Thank you, Elizabeth Warren. Thank you, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Thank you, Bernie Sanders. Thank you every Democrat who has made income inequality an issue and shifted the national discourse back to an embrace of real traditional American values.
A recent New York Times poll revealed that many Americans want the government to tackle income inequality. That’s not all that surprising, really, but this part is just stunning:
But it isn’t just Democrats who are concerned by inequality. A majority of independents, and substantial minorities of Republicans, want the government to tackle the issue. And a slim majority of Republicans support a wealth tax like the one Ms. Warren has proposed.
Of course, in the very next breath, the NYT story lets us know just how much we still need to work on our messaging:
Virginia Connolly is a conservative Republican who supports President Trump and wants to build a wall on the Mexican border. But she says she wants to tax wealthy Americans to pay for programs for veterans, children and the homeless.
“I think that raising taxes on the rich should have happened a long time ago,” she said. “The rich, what are they going to do with all that money?”
Virginia, there may not be a Santa Claus, but there are government programs that you probably rely on and which Democrats created. Similarly, only Democrats will increase taxes on the wealthy to deliver a more just and equitable economy. Donald Trump? Do you really think he’s going to tax himself? If you believe that, I have a southern border wall to sell you.
Meanwhile, support for a wealth tax among the general population is even stronger:
The Times poll found strong support for a wealth tax akin to Ms. Warren’s plan. Sixty-one percent of Americans said they approved of imposing a 2 percent tax on the wealth of households with a net worth of more than $50 million. (Under Ms. Warren’s plan, the rate would rise to 3 percent on wealth over $1 billion, but the Times survey didn’t ask about that provision.) An earlier Morning Consult poll found similar results.
Sixty-two percent of respondents support policies to decrease the wealth gap, including 87 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of independents, and 38 percent of Republicans. And 51 percent of respondents support a 70 percent marginal rate on incomes of $10 million or more, including 75 percent of Democrats, 51 percent of independents, and 31 percent of Republicans.
And as soon as people really start to get what a higher marginal tax rate entails, I suspect that number will begin to climb.
The histrionics of Donald Trump, Howard Schultz, et al., show that the billionaire class is scared. They should be. The times they are a-changin’.
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