Disney heiress endorses Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax

Abigail Disney, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Tuesday, April 30, 2019.

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Abigail Disney, the heiress to the world-renowned entertainment firm, has endorsed the proposed wealth tax from Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, slamming the wealthy people that are fighting the policy as “idiots.”

Speaking to CNBC’s Karen Tso Thursday, Disney criticized those opposing the proposal to protect their own fortunes.

“If you have a billion dollars and (you’re worried you won’t) make a hundred million dollars a year just by sitting on your couch at home, truthfully you’re kind of an idiot,” she said. “Money just makes money. It’s one of the hardest things in the world not to let it grow.”

She added it was “really important” to make the public aware that the ultra-wealthy would not have their spending power dented by Warren’s taxation manifesto.

“If it’s a 2% (or) 3% tax, it will in no way inhibit first of all, your buying power, and second of all, the growth of your buying power,” Disney claimed. “So I don’t understand what the hesitation is around a wealth tax, because it in no way encumbers a person who is already so far past being able to spend that money that could be so much better used.”

Warren, who is vying to become the Democratic candidate in the 2020 presidential election, has proposed a wealth tax that would add a levy of 2% to net worth between $50 million and $1 billion, while wealth above $1 billion would be taxed at 6%.

Disney did not direct her comments at any particular individual, and a raft of voices have expressed criticism of the proposals.

Democrat-supporting billionaire Ron Baron described the wealth tax as “pretty nuts” last month, while David Rubenstein, who co-founded The Carlyle Group, told CNBC this month there weren’t enough highly wealthy Americans for the tax to make a substantial difference to financial inequality.

Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman, meanwhile, said earlier this month that billionaires such as Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg and David Rubenstein made the world a “substantially better place.”

“I don’t need Elizabeth Warren telling me that I’m a deadbeat and that billionaires are deadbeats,” he told CNBC. “The vilification of billionaires makes no sense to me.”

However, billionaire venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Wednesday that he loved Warren’s plan, adding that he was “not afraid” of her proposals.

— CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk and Thomas Franck contributed to this article.

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