Something strange and unknown has taken root in Washington, DC in recent days. Among the segments about Donald Trump's latest impeachable offense, Republican intransigence in the face of a catastrophic closure by the government, and anything else on the record, cable news have gained time to talk about policy proposals. of honesty to God.
Specifically, we are in the middle of a national conversation about, of all things, marginal tax rates. The way we get here is clear: a rising Star of the Democratic Party has tried to present itself to the American people by extolling the virtues of making the richest among them pay their fair share for the good of the country.
"Look, there was a moment in a very prosperous United States: a country that was growing in a middle clbad, a country where working families performed better generation after generation, where the highest marginal rate was well above 50 percent". he said, in defense of his call for a full reexamination of the federal tax code, which has sustained multiple rounds of Republican sabotage in recent decades.
And yes, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has also talked about marginal tax rates. But the above The appointment is not from the youngest representative of Congress. Rather, it comes courtesy of the newly appointed presidential candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The comment came last July, during an interview with an incredulous host of CNBC.
All of Warren's political career has been based largely on a meticulously designed fiscal policy platform, in particular its fixation on the ways in which legislators could improve the growing income inequality and its effects.
And yet, Warren's decades of experience in the fields of finance and consumer law have lately failed to generate a fraction of the rumor that a single sentence of the 15-minute segment of Ocasio-Cortez in a recent 60 minutes.
But this is not a reflection on Warren or Ocasio-Cortez. Economists of all tendencies are able to have well-reasoned and reasoned disagreements about the benefits and shortcomings of a marginal tax rate of 70 percent, but what is undeniable is that it is a perfectly sound fiscal policy with many historical precedents, not a terrifying communist plot to expropriate the whole world. Income and deliver them to the state.
No, the big gap in the way the public reacted to the comments of Elizabeth Warren six months ago compared to the comments of Ocasio-Cortez six days ago is due to the fact that the latter has won an involuntary ally and a powerful ally secret weapon: the Republican Party.
The 60 Minute interview had not even been completely broadcast before the Conservatives began shouting about the Ocasio-Cortez proposal for a new tax bracket, which would impose a marginal tax rate of 70 percent on people who earn more than $ 10 million a year. The most troglodytic among them was the age of Ocasio-Cortez (and, of course, the genre) to portray her as a naive, uninformed star who spits out socialist points of discussion without thinking. Those who managed to control their badism simply suggested that their proposal was radical or extreme. But all of them could not help but shoot the rookie legislator.
By doing so, they only amplified their message. By Monday morning, his comment was everywhere. On Tuesday, reactions to his comment, from economists, politicians, historians, pollsters, proliferated throughout the web. But if the Republicans expected their signal increase to expose Ocasio Cortez, discrediting it in some way in the relentless gaze of public scrutiny, they recalculated the miscalculation.
A survey commissioned by The Hill / HarrisX shortly after the comment of Ocasio Cortez was issued found that a solid majority of voters (59%) agreed with your proposal. The voters of the south were in favor of their plan by a margin of 14 points; Rural voters approved by 12 points. Even the Republicans who identified themselves were relatively favorable to the plan, since 45 percent of the respondents agreed with the Ocasio-Cortez tax proposal. Conservative commentators and lawmakers, convinced that the public would join them in criticizing Ocasio Cortez, instead urged support in their direction: moving the needle in the direction of higher taxes for wealthier Americans in a way that few liberals have been able to achieve.
All your base (are) belongs to us ? https://t.co/brwNKJ8wrh
– Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 19, 2019
This is not to discount the efforts of Ocasio-Cortez. From the moment he burst onto the scene after defeating the fourth most powerful Democrat in the House during the June primaries, AOC has played his conservative enemies like a violin. Every time Fox News tries to paint her as a radical, she calmly activates Instagram and runs an impromptu town hall from her kitchen on the moral imperative of universal health care or affordable higher education. Every time a Republican legislator tries to embarrbad her on Twitter for speaking ill, she takes the same platform to immerse themselves in them so easily and cruelly that it's a miracle that they do not eliminate their accounts on the spot.
The truth is that the Republicans would have been much better if they had simply ignored Ocasio-Cortez completely. He did not hear much about Elizabeth Warren's similar comments about marginal tax rates last summer because the conservative media apparatus fell asleep. Now, the entire Democratic primary field in 2020 will be asked about the increase in tax rates on the income of people with higher incomes. As this week's polls show, that conversation will benefit you greatly.