Wall Street and the DNC have been in bed together like a couple of newlyweds for years now, but the honeymoon might finally end if Senator Elizabeth Warren takes the presidential nomination next year.
CNBC’s Brian Schwartz reports that “several high-dollar Democratic donors and fundraisers in the business community” plan to “sit out the presidential campaign fundraising cycle” should Warren sit — must… resist… urge… to… make… sit Indian-style joke — at the top of the ticket. A private equity executive who wishes to remain anonymous told the network, “You’re in a box because you’re a Democrat and you’re thinking, ‘I want to help the party, but she’s going to hurt me, so I’m going to help President Trump’.”
Warren’s proposed “wealth tax,” while of dubious constitutionality, threatens to place a 2% tax on the wealth — not earnings — of households worth $50 million or more. That’s a lot of Wall Street people, it’s safe to say.
“Democratic” socialist candidate Bernie Sanders promises an even bigger wealth tax, with a 1% levy on households worth more than $32 million, going all the way up to 8% for fortunes over $10 billion. So far Wall Street doesn’t feel as threatened by the prospect of a Bernie candidacy, but with frontrunner Joe Biden sinking in poll after poll, who knows what might happen as the voting starts in Iowa next February.
Now that he’s the incumbent, President Trump has had zero fundraising worries, and raked in another five million dollars in the last few days as the Democrats geared up their impeachment inquiry.
The bind for Democrats is: Nominate the next strongest candidate to Flailin’ Joe, or risk defections in the wealthiest segment of their donor and fundraising base. It would also be more difficult than ever to paint Trump as reckless/evil/stupid/insert-the-daily-pejorative-here, if after four years in office he were to suddenly gain the support of some big-name, big-money Dems.
But going down the line of possible nominees after Warren, Sanders would be even worse — for Wall Street and Main Street. And by the time they get past Sanders, Dems are looking at seriously tertiary candidates.
That’s a sticky situation for any party to be in just one season away from the campaign kickoff, and I couldn’t be happier to watch it.