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Last week, the annual Met Gala was held in New York City. Among all the eye-catching looks of the night, the dress worn by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with the words “Tax the Rich” written across the back, may have stirred up the most conversation — and controversy.
Many social media users pointed out AOC’s apparent hypocrisy. To wear a dress slamming “the rich” — I put it in scare quotes because it is such a vague term — while attending an event where a single ticket costs over $30,000, is an inconsistency to say the least.
AOC’s messaging about taxing the rich comes with the implication that somebody else — whether it be the government or another citizen — is entitled to the money that a successful person earned.
But while much focus has been placed on the juxtaposition between AOC’s dress and the event she was wearing it at, noticeably less attention has been paid to addressing the substantive claim she is making: namely, that the rich do not pay their “fair share” of taxes. Do The Rich Pay Their “Fair Share” of Taxes?
The short answer is, yes, they do — by any objective measure, at least.
Using IRS statistics, the Heritage Foundation put together this helpful graphic which pretty easily debunks the myth that the top earners essentially don’t pay taxes while the average American foots the bill. People such as Bernie Sanders, AOC, Elizabeth Warren, and others have basically built their entire brands off of this misleading idea. While those in the top 1% of earners accounted for 21% of total income in 2018, they paid 40% of all taxes. And while those in the top 5% of earners accounted for 37% of total income, that group paid 60% of all taxes.
On the other hand, while those in the bottom 50% of earners accounted for 12% of total income, they only paid 3% of all taxes. This is not to say that we should increase taxes on those with low incomes — we shouldn’t, as they deserve to keep their hard-earned money — but rather it is […]
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