Over in Davos, plutocrats rub their hands together at Ocasio-Cortez's 70% tax proposal
Over in Davos, where the globalist elites are meeting, socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's proposal for a 70% tax rate on the super-rich isn't having quite the response one might have expected.
She must know them better than most people, because her punitive taxation plan seems to be almost embraced by at least some of the Swiss conference's utterly wealthy minions, who claim that their mission is to improve the world. Here is what Bloomberg reported:
Three weeks after the Congresswoman for New York called for an income tax rate of as much as 70 percent on the wealthiest Americans, billionaire investor Ray Dalio suggested that the idea may have legs in the run up to the U.S. presidential election. Discussing the outlook for a slowing world economy, Dalio said that next year will see "the beginning of thinking about politics and how that might affect economic policy beyond. Something like the talk of the 70 percent income tax, for example, will play a bigger role." He didn't mention Ocasio-Cortez by name. "There's an element, yeah, where people are going to have to start paying their fair share," Ocasio-Cortez told Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes on Jan 6. "Once you get to the tippy tops, on your 10 millionth dollar, sometimes you see tax, for example, will play a bigger role."
The report is vague, but based on what's known, Dalio, at a minimum, seems to be extending and promoting its reach as something normal to his fellow billionaire set. What he should be doing instead is dismissing it as the ramblings of a 29-year-old nut and back-bench junior congresswoman who understands economics about as well as Nicolás Maduro.
Yet believe it or not, support for such bad ideas even against their own apparent interests is not all that uncommon. Warren Buffett calling for tax hikes on the rich because of his secretary's tax rate is one example. I would not be surprised in the least if some of these people taking in the snow at Davos came out in support of it. Tom Steyer? George Soros? The Sandlers? Don't be surprised if you see some of them standing up for the idea.
What we are seeing is not just a little bit of virtue-signaling, not just a little bit of wealth guilt, but primarily, a billionaire's principal priority of kicking out the rungs of the ladder upward for all of those mere mega-millionaire upstarts who are trying to challenge their business and investment empires. A big tax rate would do that, de-funding the slightly less wealthy in a way that would ensure that they themselves stay on top and their monopolies are preserved. Because while a big tax rate suggests support for the little guy, in reality, it supports a big protective state under which the very richest benefit as protected clients. Crony capitalism is great if you're the crony.
Second, billionaires have a lot of wealth, and even a big bite out of it from a tiny group won't matter because they already know how to hide it. Large taxes have always promoted capital flight, and billionaires are expert at that in ways mere millionaires and thousand-aires aren't.
They also have armies of tax lawyers and know what the best loopholes for avoiding taxes are – just ask Facebook, Amazon, and Google, who've come under fire in Europe for paying almost nothing in taxes, based on their mastery of the spaghetti bowl of tax codes in that conglomerate of states. Would a guy with ten million be as good? Probably not, so he'll pay the taxes – at the expense of the jobs for the little guys that otherwise would have been created. The unemployed, of course, could turn to the tender mercies of the state that they had just bankrolled.
From their point of view, that's a good thing. Bring on the high taxes, even for the super-rich. Because nothing supports a status quo quite like socialism. Ocasio-Cortez probably knows this, but that's not her "narrative."