Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants to tax America’s uber-wealthy with a tax rate that could reach between 60% and 70%. The tax, which could reach levels not seen since the 1980s, would help fund the “Green New Deal” which aims to eliminate the use of fossil fuels within just 12 years.
“What is the problem with trying to push our technological capacities to the furthest extent possible?” Ocasio-Cortez said during an interview with Anderson Cooper for 60 Minutes. “There’s an element where yeah, people are going to have to start paying their fair share in taxes.”
Cooper told AOC her tax plan would be “radical” to which she noted that many plans in American history have been radical, including those set forth by Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
When Cooper pointed out such a tax plan would be a “radical” move, Ocasio-Cortez embraced the label,
“I think that it only has ever been radicals that have changed this country,” Ocasio-Cortez noted. “Yeah, if that’s what radical means, call me a radical.”
The Tax Foundation, the nation’s leading independent tax policy nonprofit, embedded individual tax bracket information dating from 1862 through 2013. As recent as 1980 the maximum tax bracket for America’s most wealthy individuals topped out at 70%. The taxable income brack has reached 91% as recent as 1963. In 2013, the maximum taxable income bracket was just 39.6% on earnings of $450,000 or more.
Perhaps Ocasio-Cortez’s suggestion isn’t as radical as it appears based on America’s tax history which until the last several decades did not favor the uber-rich.