News & Politics

AOC Extends an 'Olive Branch' to GOP: 'Let's Go Retro' on Taxing the Rich

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., campaigns for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on the campus of Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

WASHINGTON — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said she is extending an “olive branch” to Republican lawmakers on tax rates for the rich in America.

Ocasio-Cortez is currently working on a bill with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) that would increase the top income tax rate to 59 percent.

“We’re talking about taxes of, whether 59 [percent], whether it’s 70 [percent], taxes on your 10 millionth and one dollar of the year, of a given year, not even just in life but in a given year,” Ocasio-Cortez said during a recent interview. “These are Republican policies, so this is my olive branch out to the Republican Party to say, ‘you know what? Let’s go retro. Let’s bring back some Eisenhower-level wealth policies.'”

Ocasio-Cortez continued, “In fact, we’re compromising with Eisenhower and we’re compromising with Nixon-era policies because they’re not even as high as they were then, so people need to decide who they’re working for. Are we here to work for everyday people or are we here to work for and continue to make more accommodations for the very, very, very rich in our society?”

Ocasio-Cortez was asked for her response to GOP lawmakers who argue that a higher tax rate would discourage investment.

“We know that’s not true,” she replied, citing business tax revenue. “FedEx paid zero dollars in [federal] taxes. They promised when they were lobbying this tax bill that all of this is going to be invested in jobs and training and better trucks and reinvestment in the business and the people and what we’ve seen is that it was a lie. They’re just blatant lies going on in order for people to line their pockets with more than they’ve already had so at some point we’ve got to call people out.”

FedEx argued that the report on the company paying zero federal income taxes in 2018 was not accurate.

“Following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), FedEx invested billions in capital items eligible for accelerated depreciation and made large contributions to our employee pension plans,” the company said in a statement. “These factors have temporarily lowered our federal income tax, which was the law’s intention to help grow GDP and generate investment in the U.S.”