Elizabeth Warren outlines benefits of taxing the wealthy in Cedar Rapids

Warren has become well-known for rolling out detailed policy proposals on the campaign trail. On Thursday, Warren detailed her two-cent tax and plan to cancel student-loan debt for a majority of the population.


Michael Guhin

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., addresses a crowd at CSPS Hall in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, April 25, 2019. The Linn Phoenix Club hosted the event.

Julia Shanahan, Politics Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS — Outlining detailed policy proposals has become Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s signature move on the campaign trail as she aims to secure the Democratic presidential nomination, and in a Thursday Iowa stop, she leaned on that move to call for investing in child care and education though her wealth-tax proposal.  

Housing, tax reform, universal health care and child care, and canceling student-loan debt are among some of her comprehensive policy proposals.

“This is the time in 2020 to actually plan and execute our plan,” Warren told reporters on Thursday after speaking in Cedar Rapids at CSPS Hall, 1103 3rd St. SE. “It’s about starting to make real change.”

Similar to other campaign stops, Warren emphasized the need to support working-class families through raising the minimum wage and regulating large corporations.

RELATED: Elizabeth Warren proposes student-debt cancellation, free tuition

Warren said her wealth tax would pay for universal free child care, universal free college, and would fund the cancellation of student-loan debt for a large portion of the population.

The wealth tax, or two-cent tax, would tax one-tenth of the wealthiest 1 percent of the country, Warren said. She said after the first $50 million of someone’s fortune, the individual would be taxed two cents to every $1 earned after that $50 million.

“We could do all of those things with a two cent tax and still have nearly a trillion dollars left over,” Warren said. “This shows you just how badly skewed this economy has become.”

Warren’s wealth tax has gained traction on the campaign trail and became widely known has one of her “big, structural changes” she proposes to “attack corruption head-on.”

“[Wealthy Americans should] put in two cents so everyone else can get a chance to make it in America,” Warren said.

On Monday, Warren rolled out a proposal to implement universal free college and cancel student debt for 42 million people. This would eliminate student debt for 75 percent of individuals who have student-loan debt, according to her policy proposal.

In a Monday conference call with reporters, Warren called her new proposal the answer to increasing student-loan debt, which is “weighing down the economy.”

Cedar Rapids resident Judy Chihak, who attended the event, said it’s refreshing to see a presidential candidate propose detailed plans, which she thinks helps Warren stand out among the large field of Democratic candidates.

“Every single [question] she had an answer for … well thought out and in-depth and how she’s going to pay for it,” Chihak said. “We need somebody who can see all of [the problems] and see them in perspective.”

RELATED: Members of Iowa’s ag sector disagree with 2020 candidate Elizabeth Warren’s policy

The Linn Phoenix Club hosted the event and has donated money to statewide Democratic elections. Mike Wyrick, chair of the Linn Phoenix Club, said the group’s mission is to get Democrats elected in Linn County and across Iowa.

The Linn County Phoenix Club has hosted several Democratic candidates. Wyrick said he hopes to host more through the caucus season to garner more Democratic support in Linn County.

“We are working to get every candidate we can before the caucuses,” Wyrick said.

Former Vice President Joe Biden officially announced his presidential campaign Thursday morning, opening up the field to 20 Democrats running for the nation’s highest office in 2020.  

Warren made campaign stops in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport on Feb. 10, where she campaigned largely on the issues of the raising the minimum wage and breaking down wealthy corporations. She will make several more stops across the state Friday.