But public opinion is firmly on the sides of "Fuck the rich" and "Un-fuck the poor." In 2019, a poll by Morning Consult found that 45% favor AOC's tax proposal (compared to 32% who don't), while Warren's wealth tax has 60% approval, even including Republicans. The same poll also found that 57% of respondents believe working-class families pay too much in taxes, 58% think the same about middle-class families, and 63% think the rich don't pay enough.
And for much of the 20th century, we had policies like these, and they worked perfectly fine. The last time America had a marginal tax rate like what AOC proposes was 1981, and before that, it got as high as 92%. Warren wants to tax the mega-rich anywhere between 2-3%, but elites in the 1950s paid 6% more in local, state, and federal taxes than they do today. And Sanders' aim to drop the threshold at which the estate tax becomes payable to $3.5 million (compared to the current threshold of $11 million) puts it back where it was in the ancient days of 2009.
And then there's the enormous benefits to the country. Warren's proposal would affect around 75,000 families but bring in an additional $2.75 TRILLION over the next decade, while Sanders' estate tax plan would raise $300 billion. Just think of what public services we could have with that. Free childcare? Public transportation that doesn't reek of piss? This shopping list is well within reach.
And it's not like the rich would feel the effects. Under the plan that'd deliver the most benefits (Warren's), a family worth $60 million would pay an additional $200,000 on top of their preexisting income tax obligations -- or to put it another way, 0.3% of their fortune. "But higher taxes would stifle the economy and deter entrepreneurship!" Yeah, possibly. We had high marginal tax rates in the past, and the economy grew, stagnated, and crashed, in that order, several times. And after Reagan slashed marginal tax rates in 1981, the economy grew, stagnated, and crashed, in that order, several more times. It tends to cycle regardless of what we do with it. But you know what else harms the economy? Wealth inequality. It's hard for anyone to get ahead or succeed at literally anything when the top 1% are wealthier than the bottom 90% combined. So maybe tax Jeff Bezos a little more. I assure you, he'll be fine.