Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explains her 70 percent tax rate idea on Stephen Colbert’s show
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Boston University-grad-turned-congresswoman, further explained her 70 percent marginal tax rate idea — and showed just how little she cared about her colleagues telling her to slow down — during an appearance Monday night on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
During the show, Colbert asked Ocasio-Cortez to delve further into the tax plan she floated on “60 Minutes” earlier this month.
“When we talk about a 70 percent marginal tax rate, it’s not on all your income, its on your 10 millionth and one dollar,” she said. “So after you make $10 million in one year, your dollars after that start to get progressively taxed at a much higher rate.
“And really what that is, is the tax interpretation of one answer to the question of, at what level are we really just living in excess, and what kind of society do we want to live in,” she continued. “Do we want to live in a city where billionaires have their own personal Uber helipads? . . . Do we want these kind of folks with helipads in the same city, in the same society, as people who work 80-hour weeks and can’t feed their kids?”
“And this kind of tax rate was the norm up until the early ’80s,” Colbert said.
“It was. This is not a new idea,” Ocasio-Cortez agreed. “People are yelling, you know, ‘She’s a socialist, she wants 70 percent marginal tax rates.’ Under Republican administration Dwight Eisenhower, we had 90 percent marginal tax rates.”
“Wow,” Colbert said.
“Yeah,” she replied.
Colbert also asked Ocasio-Cortez about her butting heads with lawmakers who have tried to quiet her.
“You’re getting a fair amount of pushback, privately and publicly, from more established members of even your own party saying, ‘Wait your turn. Go slow. Don’t ask for so much so fast right now. You’re new, wait your turn for everything, and don’t make waves,’ ” he said.
As the audience booed, Colbert said he wanted to ask his next question in the most respectful manner he could: “On a scale of zero to some, how many [expletives] do you give?”
“I think it’s, um . . .” Ocasio-Cortez said, before pretending to pull something from her pocket and making a big “O” with her hand, declaring, “Zero.”
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