With Elizabeth Warren aggressively on-the-stump, the truly rich had better hold onto their wallets. Now she’s pitching student-debt cancellation that would be paid-for with a 2% levy on wealth above $50 million and an additional 1% tax on wealth above $1 billion. Is this the greatest idea since sliced bread, or what? Socialists, even brainy ones like Warren, can’t help sounding like morons whenever they talk. But she’s certainly on a winning political track when she emphasizes that the $1.5 trillion the plan would require over the next ten years won’t cost us working stiffs a dime.
Who could resist such an idea, other than a few churlish billionaires already pressed to pay for the New Green Deal, and a handful of old-fashioned economists who have actually read Adam Smith. The great Scottish economist would surely agree with Wall Street Journalcolumnist Andy Kessler, who noted in a Monday op-ed piece that “socialists like Bernie Sanders love to spend money on ‘free’ education and Medicare for All but have no policies to make money in the first place.”
That is precisely why Warren’s latest soak-the-rich scheme flunks freshman economics: It fails, even, to acknowledge incentives, let alone understand how they produce wealth. It also neglects to consider the bad signal it will send to those who have collectively borrowed more than $1.5 trillion to pay for college, as well as students who might conceivably borrow in the future.