Soaking the Rich

Nobody gets the right wing nutosphere frothing at the mouth like new Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They seem to be as terrified of her dancing as they are of her speech. What really scares them, though, is one of her policy proposals: raising the tax rate on the very rich to 60% or 70%. Communism, Socialism, economy destroying etc. they proclaim.

Paul Krugman, who previously occupied a similar position in nutospheric pandemonia, has a new column endorsing AOCs tax proposals. As usual, he brings some economic logic and data to the fight. The core of his point is that the US did, in fact, have similar tax rates for the rich for three and one half decades after WWII, and that period coincided with unprecedented economic growth and increases in prosperity for the middle class.

So AOC, far from showing her craziness, is fully in line with serious economic research. (I hear that she’s been talking to some very good economists.) Her critics, on the other hand, do indeed have crazy policy ideas — and tax policy is at the heart of the crazy.

You see, Republicans almost universally advocate low taxes on the wealthy, based on the claim that tax cuts at the top will have huge beneficial effects on the economy. This claim rests on research by … well, nobody. There isn’t any body of serious work supporting G.O.P. tax ideas, because the evidence is overwhelmingly against those ideas.

Krugman has data, in graphical form.


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