President Donald Trump blasted far-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) while talking to reporters on Thursday, highlighting the collapse of socialist Venezuela as an example of how her policies do not work.
Trump made the comments while answering a question from a reporter on the current situation in Venezuela after Trump recognized Juan Guaido, 35, the president of the Venezuela National Assembly who is in opposition to socialist President Nicholas Maduro, as the interim president of Venezuela just minutes after Guaido announced himself as the head of state.
"We’re looking at Venezuela, it’s a very sad situation," Trump said. "That was the richest state in all of that area. That's a big, beautiful area and by far the richest. And now it's one of the poorest places in the world."
"That's what socialism gets you when they want to raise your taxes to 70%," Trump continued. "I've been watching our opponents, our future opponents talking about 70%. Number one, they can't do it for 70%. It's got to probably be twice that number."
"But, maybe more importantly, what happens is you really have to study and take a look at what has happened to Venezuela," Trump concluded. "Is a very sad situation. We have our eye very closely on Venezuela."
Trump was referring to Ocasio-Cortez's proposed 70 percent marginal tax rate, which would have devastating consequences on the U.S. economy. The Washington Examiner reported:
Many conservatives have expressed concern that this tax plan would be as bad as Venezuela’s, China’s, or those of the Nordic socialist states. The taxes she proposed are not as high as those in other nations. They’re even higher.
Sweden taxes its wealthiest citizens at a 61.75 percent marginal rate. Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands all have top marginal tax rates between 50-60 percent. Ocasio-Cortez proposed a top marginal tax bracket that is far higher than those of the socialist countries that her supporters admire.
The highest earners in China must pay a 45 percent marginal income tax rate. Venezuela’s top marginal tax rate is only 34 percent, but rampant government-boosted inflation and high taxes on goods and services have all but destroyed its economy.
Taxing the wealthy because they "need to pay their fair share" does not work and ignores the fact that the richest Americans pay more than their "fair share" already. The Tax Foundation reports:
- The top 1 percent paid a greater share of individual income taxes (39.0 percent) than the bottom 90 percent combined (29.4 percent).
- The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid a 27.1 percent individual income tax rate, which is more than seven times higher than taxpayers in the bottom 50 percent (3.6 percent).
A few years ago, France hiked taxes on the wealthy in their country and saw a mass exodus of millionaires as a result, with "10,000 millionaires le[aving] France for other countries in 2015," and "12,000 millionaires" leaving the country in 2016, which the Daily Mail noted was "the highest outflux in the world."