Hedge fund titan Leon Cooperman and Sen. Elizabeth Warren have been trading shots in a war of words over the Massachusetts senator’s wealth tax, with the billionaire investor previously saying she is “s——g on the American dream” by trying to soak the rich to pay for giveaways.
Cooperman wrote Warren an open letter recently, tearing into her right at the beginning for an Oct. 23 tweet in which she slammed the Omega Advisors CEO.
Cooperman, who is not on Twitter, said several friends passed the tweet along to him.
“You proceeded to admonish me (as if a parent chiding an ungrateful child) to ‘pitch in a bit more so everyone else has a chance at the American dream, too,’” Cooperman wrote. “Our political differences aside, your tweet demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of who I am, what I stand for, and why I believe so many of your economic policy initiatives are misguided.”
Cooperman went on to hit Warren over her attacks on the wealthy.
“However much it resonates with your base, your villification of the rich is misguided, ignoring, among other things, the sources of their wealth and the substantial contributions to society which they already, unprompted by you, make,” he wrote.
Cooperman recently told Politico that he believed in a progressive income tax and the rich paying more, “But this is the f——g American Dream she is s——g on.”
To which Warren replied, “Leon, you were able to succeed because of the opportunities this country gave you. Now why don’t you pitch in a bit more so everyone else has a chance at the American dream, too?” on Twitter.
Interestingly enough, after his foul language, Cooperman called on Warren to “elevate the dialogue.”
“The fact is, Senator Warren, that despite our philosophical differences, we should be working together to find common ground in this vital conversation — not firing off snarky tweets that stir your base at the expense of accuracy,” he wrote. “Let’s elevate the dialogue and find ways to keep this a land of opportunity where hard work, talent and luck are rewarded and everyone gets a fair shot at realizing the American Dream.”
Friends of Cooperman said the point he is trying to make with his letter, which you can read in full here, is to convince voters that her policy proposals and soak-the-rich taxation schemes will only hinder the economy and ultimately hurt taxpayers.
The biggest problem for Cooperman, according to his allies, is that he is playing right into Warren’s hands and ultimately emboldening her more while stoking her base, holding her up as a figure that can and will take on Wall Street and its big-money executives and stick up for the working class.
The Warren-Cooperman feud began last month after he blasted her during the Delivering Alpha conference in New York.
“They won’t open the stock market if Elizabeth Warren is the next president,” he said. “You don’t make the poor people rich by making rich people poor. The Democratic Party seems to be leaning towards the left on policies, which is very harmful for the economy. I don’t like the shift to the left.”
Warren’s main wealth tax plan will hit the rich with a 2% tax on wealth above $50 million, and a 3% tax on income above $1 billion.
Her plans also have led to big-money Democratic donors saying they will sit the 2020 election out — or back Donald Trump — if Warren wins the Democratic primary.
The class warfare is only just beginning to heat up, it seems, and the real fireworks will begin when and if Warren wins the nomination.
Editor’s note: Is Cooperman right to fight back against Warren, or is he only playing into her hands and propping her up among her base, who would love nothing more than to see the rich pay for her giveaways? Share your thoughts below.