Newly minted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says tax rates for the nation’s wealthiest should increase to as much 70 percent to fund a new initiative to combat climate change — even if that means she’s labeled a “radical.”
“If that’s what radical means, call me a radical,” she said in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that will air in full on Sunday.
The New York Democrat said the tax hike would help fund the Green New Deal, which aims at eliminating carbon emissions in the US within 12 years.
“That is the goal. It’s ambitious,” she said. “It’s going to require a lot of rapid change that we don’t even conceive as possible right now. What is the problem with trying to push our technological capacities to the furthest extent possible?”
The 29-year-old said the plan could include “an element where people are going to have to start paying their fair share in taxes.”
“You know, 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 zero to $75,000 may be 10 percent or 15 percent, etc.,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“But once you get to the tippy-tops on your 10 millionth dollar, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60 or 70 percent,” she continued. “That doesn’t mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate. It means that as you climb up this ladder, you should be contributing more.”
The current top tax rate is 37 percent.
When “60 Minutes” host Anderson Cooper described her ideas as a “radical agenda,” she responded, “I think that it only has ever been radicals that have changed this country.”