Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has been in Congress for less than a week and she’s already fighting back against Republican propaganda and lies used to attack her with more intelligence and fervor that most other congressional Democrats have been able to muster.
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House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) — the congressman who survived a shooting attack at a Republican softball team practice session and who has called himself “like David Duke without the baggage — launched an assault on Twitter against the young representative after she had the temerity to suggest that the United States return to pre-Reagan era tax rates on America’s highest earners in order to fund her proposal for a “Green New Deal” that would refurbish infrastructure and create jobs while severely reducing carbon emissions in order to save the planet’s environment.
Rep. Scalise set up a false dichotomy in his tweet that compared a faulty representation of the GOP’s tax policy with a complete lie about what Ocasio-Cortez has proposed.
Republicans: Let Americans keep more of their own hard-earned money
Democrats: Take away 70% of your income and give it to leftist fantasy programs https://t.co/NxJPSCqvrt
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) January 5, 2019
Congressman Scalise links to a right-wing website with an article that attacks the basic concept of a progressive income tax system that includes higher rates for those who have benefited from the highest tax cuts and the largest increase in personal assets of any group ever since then-President Reagan began the trend of benefiting the wealthy above all others when he shepherded in his radical tax-cutting agenda in the 1980s.
If Scalise was being honest he would have phrased his description of the Republican message on taxation as: ” Let American BILLIONAIRES keep more of their own hard-earned money,” since the policies his party had advocated have passed the costs of funding government operations increasingly to the poor and the dwindling middle class in this country.
As far as Rep. Scalise’s characterization of the Democratic position, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s reply to his attempt to portray her proposal in erroneous and simplistic terms is the best way to demonstrate the cynical political manipulation of public opinion that he’s trying to disseminate.
It’s likely that Rep. Scalise knows full well how progressive income tax and marginal tax rates work, but pointing out that the proposed 70% rate for all income anyone earns in excess of $10 million would only affect an infinitesimal minority of already fabulously wealthy people who could easily afford to pay more in taxes while benefiting the vast majority of the population just doesn’t seem unreasonable enough to make for an effective attack point against your political adversaries.
Congressman Scalise instead tried to imply that everyone would suddenly be taxed at 70% under Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal and was inundated with angry progressives calling out his smarmy and dishonest tactics. He was forced to beg Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to take the debate offline to the House floor after proving to be too delicate to face some of the more devastatingly vicious (albeit humorous) replies from her defenders.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) January 6, 2019
Rep. Scalise’s dig at the “radical followers” of the avowed Democratic Socialist representative belies the fact that has been the radical agenda of Republicans that has resulted in the greatest transfer of wealth from the working classes to the ultra-rich in American history since Reagan and the GOP began making the tax rates increasingly less progressive, a process that reached its apotheosis with last years billionaire tax giveaway signed off by the supposed “populist” President Trump.
Let’s hope that this debate does continue on the floor of the House of Representatives and that Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez continues to metaphorically slay Scalise, the right-wing David Duke admirer, with her superior intelligence and command of the facts.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.