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Puck, 1883. La plus ca change, huh?

The bloated plutocrats are doing their best to help push a progressive agenda in the 2020 presidential race, mostly by being their bloated plutocratty selves and getting a bad case of the vapors over proposals to tax bloated plutocrats and make sure everyone has healthcare. Oh, the horror! And Elizabeth Warren, for one, is more than happy to get into fights with the two billionaires who want to save America from her.

On Tuesday, VERY LIKABLE Starbucks billionaire Howard Schultz said in an NPR interview that Warren's proposed "Eat the Rich" wealth tax on assets over $50 million was simply too silly to even to contemplate, because who ever heard of taxing wealth, other than a bunch of European countries that are all communist hellholes, like Norway.

When I see Elizabeth Warren come out with a ridiculous plan of taxing wealthy people a surtax of 2 percent because it makes a good headline, or sends out a tweet, when she knows for a fact that is not something that's ever going to be passed, this is what's wrong. You can't just attack these things in a punitive way by punishing people.

Not something that's ever going to be passed? Sure, not under pretend-billionaire Donald Trump, but we'd like to point out we're talking about the 2020 campaign, in case Schultz has forgotten. Also, while we do like the idea of punishing billionaires, the goal is pure Adam Smith, who was all for having the rich pay more in taxes because, dude, they'll still be rich, and economic inequality bad.


As it happened, the other billionaire who wants to be president, Michael Bloomberg, isn't a fan of that terrible two percent wealth tax (OK, for fortunes over a billion dollars, it would go up to 3 percent), because by god, he'll not have America turning into communist Vuzuzelas, that's for sure. In New Hampshire yesterday, Bloomberg told reporters,

We shouldn't be embarrassed about our system. You want to look at a system that's not capitalistic, just take a look at what was perhaps the wealthiest country in the world and now people are starving to death. It's called Venezuela.

Fact check: Say what you will about Venezuela, man, but it didn't get into its current mess because of a two percent tax on fortunes over $50 million. We're actually pretty certain of that! Also, man, have you LOOKED at our system, in which billionaires and their personal pet Republicans have rigged the economic game since Reagan? It's pretty damned embarrassing! Weirdly enough, Bloomberg made his remarks about the horrors of taxing wealth following a speech in which he endorsed the broad goals of the Green New Deal to combat climate change -- another mess we're in thanks to unrestrained capitalism and rich assholes writing all the rules.

Warren was delighted to engage the plutocrats in dialogue!

Hmm ... OK, we still prefer "Mulch the Rich," but we can live with calling it the "UltraMillionaire tax" if you insist. Warren went into it a bit more in a gaggle with reporters Tuesday:

It's clear we need to rethink our financial accounting for the United States. Only in an upside-down political system would we treat spending $10 million to build a building as an expense, as if the money had been burned rather than we ended up with an asset worth $100 million.

Oh, yes, she clearly saw that Twitter whining by GOP consultant putz Patrick Ruffini, where he said taxes literally destroy rich people's money with no benefit at all.

Schultz was at it again today on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," explaining he's clearly the billionaire America needs. You see, Donald Trump is bad, but the Democrats are also just plain terrible because they want "Government takeover of healthcare, free college for everyone, a free job for everybody." God, what a nightmare THAT would be, although he didn't quite say what the hell a "free job" is. It sounds loathsome, though, since most Americans only want jobs they've paid for themselves.

Mika Brzezinsky then sprang one of those mean gotcha questions intended to suggest a super-rich asshole might not be in touch with Everyday Americans, asking Schultz if he knew the price of an 18-ounce box of Cheerios. Schultz handled that one deftly, first saying he doesn't eat Cheerios, then immediately redirecting to the real issue important to everyday Americans: "Do you support a government takeover of the healthcare system?" Well played, sir! (Brzezinsky added the Cheerios cost about 4 bucks, and Schultz seemed surprised it was that much.)

Even so, Schultz insisted that Americans will look past his vast wealth, which he wants to protect, because of his life story, since he's a "self-made person" and "came from the projects." He's not a billionaire witch, he's YOU!

As for Warren and other insane Medicare for All candidates, they're all probably just terrified the billionaires may keep this up. As Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, told the Associated Press,

Not since "Nevertheless, She Persisted" has a bigger political gift been handed to Elizabeth Warren than out-of-touch billionaires attacking her for wanting to tax their wealth to open up health care and educational opportunities for millions of voting Americans.

Well, sure, but on the other hand, Warren and other Dems are gonna have to deal with the likes of Laura Ingraham, who urged billionaires to take to the barricades -- or at least pay someone to take to the barricades -- to defend the inequality that makes America great.

Please, obscenely wealthy assholes, whatever you do, don't throw Elizabeth Warren in the briar patch. And certainly don't do it from the deck of your mega-yacht.

[TPM / Politico / Boston.com / NBC News / AP/WATE-TV]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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