Here is how the candidates’ remarks stacked up against the truth.
Senator Elizabeth Warren claimed that her 2 percent wealth tax on households worth more than $50 million would pay for a sweeping expansion of the nation’s social safety net, providing free child care and college tuition.
WHAT MS. WARREN SAID:
“We can put $800 billion new federal dollars into all of our public schools. We can make college tuition-free for every kid. We can put $50 billion into historically black colleges and universities. And we can cancel student loan debt for 95% of the folks who have got it.”
The revenue that Ms. Warren would raise from hear tax proposal is a subject of intense debate and it is not clear that her wealth tax could pay for the plans she listed. According to a New York Times analysis the total cost of Ms. Warren’s plans for universal child care, increased spending on public schools, student debt cancellation and free college would be about $2.9 trillion over a decade. The two Berkeley economists advising her campaign, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, estimate that her wealth tax would generate $2.75 trillion over that period of time. If that is correct, then Ms. Warren would be close to being able to pay for those proposals. (Ms. Warren has recently revised her wealth tax proposal and Mr. Saez and Mr. Zucman have refined their calculations but the general conclusions are the same.)