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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren's 'Soak the Rich' Tax Plans Are Supported by an Increasing Number of Americans
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=46245"><span class="small">Bob Bryan, Business Insider</span></a>   
Sunday, 10 February 2019 09:34

Bryan writes: "A growing number of progressive politicians are introducing proposals to increase taxes on the richest people in the US, and new polling shows that many people are getting on board with the ideas."

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the New York City Women's March. (photo: John Lamparski 2018/Getty Images)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the New York City Women's March. (photo: John Lamparski 2018/Getty Images)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren's 'Soak the Rich' Tax Plans Are Supported by an Increasing Number of Americans

By Bob Bryan, Business Insider

10 February 19


growing number of progressive politicians are introducing proposals to increase taxes on the richest people in the US, and new polling shows that many people are getting on board with the ideas.

Rising star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and independent firebrand Sen. Bernie Sanders have all put forth proposals to increase taxes on the wealthy in some way. Each of the lawmakers say that the taxes could help to fight inequality and fund new programs.

Opponents have dismissed the lawmakers' ideas, claiming higher taxes on the wealthy would be disastrous for the economy. Critics have also argued that the plans are simply trying to "soak the rich." Two wealthy potential presidential candidates — former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Michael Bloomberg — have similarly ridiculed the proposals.

While the economics of increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans are still being debated, the popularity of these ideas are starting to grow.

Based on a series of INSIDER polls and other data, a sizeable portion of the American public seems to be on the side of Sanders, Warren, and Ocasio-Cortez.

The latest polling results are in regards to Sanders' new idea to increase the estate tax, the tax paid by heirs on assets passed down by the deceased. Sanders' idea would lower the threshold to qualify for the tax to $3.5 million in assets, down form the current $11 million.

The plan would also introduce a graduating scale of tax rates for the estates of wealthier Americans, eventually reaching a 77% marginal rate for assets over $1 billion.

When presented with the details of the proposal, 37% of respondents supported Sanders' policy while 26% opposed. according to INSIDER's survey. 22% neither approved nor disapproved, while 15% responded "I don't know."

Not surprisingly, the idea was much more popular among self-identified liberals.

Among politically middle-of-the road respondents — those who identified as neither liberal nor conservative, slightly liberal, or slightly conservative — Sanders' plan drew 32% support and 24% disapproval. 29% of these respondents neither approved nor disapproved.

The results on Sanders' proposal follow on the heels of two INSIDER polls showing that Warren's and Ocasio-Cortez's plans have a sizeable amount of support as well.

Warren's idea to place a 2% tax on assets above $50 million drew the support of 54% of people in a recent INSIDER poll, with just 19% of people surveyed disapproving of the idea.

Ocasio-Cortez's suggestion to raise the top marginal tax rate on people earning incomes over $10 million was more polarizing in another INSIDER poll. 38.7% of people surveyed supported Ocasio-Cortez's plan, while 34.4% opposed it.

While the popularity gap was narrower than for Warren's plan, the idea is more popular than the recently-passed GOP tax law and other polls have showed a solid base of support for the ideas:

  • A Hill-HarrisX survey found that 59% of people supported Ocasio-Cortez's idea with just 41% were opposed.
  • A Morning Consult poll, released Monday, showed that 61% of people supported Warren's idea while just 20% opposed it. Ocasio-Cortez's broader approach garnered the support of 45% of people surveyed, and 32% of people opposed.
  • A Fox News poll released at the end of January showed that 70% of people supported raising taxes on people making more than $10 million a year, while just 24% were opposed. The poll did not specify the rate that the wealthy would pay under this scenario. The poll also found that 65% of people supported raising taxes on people making more than $1 million a year.

