Margery Eagan in Common Dreams:
On “60 Minutes” Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez talked about a 70 percent tax rate for Americans earning more than $10 million a year. She said this would fund a Green New Deal: big money for renewable energy and technologies to avert climate catastrophe.
That’s soak-the-rich, prosperity-killing insanity, conservatives claimed.
But many economists, including Nobel Prize winners Paul Krugman and MIT’s Peter Diamond, agree with Ocasio-Cortez. Diamond argued years ago for a top rate of 73 percent. Krugman recently wrote that the “right’s denunciation of AOC’s ‘insane’ policy ideas serves as a very good reminder of who is actually insane.”
And of who’s pulling a fast one: the billionaire campaign donors arguing for debunked trickle-down economics. Why? To keep more of their billions.
But many forget that the top tax rate was more than 90 percent during the 1950s, and 70 percent for all income above $216,000, right up until Ronald Reagan became president, in 1981. He then declared government the enemy and slashed taxes for the rich. Thus ended the most successful period of middle-class economic growth in America’s history.