Although Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ proposed tax rate of 70% on the highest earners is aimed at income inequality and a “Green New Deal,” leave it to Fox News to make it about oppression of white people – and to get an African American to help them with the messaging.
Fox must be in something of a panic over the popularity of AOC’s proposal. From today’s Politico:
Surveys are showing overwhelming support for raising taxes on top earners, including a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released Monday that found 76 percent of registered voters believe the wealthiest Americans should pay more in taxes. A recent Fox News survey showed that 70 percent of Americans favor raising taxes on those earning over $10 million — including 54 percent of Republicans.
A plan from first-term Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to slap a 70 percent marginal rate on income earned over $10 million clocked in at 59 percent support in a recent Hill/HarrisX poll.
Well, that’s rather inconvenient for Fox News, especially given their obsession with Ocasio-Cortez. So they trotted out African American Charles Payne, a Fox Business Network host, to play the race card on her.
PAYNE: I think there's an element to this and it was sort of alluded there, just moments ago AOC put out a tweet to [Rep.] Dan Crenshaw saying, "The average NFL salary (sic) player is making $2.1 million and they would never experience the 70 percent tax rate, but it's the owners who refuse to hire Kaepernick they (sic) would."
There's also another element to this, and it doesn't get said in public, but there's a racial element to this. And where a lot of people are saying, yeah, even Howard Schultz has an amazing story, but could a black kid from the projects have followed in his footsteps and gotten the breaks that he got in this sort of country? So, they don't talk about it on the surface, but when you start to bring the social justice stuff in there, like this line, "The owners who refuse to hire Kaepernick would, though," and that's where the Democratic Party itself is starting to implode. We saw the events over the weekend. They're having some real, serious issues with politics based on race coupled with these ideas that somehow you can use taxes not as an economic tool, really, to be honest with you, what they're trying to use tax policy as a social justice tool to rewrite the wrongs of yesteryear. It's a punitive action, it's not a pro-economic action.
In fact, Ocasio-Cortez’ plan uses the money for a “Green New Deal,” which focuses on climate change. However, she does intend the GND to address racial and other inequalities. As Vox explains, we only have a general idea of what the GND would entail but the “broad thrust” is “a massive program of investments in clean-energy jobs and infrastructure, meant to transform not just the energy sector, but the entire economy. It is meant both to decarbonize the economy and to make it fairer and more just.”
It seems more than a little paranoid – and disingenuous – to start fear mongering that an unfleshed-out plan to address climate change and income inequality is “punitive” to white people. But hey, fear mongering and divisiveness is what Fox is all about.
Watch it below, from the February 4, 2019 America’s Newsroom, via Media Matters.