The poll that asked about the Ocasio-Cortez proposa l ran Jan. 15-16 and had 1,095 respondents with a margin of error plus or minus 3.11 percentage points. The poll that asked about the Warren proposal ran Jan. 22-23 and had 1,233 respondents with a margin of error plus or minus 2.95 percentage points. The poll that asked about the Sanders proposal ran Feb. 1-2 and had 1,093 respondents with a margin of error plus or minus 3.09 percentage points.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn't try to weight its sample based on race or income

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+13 # DongiC 2019-02-10 10:14
The super-rich have been doing fabulously well these past 55 - 60 years. They have purchased enough Congressman to reduce tax rates on their bloated fortunes by significant amounts. It is time to take their thumbs off the scales of tax reduction and return to an older and much fairer rate. Naturally, these fat cats will rant and rave about the rank injustice of it all. After all, they have invested quite a bit of money in politicians like Trump. But, it is time for these plutocrats to dance to a different piper - the general electorate. Time for them to pay their fair share of living in America and enjoying their vast wealth.
-22 # Cowboy 45 2019-02-10 10:23
Not surprising, people love free stuff. Problem is you will eventually run out of other peoples money. Socialism is evil. Liberals need to open a history book.
+1 # jifster 2019-02-10 15:58
Cowboy, meet chrisconno.
+2 # economagic 2019-02-10 22:07
Yeah, and for some reason the people most addicted to free stuff are always the ones who already own the most stuff. And YOU need to open an honest political history book. Neither the Soviet system nor that of the "National Socialists" bore any resemblance to any of the 1,001 varieties of socialism. The term "democratic socialist" is widely recognized today as a redundant expression, and anyone who uses the term "socialist" today in any other sense is stuck in the early 19th century along with the capitalists (Latin for "money worshipers").
+2 # librarian1984 2019-02-10 22:17
Socialism and capitalism must coexist, the former a check on the latter. Look at what capitalism has brought us to: historic inequality, wage stagnation and 1 out of 5 US kids not eating regularly.

Every country finds a balance between the two approaches, including the US. Socialism exists in our fire and police departments, the NFL and Social Security, which is immensely popular, even though Republicans fought it tooth and nail and said it would destroy the country.

If anything is evil, it's capitalism.

You've been brainwashed to vote against your own interests. That's true of many of us.
-1 # Cowboy 45 2019-02-11 01:22
Look at what socialism has brought to Venezuela.

I think the country has a balance now. But guaranteed jobs, guaranteed income, 100% renewable energy(central planning)?

20 years ago our socialist programs composed 43$ of the budget. Today they are 70% of the budget.
+2 # 2019-02-10 22:53
Your correct... Police, Fire, Medicare, Social Security ALL EVIL !!!! Returning the tax code to Pre Reagan levels would certainly plunge our country into a socialistic nightmare and lead to the uber wealthy each selling off at least one jet and one vacation home. How could they possibly survive with everything over $10,000,000 a year taxed at 70%. It's unthinkable the amount of pain it would inflict on them.
+8 # indian weaving 2019-02-10 10:27
Hence, vilification by all MSM. The twisted articles about her / them on ZeroHedge are disgusting. Then again, that online news source is the home of dedicated wealthy capitalists who resent anything done for others, especially those less wealthy than them. But, these articles are now everywhere, with Wall Street obviously now running scared.
+12 # chrisconno 2019-02-10 10:55
"Soak the rich". isn't that just quaint. The rich who benefit immensely from all the taxes we lesser folks pay. They drive our roads, use our hospitals, fly out of our airports, flush their toilets to our sewage treatment plants, drink public water, go to our universities, and profit off wars they want using our kids...this list is long, all while not paying taxes and getting government subsidies and grants. Ah, the whinny rich feel like their going to be soaked. Let them whine. Or should I say let them eat their cake.
-2 # Cowboy 45 2019-02-10 20:46
The top 20% pay 87% of all federal taxes collected. I have never heard of individuals receiving government subsidies and grants.
0 # economagic 2019-02-11 13:53
That is because the top 20% 98% of the wealth.

The 26 richest individuals in the world, most of them in the US, together have as much wealth as the poorest 3.8 billion people, half of the global population. That number is DOWN from the 43 richest just a year ago, meaning that wealth at the very top of the scale continues to grow faster than it does farther down the ladder. That is the very definition of a feudal society ruled by monarchs. It is the opposite of democracy.

