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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.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.

Jan. 6 committee recommends contempt charges against Bannon

Steve Bannon. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night recommending that former Trump aide Steve Bannon be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena.

Why it matters: The resolution sets up a House vote to refer Bannon for potential criminal prosecution, signaling that the committee will not tolerate attempts by former President Trump and his associates to stymie the investigation.

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