The New United States

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The New United States

Harper Kolehmainen, Contributer

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The election of the current presidential administration has sparked the radicalization of the opinions of all individuals, regardless of political affiliation. As a result, many elected officials blatantly speak against and contradict each other due to drastically conflicting opinions. One of these individuals gaining increasing notoriety is Alexandria Ocasio Cortez; a Democratic representative for the state of New York whose proposed socialist policies have become incredibly controversial and represent a new wave of rebellion in the United States against the current republican administration. Though her term has collected multiple notable instances of divergence from common opinion, a recent interview in which she spoke on her possible proposal of a 70% marginal tax rate on incomes above 10 million to support democratic proposed social programs, has been met with both incredible support and allegations of radicalism. This tax rate has not been officially proposed but, as it gains in popularity, there is a significant chance it will be. Many opposed to it argue that it is unfounded to tax any income bracket so highly. However, the United States, throughout the mid to late 1900s, had tax plans similar to this in place. In fact, some were even more extreme; such as the 91% marginal tax rate under president Eisenhower (Corbett). Therefore, there is a precedent for tax rates of this severity in the United States.

The area most open for debate in this topic is ethics, as many republicans have argued that it would be a violation of freedom and the morals of the United States to tax any income bracket so highly. In response, Cortez makes the argument that those who would be eligible for this tax rate make such an outrageous amount of money that the money taken in the form of increased taxes would not be as missed as republicans imply. Additionally, those in support argue that any harm done by raising this tax rate is more than restored by the massive impact that could be made with the resulting increased government funds. If the policy were to be instituted immediately, within ten years, 720 billion dollars would be gained by the U.S. (Corbett).

To put this in perspective, this would be almost enough money to provide tuition free college as suggested by Bernie sanders whose estimate of the cost comes in around 800 billion (Corbett). Simply instituting a higher tax rate for extremely high income brackets, which makeup less than one percent of U.S. households, could provide all U.S. citizens with free college (Yglesias). Another moral objection claimed by many republicans is that this tax rate is being suggested by democrats to fund democratic programs (Yglesias). A majority of those who will be affected by this higher tax rate are republican, but it is likely that their money will go on to fund democratic programs that they take a political opposition to.

Essentially, the debates boils down to incredibly conflicting political and economic viewpoints of government officials who must compromise to form a resolution for the american people. In current times, where many extremists are in office on both side of the political spectrum, disputes are intense and common place, hindering the government’s ability to pass regulations. Though this policy has not been official proposed, it is an indicator of the current tumultuous political climate and the uncertainty of the United States future in terms of values, the identity of the branches of the political spectrum, and the totality of the nations political identity. However, there is a significant chance that changes resulting from this uncertainty, such as alterations to tax rates, may be for the best.

 

Sources:

Corbett, Erin. “Billionaires Hate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 70% Tax Increase.” ​Fortune​,

Fortune, 7 Feb. 2019, fortune.com/2019/02/07/billionaires-hate-aoc-wealth-tax/. Yglesias, Matthew. “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Floating a 70 Percent Top Tax Rate – Here’s

the Research That Backs Her Up.” ​Vox.com​, Vox Media, 7 Jan. 2019, www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/1/4/18168431/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-70-perce nt.