Yesterday afternoon, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MASS) unveiled a biting new attack ad taking aim at America’s billionaires for refusing to pay their fair share while making a fortune off of shady business or the misfortune of others.
Calling out several of the worst offenders by name — Leon Cooperman, Joe Ricketts, Lloyd Blankfein, and Peter Thiel — the ad makes the case for her proposed wealth tax in order to fund America’s long-neglected public safety net and social programs like universal pre-k and public education.
It was not well received by its targets.
The ad sent billionaire Leon Cooperman into a monocle-clenching fit of sputtering rage. Speaking to a CNBC reporter, the indignant and thin-skinned hedge fun manager viciously attacked her in an expletive-filled and extremely Trumpian outburst:
“In my opinion she represents the worst in politicians, as she’s trying to demonize wealthy people because there are more poor people then wealthy people. As far as the accusations of insider trading, I won the case. She’s disgraceful. She doesn’t know who the fuck she’s tweeting. I gave away more in the year then she has in her whole fucking lifetime.”
This is not the first time he’s reacted like this to Warren’s proposal. Back in October, Cooperman screeched to POLITICO’s Ben White that “this is the fucking American dream she is shitting on.”
That’s how Cooperman responded to the idea of losing a meager 3% of his $3.2 billion fortune, which would leave him with a net worth of only three billion, nine-seven million, six hundred thousand dollars — more money than he or generations of his children could ever conceivably spend.
Lloyd Blankfein (networth $1.1 billion), former CEO of Goldman Sachs, decided to take the other Trump approach and lashed out with some cheap racism against Senator Warren:
Surprised to be featured in Sen Warren’s campaign ad, given the many severe critics she has out there. Not my candidate, but we align on many issues. Vilification of people as a member of a group may be good for her campaign, not the country. Maybe tribalism is just in her DNA.
— Lloyd Blankfein (@lloydblankfein) November 14, 2019
While the issue of Warren’s Native American heritage is an uncomfortable one, to say that she has “tribalism” in her blood — with the connotations of primitive savagery and colonial arrogance that accompany it — is extremely racist.
If anyone is “shitting on the American dream,” it’s Cooperman and Blankfein and the rest of the ghoulish sociopaths who jealously guard their wealth to the detriment of both the American economy and the people who actually did the work to create that wealth.
Seeing as it is literally impossible for these billionaires to spend their wealth fast enough to get enough of their ill-gotten money circulating in the economy and helping all Americans, taxation is the only way to rectify the problem.
Seeing them react with such hyperbolic vitriol and petulant rage at the idea of helping millions of people live better lives should be a sharp reminder to the American people that they should not be idolized as “geniuses” or “pioneers of industry” but should be vilified and condemned for being sociopathic predators so consumed by their own greed they are literally incapable of empathizing with other human beings.
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 psychopaths and will take a stand for Main Street.
Colin Taylor is the 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.