Ocasio-Cortez says 'tax the rich' as 2020 Democrats debate taxation

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezAttorney says 75-year-old man shoved by Buffalo police suffered brain injury How language is bringing down Donald Trump Highest-circulation Kentucky newspaper endorses Charles Booker in Senate race MORE (D-N.Y.) bluntly stated “Tax the rich” on Twitter Tuesday night as 2020 Democratic presidential candidates debated matters such as Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE’s proposed wealth tax. 

Ocasio-Cortez, a former organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) 2016 presidential campaign, made the statement as Warren faced scrutiny from a range of candidates, including Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-Minn.) and businessman Andrew YangAndrew YangGeorge Floyd protests show corporations must support racial and economic equality Andrew Yang discusses his universal basic income pilot program Andrew Yang on the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis MORE, about the potential impacts of her proposed wealth tax. 

Warren, who has seen her support gradually increase throughout the election cycle, has made a wealth tax a centerpiece of her campaign. The proposal calls for imposing a 2 percent tax on the wealth of people with more than $50 million in assets, while those with assets more than $1 billion would face a 3 percent tax.  

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“I think this is about our values as a country. Right now in America, the top one-tenth of one percent have so much wealth,” Warren said, later asking,”My question is not why do Bernie and I support a wealth tax, it’s why does everyone else on the stage think it is more important to protect billionaires than it is to invest in an entire generation of Americans?”

“No one is supporting billionaires,” former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE quickly responded. 

Klobuchar later took aim at the proposal, saying that “no one on this stage wants to protect billionaires.”

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“Not even the billionaire wants to protect billionaires. We just have different approaches,” she said. 

Yang also said that the wealth tax makes a lot of sense “in principle,” but noted that it had been tried and failed in countries such as Germany and Sweden. 

“If we can’t learn from the failed experiences of other countries, what can we learn from?” he asked. 

Addressing the issue, Sanders, who has been outspoken about inequality, reiterated his demand that the wealthiest in America start paying their fair share in taxes.

“If you are asking me, do I think we should demand that the wealthiest, top one-tenth of 1 percent start paying their fair share of taxes, so we can create a nation and a government that works for all of us — yes, that’s exactly what I believe,” Sanders said.

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