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Stand with Ocasio-Cortez: Tax the super-rich

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Petition to Congress:

"Force the super-wealthy pay their fair share in taxes. Set the top tax bracket at 70 percent or more."

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    Stand with Ocasio-Cortez: Tax the super-rich

    Sunday night on "60 Minutes," progressive champion and freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez floated the commonsense idea of taxing the super-rich at 70 percent.1

    Right-wing Republicans are going crazy and corporate Democrats are joining in. Grover Norquist compared the proposal to slavery. House Republicans condemned her. The head of a pro-Trump super PAC dismissed Rep. Ocasio-Cortez as "a little girl."2,3

    America saw massive economic growth and less inequality back when our top tax bracket was even higher than 70 percent.4 Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has economic research and historical fact on her side – but with Trump Republicans going after her, we need to show that we have her back.

    Stand with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez: Tax the super-rich.

    It is only a matter of time before the misogynist in the White House starts attacking Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, too. The administration already went after her in a statement after she correctly pointed out, in the same "60 Minutes" interview, that Donald Trump is quite clearly racist.

    All Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is proposing is going back to the shared prosperity prior to Reagan's nonsense trickle-down economics. Super-rich Americans paid 70 percent tax on all income over $218,000 – around $700,000 in today's dollars – the day Reagan was sworn in. Since then, the richest families have hoarded most of the country's wealth while wage increases for everyone else have stalled.5

    We can pay for massive infrastructure investments like the Green New Deal the same way we do wars and Republican tax cuts – through deficit spending. The difference is that the Green New Deal will make America more secure and prosperous in the long-run. Though an increase in top tax rates could produce revenue, taxing the super-rich is a good idea because it will rein in inequality and produce shared prosperity.

    Nobel Prize-winning economists like Peter Diamond and Paul Krugman support a top tax rate of more than 70 percent. Obama economist Christina Romer thinks it should be over 80 percent. That's the level at which the economy keeps humming – but the super-rich cannot amass political and economic power.6 Corporate Democrats and their Wall Street backers know this and will soon join Trump Republicans in attacking Ocasio-Cortez. We need to have her back.

    Stand with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez: Tax the super-rich.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Eric Levitz, "Ocasio-Cortez’s 70 Percent Top Tax Rate Is a Moderate, Evidence-Based Policy," New York Magazine, Jan. 4, 2019.
    2. Tory Newmyer, "The Finance 202: Ocasio-Cortez wants to tax the super rich. Other 2020 Democrats may follow." The Washington Post, Jan. 7, 2019.
    3. Peter Wade, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Keeps Firing Back at Her Haters," Rolling Stone, Jan. 6, 2019.
    4. Levitz, "Ocasio-Cortez’s 70 Percent Top Tax Rate Is a Moderate, Evidence-Based Policy."
    5. Ibid.
    6. Paul Krugman, "The Economics of Soaking the Rich," The New York Times, Jan. 6, 2019.

    Photo: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images