"Political economy" is a redundant expression: Politics and the economy are closely intertwined and cannot be separated. The painfully obvious lack of government of, by, and for the people is reflected not only in the absurd notion that money is speech but in the fact that the few have most of the money. If this country is ever to achieve anything like political democracy we will have to tax both wealth and income progressively, meaning that those with the most pay the highest rates in such a way that the wealth gap is narrowed instead of continuing to expand as it has for at least the past 50 years.
-1 # Cowboy 45 2019-02-11 17:27
That doesn't change the fact that everything chrisconno said was incorrect rhetoric, which was the reason for my comment.
-1 # economagic 2019-02-12 18:43
Please explain how ANY TWO of his claims are without merit, and cite your sources. If you are complaining about spelling, syntax, or even proper formal rhetoric, this is not the place, but please explain why you think so anyway.
-2 # BKnowswhitt 2019-02-11 03:33
If you dont make big money you don't pay a lot. Also worth nothing as some disagree with the word Socialism here. Bernie Sanders has publicly declared him self as a SOCIALIST .. get it right folks. Without the system we have the richest country in the world we would be shit. So beware who you blame .. Bolsheviks killed the royal family and that began the corrupt history of Communism as it has been applied by man mostly in the past 100 years. Hitler used a busted economy to rally white supremisy against the Jews because they were the monetists. Our system will not allow anarchy to form as those did. Be grateful first of all. You want what the rich have. Try working hard for it like they do .. and stop the whining ..
0 # economagic 2019-02-11 21:46
"You want what the rich have. Try working hard for it like they do .. and stop the whining .."

Who the heck do you think you're talking to? I do NOT want what the rich have; far from it. I do work hard, enjoy what I have through blind luck and grace, and whine only about the incompetence, misanthropy, predation, and STILL whining of the One Percent. I recognize that I am not typical, but neither is the straw man you posit.

Your folk history is exactly what we used to blame the Russkies for: half truths. Again, read something--almo st anything--other than what you've been reading. There are more definitions of socialism than there are people who identify themselves as "socialist," and virtually no person who so identifies today considers either Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany to have been anything but the opposite of socialist. Indeed, the Soviet system is generally called "State Capitalism" today. Forget what you thought you learned in fourth grade and educate yourself.
+4 # elizabethblock 2019-02-10 11:56
Don't you love that comment by Howard Schultz that billionaires like him should be described as "people of means"?

I'm reminded of Garrison Keillor's wonderful "Guilt and Shame," on his "Songs of the Cat." It describes "A gentleman of means" who brushes off his dying father, his indigent mother, his sick child - and then the cat just looks at him, and he crumbles. It ends,
He did not see the cat's expression.
She smiled to hear his sad confession.
She knew, by using this technique,
She would get tuna all next week.
+1 # futhark 2019-02-10 23:02
Franklin D. Roosevelt, the man who probably did more to save capitalism during the Great Depression than anyone else said “Taxes, after all, are dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society.”

Without the tax revenues that support the many services provided by government in maintaining order, in providing infrastructure for the construction and maintenance of roads and utilities, in providing educational opportunities in public schools, in helping those in need following fires, earthquakes, floods, and storms, we could find ourselves descending into a civil chaos that would threaten the security of those who presently most enjoy it. No group in society should appreciate the value they obtain from paying their fair share of the costs of government more than the super-rich, as they would possibly be the ones with the most to lose without its protections.
0 # economagic 2019-02-11 21:12
It's not even about "soaking" the rich, but about forcing them to pay their fair share. There is a knuckle dragger in another current RSN forum insisting that because the top 10% (or maybe 20%) pay 87% of all federal taxes we should feel sorry for them and cut them a better deal. But wealth is power, and power corrupts, and the rich use their power to do an incredible amount of dirt that we have to eat, breathe, and clean up. Worse, a great part of the dirt they do is persuading us through the most powerful mind control technology yet developed to demand that they make even more crap and do even more dirt. Forty years ago, in "Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television," neo-Luddite and former ad man Jerry Mander (his real name) pointed out that Big Brother didn't need to watch us through the view screen on the wall, because we're watching HIM.

So I say tax them until whatever good they may do for humankind, minus whatever dirt they do, is on a par with what the average working stiff does. And if for some of them that is a negative number, clap them in irons and make them work off their debt to society.