Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic congresswoman from New York, wears a dress saying ‘Tax the Rich’ at the Met Gala in New York City, September 13, 2021. (Mario Anzuoni / Reuters) On ‘tax the rich’; populism left and right; the pandemic’s toll; an iron stomach; and more
The congresswoman is called “AOC” so much, I have a hard time recalling her actual name, frankly: It’s “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.” (Named after the city in Egypt? In Virginia?) To a gala in New York, she wore a dress with some writing on it: “Tax the Rich.”
She looked great in that dress, by the way. I know I’m not supposed to say that. The Left won’t like it; the Right won’t like it. I don’t really care.
Which reminds me: Remember the jacket that Melania Trump wore when she traveled to Texas in the summer of 2018? She was going to visit children separated from their families at the border with Mexico. Her jacket said, “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?”
I think AOC’s dress and Melania’s jacket must be the two most famous inscribed garments in recent American politics. (Is that “on the order of celebrating the tallest building in Wichita, Kansas,” as Bill Buckley once said in another context?)
Anyway, “tax the rich.” I’ve been hearing these words, or this slogan, all my life. People are under the impression that the rich don’t pay taxes. Take the top 1 percent, only. The top 1 percent of earners in America. They pay 40 percent of all federal taxes. The bottom 90 percent pay 28.6.
Come on: If you want more revenue for the government — and we can debate that — you’re going to have to look to the multitudes: to the Great Middle. But no one wants to say that.
Politicians and pundits alike would rather engage in populist baloney than tell people the truth. Richie Rich will not fund your dreams. Daddy Warbucks will not save your day. You could tax the rich out of existence — bleed them dry, take every penny — and you would
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