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AOC’s ‘tax the rich’ dress: Who qualifies as wealthy? And how much are they getting taxed?

tax the rich

New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s political fashion statement at Monday’s Met Gala caused quite the stir online. 

Ocasio-Cortez attended one of fashion’s biggest night wearing a Brother Vellies’ white dress with “Tax the Rich” written in red on the backside.

Reactions to the House Democrat’s attire were split between those who called it hypocritical and others who supported the political message. The Met Gala is an exclusive event that features $35,000 tickets.

The congresswoman defended her attire in an Instagram post Monday writing, “The medium is the message.”

“The time is now for childcare, healthcare, and climate action for all. Tax the Rich,”  she also wrote, alongside the photo of her gown. 

But what exactly does Ocasio-Cortez mean when she champions “tax the rich” and who exactly qualifies for this taxation? 

On Monday, House Democrats unveiled new proposals aimed at increasing taxes for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. 

The tax increases are meant to fund the party’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package. The reconciliation package focuses primarily on social welfare proposals like healthcare, child care and education. 

The proposals, which would raise $$2.9 trillion in revenue, increase the tax rate from 21% to 26.5% for corporations that have more than $5 million in annual revenue, while lowering it to 18% for companies that make less than $400,000 in revenue.

The tax rates are not unprecedented. 

In 2017 the tax rate for some businesses was 39% and President Joe Biden has called for a 28% tax rate for corporations. 

For high-income earners, the capital gains rate increases to 25% from 20%. Individuals would experience the rate at $400,000; households at $425,000; and married couples at $450,000.

That’s not all Democrats are proposing on the wealthy. 

It’s expected that in committee on Tuesday and Wednesday Democrats will champion increasing the top marginal tax rate on individuals making $435,000 or more from 37% to 39.6%.

Individuals making more than $5 million a year would face a 3% surtax. 

Most U.S. households will not see a tax increase; The estimated national median family income for fiscal year 2021 is $79,900, far below the $400,000 threshold, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

The tax increase would impact less than 1% of households in the U.S., according to filing data from the IRS.

House Democrats will need to persuade Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a swing vote in the upper chamber, to vote for the measures. The West Virginia senator has said he’s opposed to the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.

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