Fox News host Jesse Watters discussed on Saturday the increasingly popular proposal — pushed by some progressive Democrats — to increase taxes on the rich, Raw Story reports.
Watters played a video clip of New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explaining marginal tax rates, and criticized the Democrat for suggesting that the wealthy should pay more taxes.
“In her endless quest to take your hard-earned money out of your hands, liberal lightening-rod Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is sticking by her 70 percent tax plan on incomes over $10 million.”
“In my opinion, I think what she’s doing when saying, ‘Isn’t $10 million enough?’ — I think that’s unAmerican,” Watters said.
What Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is suggesting is neither “unAmerican,” nor liberal, nor new, according to Vox. In fact, during Republican President Dwight Eisenhower’s tenure, the top earners in the United States paid a 91 percent marginal tax rate.
During Ronald Reagan’s presidency, the top marginal tax rate was 50 percent, and it was 70 percent during Kennedy and Johnson’s tenures. Not even all high earners would pay Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 70 percent marginal rate, but only a select few — the wealthiest of the wealthy, Vox notes.
The publication adds that numerous scientific studies conducted over the years have shown that the New York representative’s proposal is, in fact, conservative, given that the top marginal tax rate of 70 percent appears to be the minimum U.S. government should strive for, according to economists.
But Ocasio-Cortez is not the only prominent Democrat to embrace this policy. Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont — both of whom are running for president — have their own tax-the-rich plan, according to Bloomberg, which shows that the Democratic Party has embraced more progressive fiscal policies.
According to The New York Times, polls have shown that the vast majority of Americans believe that corporations and the wealthy pay too little in taxes. The politicians are, the NYT notes, simply “catching up” to where voters have been for many decades.
For Fox News host Jesse Watters, higher taxes on the rich are, evidently, a controversial and “unAmerican” idea. Interestingly however, Watters acknowledged the unfavorable optics of the conservative network’s position, adding that the Democratic Party is clearly switching gears and embracing some progressive policies.
“Now, we sound like people sucking up to billionaires. That’s how the Democrats are going to run, they’re going to run on attacking billionaires,” the host said.
Watters then addressed the issue that the Republican Party appears to be facing, the issue of being perceived as the party of the wealthy, asking “How does the Republican Party combat that smear that Republicans are just the party of the rich?”