This Viral Twitter Thread Demolishes GOP Lies About AOC’s 70% Tax Plan

Despite the brouhaha over a viral clip of her dancing from college, freshman representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has somehow forced news outlets to cover something substantive that they usually don’t—new policy ideas from Democrats.

In a 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper, AOC was asked how she would pay for a Green New Deal. While she noted that the media rarely put on their accounting visors when confronted with other, shall we say, more “militaristic” programs, she also had a plan to pay for it.

Taxing incomes over $10 million at a rate of “60 or 70%” could foot the bill for the initiative, she said.

For those on the left, it was a breath of fresh air and a break from the cramped ~35% vs. ~39.6% slap-fight Democrats and Republicans have been having over the top marginal rate for the past two decades.

For those on the right, it was all-out class warfare. Amateur GOP Twitter troll Mike Huckabee mischaracterized Ocasio-Cortez’s plan and wistfully yearned for the days (and Dems) of John F. Kennedy:

The only problem with Huckabee bemoaning a 70% top marginal rate while pining for Kennedy? The top marginal rate during Kennedy’s presidency was… 70%. In fact, Kennedy CUT taxes to 70%, before that (during Eisenhower’s presidency AKA “the good old days”) the top marginal rate was a whopping 90%.

Still, Republicans insist that restoring the top marginal rate of “the good old days” would have devastating effects on the economy.

Here’s a graph showing the complete lack of relationship between what we tax the richest Americans and the wealth our economy produces:

AOC, Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez, Tax, Taxes, Marginal, Rates, Top Tax Rate, Top Marginal Tax Rate, Wealthiest, Wealthy, Taxing, Income Taxes, 1%

Even so, “tax cuts for the wealthiest = good” has essentially become a religious belief for the GOP and they push their agenda with all the fervor of a fundamentalist preacher at a tent revival. It won’t surprise you to learn their talking points are entirely fact-free. Just check out Republican want-wit Steve Scalise:

Here’s the thing, as AOC clearly explains in the interview no one would be taxed 70% on their entire income. Under her example, the 70% rate only kicks in on dollar $10,000,001. Every dollar before that one is taxed at a different and substantially lower rate. That’s how marginal tax rates for a progressive income tax work!

If you still can’t wrap your head around it, Twitter user Dianna Anderson has a helpful primer featuring Dwayne “The Tax Example” Johnson.

There you have it. Let’s hope that going forward the conversation centers around how high we should raise the top marginal rate and what we the people are going to get out of it. We can’t afford another four decades of dishonest tax policy and GOP gaslighting.