Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) wears a “Tax The Rich” dress at the Met Gala in New York, September 13, 2021. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters) Increasing numbers of Americans are accepting Marxist conceptions of American life, in which the successful are parasites and everyone else is a victim of their greed.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez donned an elegant gown with the slogan “tax the rich” painted on the back at the Met Gala in New York, where guests selected by Vogue’s Anna Wintour ponied up around $35,000 a pop for tickets. The scene was reminiscent of Tom Wolfe’s “Radical Chic” — though rather than being guests of the well-heeled in Park Avenue duplexes, today’s revolutionaries own luxury condos and drive around in government-subsidized electric cars that most Americans could never afford.
My first question, though, is: Who doesn’t want to “tax the rich”? Judging from my social-media feed, there seems to be a growing segment of people under the impression that the wealthy pay little or nothing in taxes. When you ask Americans if they support a wealth tax, a majority support the idea. One recent poll found that 80 percent of voters were annoyed that corporations and the wealthy don’t pay their “fair share.”
Polls rarely ask these people what a “fair share” looks like. Is a quarter of someone’s earnings enough? A third? Because the rich have been shouldering an increasingly larger share of the cost of government. The United States already has one of the most progressive tax systems in the free world. Those who make over $207,350 now pay 35 percent in income tax. Those who make $518,400 or more pay a 37 percent income-tax rate. At some point, taxation should be considered theft.
Despite perceptions, the highest-income strata of taxpayers are the only ones who pay a larger share of taxes than their share of income. In 2018, the top one percent of income earners made nearly 21 percent of all income but paid 40 percent of all federal income taxes. The top 10 percent earned 48 percent and paid 71 of all federal income
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