To the disgust of the majority of Democrats, billionaire and ex-Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has been publicly toying with the idea of an independent run for the presidency in 2020 for the past few days, and he’s now gone on the offensive.
This morning, Schultz sat down with Axios‘ Mike Allen and trashed the leading Democratic candidates’ progressive proposals in a knee-jerk defense of his ill-gotten fortune that makes it fairly obvious that his “campaign” would not be about actually winning the presidency but instead preventing anyone from getting elected that might raise his taxes.
He disparaged Sen. Kamala Harris’ support for a Medicare-for-all style healthcare system as “not American” and called Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposal for a wealth tax “ridiculous.”
His comments, coming just hours after he railed against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s plan to raise marginal tax rates to their 1950s level of 70% as “un-American,” makes it clear that his biggest priority is not the wellbeing of the American people but the preservation of his own bank account.
Senator Warren fired back at him with a scathing retort, rightfully calling out Schultz’s megalomaniacal belief that not only can he purchase himself the presidency but would be qualified to do so simply because he successfully withheld billions of dollars of profits from the workers who actually earned them and took advantage of an economic system specifically designed to do so.
What's “ridiculous” is billionaires who think they can buy the presidency to keep the system rigged for themselves while opportunity slips away for everyone else. The top 0.1%, who'd pay my #UltraMillionaireTax, own about the same wealth as 90% of America. It's time for change. https://t.co/D04G5fNvpa
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 29, 2019
The political control that the billionaire class holds over our nation’s government and media has allowed them to rebuild the post-2008 crash economy on their terms, funneling nearly all newly created wealth into their own pockets while almost nothing is allowed to trickle down to the people whose labor created it in the first place.
The impunity with which they dictate public policy in order to fulfill their petty whims has wrought enormous destruction to our nation and its people; from the crushing burden of student loan to people facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills to the tens of thousands of Americans who die every year from the hyper-addictive painkillers that billionaires deliberately flooded rural America with after shipping all their jobs overseas, the biggest issues facing our nation all can be traced back to the greed of the oligarch class.
The public backlash to our inhumane and monstrously unjust income inequality is growing stronger than ever before, amplified by the calls for change by progressive champions like Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Warren, and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.
The palpable alarm from billionaires like Schultz, Michael Bloomberg, and Jamie Dimon and their musings about presidential runs makes it clear that they are terrified that the tide is turning against them and they might actually have to give up their hoard to the people who need it.
Any presidential run by a third-party billionaire should be seen for what it is: a deliberate effort to sabotage the eventual Democratic nominee and neuter the redistributive policies that our country desperately needs to pass.