Politics & Policy

Ocasio-Cortez: U.S. Can Fund Socialism with ‘Large Amount’ of New Tax Revenue

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on The Daily Show (Screengrab via Comedy Central)

During a Thursday night appearance on The Daily Show, Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez explained some of the mechanisms she believes can provide sufficient government revenue to fund the many costly promises she’s made to voters.

Asked by host Trevor Noah how the debt-addled federal government can fund Medicare-for-all and no-cost college tuition, the avowed Democratic socialist suggested that if people “pay their fair share” in taxes, and the government makes some “back of the envelope” budgetary adjustments based on “our values,” the government will have the requisite revenue to pay for her campaign promises.

“If people pay their fair share, if corporations and the ultra wealthy, for example as Warren Buffet likes to say, if he paid as much as his secretary pays, if he paid a fifteen percent tax rate,” Ocasio-Cortez explained. “If we reversed the tax bill but raised our corporate rate to 28 percent. If we do those two things and also close some of those loopholes that’s $2 trillion right there.”

“Now, if we implement a carbon tax so that we can financially incentivize people away from fossil fuels, that’s an additional amount, of a large amount, of additional revenue that we can have,” she added.

The political novice, who upset six-term incumbent Joe Crowley (D., N.Y.) in a primary last month, went on to explain how a “reprioritization” of spending could aid her political project. Specifically, she referenced cutting military spending, arguing that the omnibus spending bill passed last year allocated more money to the Pentagon than was requested.

“The last key, which is extremely, extremely important, is reprioritization,” she said. “Just last year we gave the military a $700 billion budget increase, which they didn’t even ask for. They were like, ‘We don’t want another fighter jet, don’t give us another nuclear bomb.’ They didn’t ask for it and we gave it to them,” she said.

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