Senator Elizabeth Warren is back to attacking one of her favorite targets, big corporations, with a new proposal that would ban so-called “mega-mergers,” while also allowing gig workers to unionize.
The Massachusetts senator, and one of the leaders in the crowded Democratic primary race, is teaming up with Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., for the new plan that would bar any company that makes over $40 billion in annual revenue, or two companies making at least $15 billion each, from attempting a merger, according to an unnamed source reporting to Bloomberg News.
Currently, U.S. antitrust law has held a 40-year-old standard that assesses mergers for their chance to monopolize prices or diminish the quality of products for consumers.
Another facet of Warren’s newest assault on Wall Street would give gig workers, like employees of ride-hailing companies Lyft and Uber Technologies, the chance to unionize.
Addressing the merger issue specifically, Grover Norquist, a longtime Republican activist, pointed out a major flaw in Warren’s plan — American companies are naturally much larger than they used to be.
“The numbers she has — the $40 billion in sales, no mergers beyond that — what decade does she think we’re living in?” Norquist said, according to CNBC. “We’re not living in a time in a time with small companies competing in the world. American leadership has larger companies. It’s really an odd 1910 world view.”
Norquist went on to bash Warren’s apparent lack of knowledge concerning America’s own Constitution.
“This is called an ex post facto law and it’s one of the things in the Constitution — which Mrs. Warren has not read evidently — that is specifically forbidden,” he said.
And he doesn’t see any chance of her proposed wealth tax coming to fruition, either.
“She also wants a wealth tax, which is also forbidden by the constitution, so she’s going to have to amend the constitution a lot or ignore it,” Norquist said. “And my guess is she won’t be able to do either.”
Warren has made Wall Street and wealth a major target as she campaigns for the chance to face President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
Her wealth tax proposal, which would tax households worth $50 million or more an additional 2% and place a whopping 6% levy on households worth $1 billion or more, has many top investors worried for a stock market crash if her plans somehow come to fruition.
“I’ll go on record, if this lady wins, we’re in big trouble,” Omega Advisors CEO Leon Cooperman said recently. Warren and Cooperman have been involved in a very public insult war that we’ve covered extensively here on Money and Markets.