A Progressive Approach to Marginal Taxes in the News

CBS News by Megan Cerullo: Millionaire (and billionaire) taxes: An idea whose time has come? 

Backers of Warren's proposal say it would help curb inequality, which has been on the rise in the U.S. since the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan began hacking tax rates.

"The result has been a boom in top incomes of the richest Americans," Eileen Applebaum, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy and Research, a liberal-leaning think tank, said Wednesday at a panel in Washington hosted by the Congressional Progressive Caucus to discuss tax policy.

"We are not taking care of ourselves... and we are falling farther and farther behind what normal countries all over the place are achieving," Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs said at the Congressional Progressive Caucus event, pointing to Canada and to Scandanavian countries, where the top marginal tax rates exceed 45 percent.

Inequality.org by Sam Pizzigati: Seriously Taxing the Rich Will Take ‘Guts’ – and More

Egalitarians in the mid-20th century set high tax rates on the high-income set. Egalitarians in our century have some new ideas on how to make those stiff rates stick.

At today’s Congressional Progressive Caucus briefing, Economic Policy Institute president Thea Lee highlighted one promising approach: We could start linking income tax rates for America’s richest to the minimum wage for America’s poorest.

Schakowsky went on to pledge that she’ll be working with Ocasio-Cortez, her Congressional Progressive Caucus co-host for today’s tax briefing, to draft legislation that enshrines a new, considerably higher top rate in America’s tax code.

Our tax rates, Ocasio-Cortez observed in her remarks at today’s Congressional Progressive Caucus briefing, can be a mighty tool to help us “mitigate inequality.” Yes, tax rates can certainly play that essential role — but only, her briefing strongly suggested, if we stay bold.

CBS News by Aimee Picchi: How much income you need to be in the 1%

Public support for higher marginal tax rates is surprisingly strong across party lines, Ocasio-Cortez said on Wednesday.

"When I first brought up the notion of marginal tax rates as high as 70 percent for income earners above $10 million dollars, people thought it would be this very scandalous moment," she said at a panel to discuss tax policies hosted by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. "Just a few short weeks later we find out that 60 percent of Americans agree, including a majority of Republican voters."

In These Times by Rebecca Burns: Tax the Hell Out of the Rich, When They’re Alive and When They’re Dead

[A]t a Wednesday forum hosted by Ocasio-Cortez and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Economic Policy Institute President Thea Lee called hiking marginal rates for top earners the “obvious and optimal starting point.”

Moreover, while wealth inequality is even greater than income inequality, the latter contributes to the former over time.

The Center for Economic Progress’ Eileen Appelbaum summarized this relationship at Wednesday’s forum. The top earners can’t spend their incomes on themselves, so they use them to buy more assets and continue to get wealthier.

“Unless we do something along the lines of what AOC has suggested, this situation will continue,” said Appelbaum.

Beyond these slightly more technical considerations, AOC’s framing has made the stakes crystal clear: If we want to save the planet, we can’t afford not to tax the rich.