While Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-New York) proposed 70 percent top marginal tax rate may seem out of the norm, a majority of Americans still support it.
That’s according to a new poll recently conducted by The Hill and HarrisX between January 12 and January 13, after Ocasio-Cortez proposed the new marginal tax rate in her interview with Anderson Cooper on CBS’ 60 Minutes. The Hill/HarrisX found that 59 percent of all Americans surveyed supported lifting the new top marginal tax rate to 70 percent, for incomes above $10 million.
The proposal got the support of women by a margin of 62-38 percent. Men backed the policy by a 55-45 margin. Even when accounting for the three percent margin of error, there’s still clear majority support for Ocasio-Cortez’s new marginal tax rate.
Ocasio-Cortez’s tax policy idea had the most support from Democrats, with 71 percent in favor of it. 60 percent of independents polled also said they supported the idea. The new proposed top marginal tax rate even had the support of 45 percent of Republicans, according to the poll.
And when looking at Ocasio-Cortez’s new proposed top marginal tax rate in the context of history, it isn’t even that radical. President Dwight Eisenhower, who was a Republican, had a 91 percent top marginal tax rate. The last time the top marginal tax rate was at 70 percent was also under a Republican administration, when Richard Nixon was in office and created the Environmental Protection Agency.
To be clear, marginal tax rates mean only income above a certain amount is subjected to that tax rate. Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal, in which only incomes above $10 million to the new rate, the richest 11,000 taxpayers would be the only ones to actually pay that rate.
Sweden is just one example of a developed country with a 70 percent top tax rate that provides excellent social services to its citizens and legal residents. Thanks in part to Sweden’s top tax rate, Swedes enjoy the world’s sixth-best healthcare system, and both parents get more than a year of paid family leave whenever they have a new baby.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.