The Billionaires are not happy with the recent rise of Elizabeth Warren. They don’t like her proposal to tax people with more than $50 million. Bill Gates hinted that he might vote for Trump over Warren. The nerve of that woman, threatening to tax the 1%!

Now it seems that another billionaire might join the race. David Dayen of The American Prospect is not pleased.

ON TAP Today from the American Prospect
November 8, 2019

Dayen on TAP

OK Bloomberg

Is it just coincidence that the derisive millennial slang “OK boomer” has crested just as an old billionaire with the similar-sounding name Michael Bloomberg has decided to bigfoot into the presidential race? Yes, probably, but the moniker “OK Bloomberg” certainly fits.

 

It gives me no pleasure to have become a serial chronicler of Bloomberg’s absurd flirtations with the presidency: here, here, and here, all the way back in 2008. Each time my point is the same: This is someone with no constituency once you take the elevator down from an East 79th St.penthouse or step out of the Morning Joe greenroom. This Twitter thread describing a speech he gave less than a year ago—coming out against marijuana legalization, minimum-wage increases (!), and retraining workers for tech jobs (“they’re just not wired that way”)—highlights the inanity of the exercise.

 

If anything, this strengthens the hand of Sanders and Warren by putting another competitor on the moderate side to split votes. Bloomberg also reportedly won’t “seek or accept campaign contributions,” a genius move which means, under current DNC rules, that he won’t appear in any primary debates. But that’s not the only show of ignorance on display here.

 

Bloomberg, speaking for his class, is terrified that popular ideas like the wealth tax are getting traction. For about $50,000, he and his pals could get Kyrsten Sinema, Joe Manchin, Jon Tester, Chris Coons, and a handful of other Senate Democrats to block any legislation to that effect (actually they probably don’t have to spend a dime, these aren’t exactly bold progressive thinkers). They’ve bought the Congress for decades and they’re afraid that somebody talking about soaking the rich will penetrate the iron fortress they’ve built? Do they think their corruption of democracy is that fragile?

 

Actually, that’s a paradoxical ray of hope. The billionaires are convinced that they’re small men behind the curtain, and anyone pulling that curtain back will rob them of their power. They know this is a country founded in rebellion to aristocrats, that fights Gilded Ages, and they’re desperate to stifle those voices, lest they start a fire. Maybe democracy isn’t quite dead yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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