Finance billionaire Mike Bloomberg, apparently once again entertaining self-aggrandizing delusions of a presidential run as Joe Biden’s numbers continue to slip, made the curious decision to use a gun safety forum in order to attack the fair taxation and income-inequality addressing platform of presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MASS).
At recent Everytown for Gun Safety forum, which is a gun reform advocacy group created and funded by Bloomberg’s billions, the former New York mayor sneered to Warren that she should be thanking him since if his company hadn’t been so successful they wouldn’t have had a forum at all — and that there has been “enough of this stuff.”
By “this stuff,” he clearly means her plan to unleash a host of new taxes on major corporations and the richest Americans, which includes the “ultramillionaire tax” that would level a 3% tax on every dollar a household has over $1 billion — like Bloomberg’s household.
It’s repulsive to see Bloomberg weaponize his philanthropy in this way and makes Warren’s point for her, which is that the rich should have substantial portion of their ill-gotten wealth redistributed and put to public use through taxes.
The ultrawealthy do not deserve to be lauded and celebrated for charitable donations when their very status as billionaires in a world where so many languish in poverty is a moral atrocity in and of itself.
Now we see how that philanthropy is being used to silence and muffle a critic of the exploitative system that made them billionaires in the first place.
New figures show that for the first time ever, the richest 400 people in the country — which includes Michael Bloomberg — paid lower taxes than the poor and the middle class. Income inequality is at a five-decade high while the cost of healthcare skyrockets to over $20,000 a year for an average family. Wages have been stagnant for decades. Millions of Americans are stuck in jobs that offer no stability and no benefits as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads as the price of housing reaches crisis levels.
Most of the struggles and hardships of everyday Americans can be directly traced back to the avarice of the ultra-wealthy elites, and we deserve to have a nominee who refuses to sell out to these unfeeling ghouls and will take a stand for Main Street. The situation is untenable and it’s going to take the leadership of a strong progressive like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders to confront the power of the oligarchs.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.