Ocasio-Cortez suggests individual tax rates as high as 70%

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is drawing attention Friday for suggesting that the wealthiest Americans ought to pay a tax rate of as high as 70% in order to fund a “Green New Deal.”

The new Democratic congresswoman from New York noted there is historical precedent for a high tax rate for the super wealthy, as she said the following:

“You look at our tax rates back in the 60s, and when you have a progressive tax rate system, your tax rate, let’s say, from $0 to $75,000 may be 10% or 15%, etc. But once you get to the tippy tops, on your 10-millionth dollar, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60% or 70%.” — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat

Her remarks came in an interview with Anderson Cooper for the CBS show “60 Minutes.” Excerpts for her appearance have been released, ahead of a full broadcast on Sunday.

“That doesn’t mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate, but it means that as you climb up this ladder, you should be contributing more,” said the lawmaker, who also got attention this week thanks to a dance video from her college years that went viral.

After Cooper said Ocasio-Cortez’s agenda is “radical” compared to how politics is done now, the congresswoman embraced that word.

“It only has ever been radicals that have changed this country,” she said. “Abraham Lincoln made the radical decision to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the radical decision to embark on establishing programs like Social Security.”

“If that’s what radical means, call me a radical,” Ocasio-Cortez added.

Read more: Ocasio-Cortez slams budget rule pushed by Democratic leaders

The term “Green New Deal” refers to a stimulus program backed by many progressives that intends to address both climate change and economic inequality.

House Democrats on Thursday created a new select committee on climate change, but it has been denounced by environmental activists who want a bolder approach.


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez leaves a photo opp with the female Democratic members of the 116th Congress on Friday.

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