Mark Cuban to Elizabeth Warren: Screw You!
Mark Cuban to Elizabeth Warren: Screw You!
Mark Cuban, the billionaire investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, doesn’t like Sen. Elizabeth Warren much. He hates her billionaire tax proposals in particular. So at a Vox Media Code Conference in Beverly Hills, CA, Cuban lit into Warren with two little words:
In an interview, which was broadcast by CNBC, Cuban said that he doesn’t really mind being taxed, calling it “patriotic.” He just doesn’t like the fact that Warren singles out the über-wealthy like him, Elon Musk, and other billionaires for punishment by taxation:
“I don’t mind being taxed more. I wrote a blog 20 years ago saying it’s the most patriotic thing you can do, after military service, is pay your taxes, because that’s what allows everybody to live and to prosper.”
“But yeah, the idea of ‘soak the rich,’ billionaire tears that fill that cup — screw you, Elizabeth Warren. You’re everything that’s wrong with politics.”
At least he said “screw you.” Mark Cuban is a rather outspoken guy, and his comments could’ve been a bit more dicey if you know what I mean.
This isn’t the first time that Mark Cuban and Elizabeth Warren have sparred over her “ultra-millionaire tax” proposal. In a 2021 proposal, Warren created a special tax for households with a net worth of $50 million or more. It would add a 2% annual tax on these households, with an additional 1% levy on those worth more than $1 billion.
Never mind that she herself may be worth a cool $67 million, according to Forbes. She’s all about demonizing the rich.
Mark Cuban said that Warren doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Taxing unrealized capital gains “would be a disaster,” he told Neil Cavuto in 2021.
“I don’t think Elizabeth Warren knows at all what she’s talking about when she deals with this. I think she just likes to demonize people that are wealthy and that’s fine.”
“It’s a great political move for her, but I just don’t think that they really understand the implications of taxing unrealized gains. People are going to have to sell things they otherwise would not sell. People are not going to make the same investments.”
Other analysts have agreed, saying that could reduce US economic growth by 1.2% over the following 30 years.
But Elizabeth Warren fired back, appearing on (where else?) MSNBC with Mehdi Hasan.
“Mark Cuban’s problem is not that I don’t know what I’m talking about. Mark Cuban’s problem is that I know exactly what I’m talking about.”
“We need to change the laws so they’re not written just by the lobbyists for Mark Cuban and his buddies.”
That rebuttal is weak tea, and the type of mudslinging you’d expect from Warren.
In his comments at the Code Conference, Cuban said that taxation “allows everyone to live and to prosper.”
Well, no. What has allowed Americans to prosper is capitalism with minimal government interference. Letting people create their own wealth without Uncle Sam stepping in to confiscate their profits is what creates prosperity.
However, even though Warren paints Cuban as a modern day Scrooge, the billionaire has concerns about income inequality. Rather than punishing people like him, or Musk and Jeff Bezos — with whom Warren has clashed as well — Cuban has proposed another scenario. As he told Cavuto in 2021:
“I would have no problem if there was incentives or programs that incentivized companies to provide stock to employees, all employees …”
“The only way to allow the bottom to keep up with the top earners and those with the top wealth, like myself, is not to change the incentives for investing and tax unrealized gains, it’s to enable appreciable assets for those that traditionally don’t have them.”
Would that work? I don’t know — I’m a former speech pathologist, not a Wall Street guru. But this proposal has a positive spin to it, unlike Warren’s Eat-The-Rich proposal.
Elizabeth Warren doesn’t really want to solve income inequality. Instead, she wants to flog billionaires like Mark Cuban in order to win votes.
Because what works better among low-information voters — especially Millennial and Gen Z voters — than to demonize the über-wealthy. “Soak the Rich,” they insist, although they certainly would trade places with Cuban in a heartbeat, right?
Promotion of class envy in Warren’s stock-in-trade which she uses to gain favor among voters. It’s a close cousin to Joe Biden handing out Covid money and tuition forgiveness as a cynical way to gain support.
In reality, however, Democrats like Elizabeth Warren love income inequality, and poverty, and helplessness. It’s what keeps them in power.
To paraphrase Mark Cuban: Screw them.