Elizabeth Warren Calls Billionaires 'Freeloaders' Who Need to 'Pick Up Their Fair Share'

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 presidential hopeful, called billionaires "freeloaders" and said they needed to pay their fair share.

In an interview with Jim Cramer on the CNBC show Mad Money, Warren proposed that households with assets exceeding $50 million would pay a 2 percent tax on that net worth every year—the rate would rise to 3 percent for households with assets exceeding $1 billion. In total, it is expected this tax would affect only 75,000 U.S. households.

"I want these billionaires to stop being freeloaders," Warren told Cramer. "I want them to pick up their fair share. That's how we make a system that works not just for the rich and the powerful but works for all of us."

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Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, addresses a crowd on January 21 in Boston. She recently called on billionaires to stop being "freeloaders" and pay their fair share. Scott Eisen/Getty Images

In the interview, Warren also called out a potential rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, a billionaire former mayor of New York City, by name.

"We've watched Michael Bloomberg. We've watched billionaires stand up and say, 'Look I want to run for president and one of the first planks in my plan is going to be no new taxes for billionaires.' Look, all I'm asking for is a little slice from the tippy-tippy-top. A slice that would raise—and this is the shocking part—about $2.75 trillion over the next 10 years," Warren said. "That's money we need so that every kid in this country has a decent child care opportunity, has an opportunity for pre-K, has an opportunity for a decent school."

Warren has also defended her "ultra-millionaire tax plan" against billionaire Howard Schultz, who said he was considering a run for president as a centrist independent. He called Warren's plan ridiculous, and said it was for headlines but would never be real.

"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," Warren tweeted this week in response to Schultz's comments. "The top 0.1%, who'd pay my #UltraMillionaireTax, own about the same wealth as 90% of America. It's time for change."