Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Decries Income Inequality After Endorsing a Millionaire

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) endorses Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at a campaign rally in Queensbridge Park on October 19, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. This is Sanders' first rally since he paused his campaign for the nomination …
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Sunday decried income inequality and the “top one percent” just one day after endorsing a millionaire.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted a Business Insider report, which found that an individual needs to make “at least $500,000 a year” in order to make the “top one percent” in the United States. 

“A lot of people think that folks like your typical lawyer or doctor are in ‘the 1%.’ That may be bc it’s hard to conceive how bad runaway inequality has gotten,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

“Even this number – $500k – reflects top income, & even THAT doesn’t hold a candle to recognizing concentrated wealth,” she added:

The socialist lawmaker’s public complaint regarding the reality of “income inequality” comes just one day after she endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) – a millionaire – for president.

According to Forbes, Sanders has a $2.5 million fortune, which he acquired via “estate, investments, government pensions—and earnings from three books,” many of which lament the very system that made his wealth possible. While his senator’s salary is $174,000 per year, Forbes notes that the socialist lawmaker has made a “six-figure annual salary since he joined Congress in 1991”:

With 28 years in office and a current salary of $174,000, Sanders is entitled to around $73,000 a year from the federal government for the rest of his life. If he were to sell that guaranteed income stream for a lump-sum pile of cash, Forbes figures he could get around $650,000 for it.

In 2016, Sanders purchased a $575,000 lake house – dubbed a “summer home” – in the Champlain Islands, making the socialist the proud owner of not one, not two, but three homes.

Despite Sanders’ commitment to make the wealthy pay their “fair share” and eradicate the existence of billionaires, Sanders has been defensive of his own wealth accumulation.

“I wrote a best-selling book,” he quipped during an interview with the New York Times this year. “If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”

Supporters of Sanders – many of whom are part of the wealthy elite (such as Michael Moore, who has a net worth of roughly $50 million) – believe that the government should play a key role in “redistributing” wealth.

Proponents of capitalism, however, believe that individuals in the private sector can create a better society and argue that self-interest benefits everyone, not just the “one percent”– a sentiment outlined by Founding Father Adam Smith in the Wealth of Nations.

Tax returns show that Sanders and his wife donated just 3.4 percent of their $566,000 income – or $19,000 – to charity in 2018.

Despite that, Sanders has consistently slammed the wealthy for not paying their “fair share.”

The presidential hopeful unveiled a massive plan to redistribute wealth in the U.S. via an “extreme wealth tax” last month, which would impose a one percent tax on couples with a net worth over $32 million.

According to the plan:

The tax rate would increase to 2 percent on net worth from $50 to $250 million, 3 percent from $250 to $500 million, 4 percent from $500 million to $1 billion, 5 percent from $1 to $2.5 billion, 6 percent from $2.5 to $5 billion, 7 percent from $5 to $10 billion, and 8 percent on wealth over $10 billion.

Sanders reiterated in April that the wealthy – including himself – needs to pay their fair share but argued that he already pays the taxes that he owes.

“[Y]our taxes do show that you’re a millionaire. You did make a million in 2016 and 2017. You’re right, the 561 [thousand] in 2018, but your marginal tax rate was 26% because of President Trump’s tax cuts,” Bret Baier said during a Fox News town hall with Sanders in April.

“So, why not say, I’m leading this revolution, I’m not going to take those?” he asked.

“Come on. We’re nearing — I am — I pay the taxes that I owe, and by the way, why don’t you get Donald Trump up here and ask him how much he pays in taxes?” Sanders responded, failing to explain why he did not decline the tax cut and give more the IRS voluntarily.


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