Billionaires attending the exclusive World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland aren’t a fan of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s new proposed top marginal tax rate.
According to CNBC, one of the billionaires attending the conference was worried that Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-New York) plan to nearly double the current top marginal rate would “gain more momentum” among the general public as the 2020 election draws closer.
“I think the likelihood that a 70 percent tax rate, or something like that, becomes policy is actually very real,” said Scott Minerd, the global chief investment officer for a $265 billion investment management firm.
Some of the billionaires attending Davos are donors and bundlers for the Democratic Party, meaning that her proposal will likely be a point of contention among 2020 Democratic candidates. Glenn Hutchins, whom CNBC described as the founder of a private equity firm who donated $50,000 to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, complained that Ocasio-Cortez’s proposed top marginal tax rate was “a very high tax rate.”
“The important thing is to try to figure out a tax system that is both fair and efficient,” Hutchins told the outlet. “You got to get something like that through the House, then you have to get it through the Senate, and then you have to get the president of the United States to sign it.”
However difficult the proposal may be to pass through Congress, the proposed top marginal rate is popular with a majority of the American public. A poll by The Hill and HarrisX last week found that 59 percent of Americans supported the new top marginal rate — which would tax all income above $10 million at 70 percent — including 71 percent of Democrats and even 45 percent of Republicans.
Only a small handful of millionaires and billionaires would actually be subjected to the tax, with just over 11,000 tax filers in the U.S. meeting the threshold for the new marginal rate. And when looking back at recent history, the new proposed rate isn’t even that radical in comparison to tax rates under Republican administrations like Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. Eisenhower taxed the richest at 90 percent and Nixon’s top marginal tax rate was 70 percent.
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.