Asked earlier in January by “60 Minutes,” how she might pay for a Green New Deal, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez noted that top marginal tax rates in the mid-20th century were “as high as 60 percent or 70 percent.” A slew of articles have since debated whether higher tax rates would actually raise much revenue. But these articles miss the point. Taxes on the very wealthy are corrective taxes, like tobacco taxes, that should be judged by their societal impact, not simply their revenues.
This should work well.
The democratic argument was once central to the case for progressive taxation. In 1910, Theodore Roosevelt called for progressive income and estate taxes because, “unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power.” The goal of progressive taxation, for Roosevelt, was “to change the conditions which enable these men to accumulate power which it is not for the general welfare that they should hold or exercise.”
The income tax was fully legalized in 1913. The highest marginal income tax at that time? Approximately 7% for incomes over $500,000. That would be like having a 7% rate for incomes over $13 million today. The modern progressives want a rate that's ten times worse. All for what? To punish the rich to make the poor feel better.