Abigail Disney will testify on Elizabeth Warren's wealth tax after billionaire Leon Cooperman rejected invite

  • Abigail Disney will testify at Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s hearing next week on the US tax system.
  • This comes after billionaire Leon Cooperman rejected Warren’s invite, calling it “disingenuous.”
  • Disney has advocated for a wealth tax and was among a group of 19 ultrawealthy Americans calling for its support.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

After billionaire Leon Cooperman rejected Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s invitation to testify on her proposed wealth tax, philanthropist Abigail Disney accepted the opportunity to speak about the tax system.

Warren is holding a hearing next week, called “Creating Opportunity Through a Fairer Tax System,” where she will discuss her wealth tax proposal, which would enact additional taxes on households with net worths of $50 million and above. Warren invited Cooperman — one of her most vocal critics — to testify, but he rejected the invitation, calling it “self-serving and disingenuous.”

In a response to Warren’s invitation viewed by Insider, he said, “I will, however, be sure to tune in for the show.” Now, that “show” has a new guest.

Just a day later, CNBC first reported that Disney, who previously endorsed Warren’s wealth tax, will be joining Warren at the hearing.

“Next week, I’ll be hosting a subcommittee hearing about our rigged tax system and how we pay for things like infrastructure, universal child care, and other opportunities for all,” Warren said in a statement. “One percenters like billionaire hedge fund mogul Leon Cooperman may think they shouldn’t have to pay their fair share to keep America running, but Abigail Disney disagrees — and she’ll join me Tuesday.”

Insider reported last year that the Disney heiress has been advocating for a wealth tax for years. She told the Financial Times in 2019 that her net worth was $120 million and that she was among a group of 19 ultrawealthy Americans who signed a letter asking presidential candidates to support the wealth tax. 

Disney also testified at a March Senate Budget Committee Hearing called “Ending a Rigged Tax Code: The Need To Make the Wealthiest People and Largest Corporations Pay their Fair Share of Taxes.” During that hearing, chairman Bernie Sanders announced he was introducing two new tax bills that would target the wealthy and corporations.

“The bottom line is that wealthy people need to pay their fair share. They need to stop whining and recognize taxes not as a punishment but as a responsibility,” Disney wrote in her prepared testimony. “Any mother will tell you the difference is often lost on children. I am sure the men and women who profit so heavily off of the American economy can find a way to understand the distinction.” 

Warren campaigned on the wealth tax during her run for president, and last month, she introduced the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act, which an analysis from economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman found could raise at least $3 trillion over the next 10 years.

“Nothing in history ever moved forward just because people advocated for their own interests,” Disney told NPR in 2019, when speaking on the wealth tax. “Things really change when people are traitors to their class, and my class needs some really good traitors these days.”

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