Newly sworn-in 29-year-old United States (U.S.) Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is a self-described democratic socialist, who was encouraged to run for office by Bernie Sanders supporters who call themselves "justice Democrats”.
In an interview with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes Sunday night, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said her goal is for the U.S. to achieve 100% green energy within twelve years, where everyone would be driving electric vehicles, because people will be required to pay “their fair share” in taxes. Mr. Cooper replied that she was proposing a “radical agenda” and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said she believes change in America has only ever come from radicals. She said her policies most closely reflect those in the UK, Norway, Finland, and Sweden, not Venezuela. When Mr. Cooper asked Rep. Ocasio-Cortez “how are you going to pay for this?” she did not provide a straight answer and asked, "What makes it unrealistic?" Mr. Cooper responded, "How to pay for it."
When Mr. Cooper said Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s "math is fuzzy" and brought forward examples of her factual errors in proposed policy costs, she responded by saying, "Oh my goodness. If people really want to blow up one figure here or one word there, I would argue that they're missing the forest for the trees. I think that there's a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right."
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez continued by citing a progressive tax rate system in the 1960s where the top income tier paid 70% tax, explaining that if one earned $0 to $75,000 a year, you would only pay 10% or 15% in income tax, “But once you get to the tippie tops, on your $10 millionth, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60% or 70%. That doesn’t mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate. But it means that as you climb up this ladder, you should be contributing more.” However, when tax rates were that high back in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s there were many more tax deductions that could be claimed.
The progressive bloc of forty Democrats are fully backing a radical environmental agenda known as the ‘Green New Deal’ and warned their more moderate colleagues not to interfere in the creation of a “strong” climate committee. After being sworn in, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez called on newly-elected Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to create the green committee, which would have subpoena power and the authority to introduce bills. Speaker Pelosi followed through, though limiting the committee’s powers.