren consensus shows the limitations of her plans

Illustration of a stack of papers towering over 2020 candidate Elizabeth Warren
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

The Economist came down hard on Sen. Elizabeth Warren last month, describing her regulatory proposals as "jaw-dropping" and warning of "a severe shock" were her plans to be enacted.

The state of play: Similar sentiment has arrived from Steve Rattner, the manager of Mike Bloomberg's fortune, who says that a "Warren presidency is a terrifying prospect." Billionaires Leon Cooperman and Jamie Dimon have also joined the chorus.

  • The plutocrats were joined by Joe Biden, whose spokesperson said that Warren's plan to pay for universal health care would raise taxes on the middle class, since the middle class owns stocks and the plan includes a 0.1% tax on financial transactions.
  • Even Sen. Bernie Sanders said that Warren's plan would be bad for job creation.

Reality check: All of Warren's critics, just like Warren herself, know full well that her plan would never get enacted. The barrage of anti-Warren criticism is mostly just a function of her status as a frontrunner in the Democratic primary.

My thought bubble: The consensus here is noteworthy all the same. For all that there are wonkish reasons why it makes sense for Warren to release this plan even if she knows it is doomed, we're seeing the practical effect of her "I've got a plan for that" refrain. Every plan she announces will be immediately and broadly criticized on the grounds that it raises taxes too much.

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