Things That Matter

Bill Gates, Second Richest Man On Earth, Disagrees With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Marginal Tax Plan

When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez first presented the idea that the rich should be taxed up to 70 percent on all money made after $10 million in a year, there was a clear and loud gasp among the wealthy. How could a young woman of color have the audacity to propose such a thought as to marginally tax the rich more than the poor? The notion of a marginal tax on the rich to help fund the rest of the country was so unusual to former Starbucks CEO and billionaire Howard Schultz that he decided to run for president.

“Let’s be sensible about what we are suggesting,” Shultz said, according to Business Insider, regarding the congresswoman’s marginal tax plan. “Let’s not just throw things against the wall because it’s a good slogan or a good press release.”

Now, another billionaire is speaking out against marginally taxing the excessively rich.

Bill Gates, the second richest man in the world, said taxing the wealthy more than other group isn’t reasonable.

In an interview with the Verge, Gates thinks a 70 percent marginal tax on the rich, which would tax money made after they make $10 million in one year, is missing the “bigger picture” and would lead to other problems. Gates said that a marginal tax on the super rich will only cause them to put their money in off-shore accounts (something the excessively rich already do to avoid paying their fair share), and added that it’s difficult to show who is wealthy because of some people’s money is in stocks, not actual currency.

“Certainly, the idea of government being more effective in terms of how it runs education or social programs, there’s a lot of opportunity for improvement there,” he said. “In terms of revenue collection, you wouldn’t want to just focus on the ordinary income rate, because people who are wealthy have a rounding error of ordinary income.”

He did, however, offer an alternative: “The estate tax and the tax on capital, the way the FICA [Federal Insurance Contributions Act] and Social Security taxes work. We can be more progressive without really threatening income generation — what you have left to decide how to spread around.”

Gates also addressed Ocasio-Cortez tax plan on the “Late Show” and admitted to being biased about the idea.

Stephen Colbert, the host of the “Late Show,” asked Gates and his wife Melinda “There’s a lot of talk right now that maybe billionaires shouldn’t exist, have you heard some of this talk?”

Gates responded by saying: “Well, we might be biased” and added, “I think you can make the tax system take a much higher portion from people with great wealth.” While that response seemed as if he was coming around to Ocasio-Cortez’s tax plan he then pushed back on the idea.

“So I think that’s a great debate,” Gates told Colbert. “I think if you go so far as to say that there’s a total upper limit, that might have more negatives than positives. But, you know, I may have a distorted view of this.”

Hey, at least he admits to it, but there’s an essential element about Ocasio-Cortez’s tax plan that billionaires refuse to see.

History shows that a marginal tax existed between 1957 and 1970s and it worked.

The marginal tax in the past has been as high at 92 percent. The most important part of a marginal tax plan is that not all of the income is taxed at that rate. People are free to earn up to $10 million in a year at the normal tax rate. However, any money generated over the $10 million threshold is then subjected to an elevated tax. The revenue generated by the tax plan, according to some experts, would benefit the U.S. economy and strengthen the middle class. Currently, people are seeing their own tax refunds going down or owning thousands of more dollars to the federal government because of Trump’s tax plan that gave tax breaks to the same ultra-wealthy who don’t want the 70 percent marginal tax.

According to Fortune magazine, a majority of Americans approve of Ocasio-Cortez’s tax plan. Fifty-nine percent of registered voters, 71 percent of Democrats, 60 percent of Independents, and 45 percent of Republicans, all support the 70 percent marginal tax on the excessively wealthy.


READ: The Green New Deal Is What Everyone In Politics Is Talking About. Here’s What It’s All About

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In Total Telenovela Style, Spain’s Former King Is Forced Into Exile But Don’t Feel Too Bad For Him

Things That Matter

In Total Telenovela Style, Spain’s Former King Is Forced Into Exile But Don’t Feel Too Bad For Him

Daniel Perez / Getty Images

In news that totally seems to be made for TV, the former king of Spain – Juan Carlos – has been forced to flee the country and to live in exile as allegations of corruption emerge.

Juan Carlos had been a very popular and well-liked king until he was forced to abdicate in 2014. He had been on an elephant hunting trip in Botswana as Spain grappled with the very worst of the Great Recession and unemployment hit 24%.

Since his abdication, allegations of corruption and money laundering have chased him and harmed the Spanish monarchy, including his son, Felipe, who is the current reigning king.

Spain is reeling after their former king, Juan Carlos, has fled the country to live in exile abroad.

For a royal scandal with a dash of shock and awe, this week we look to Spain, where its former king has fled the country under a cloud of corruption allegations. This is the same former king who was accused of having a thing for Princess Diana.

Juan Carlos, who ruled for 39 years from 1975 to 2014, has fled the country following a series of allegations he pocketed tens of millions of dollars from a Saudi Arabian deal in an offshore Swiss bank account. He dropped the news to son and current rule King Felipe via a letter published this week.

The former king had become plagued with scandal after scandal and it was beginning to impact his son Felipe, the current reigning king.

Credit: Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images

Although he had several small scale scandals during his reign, Juan Carlos appeared set to go down in history as the leader who helped guide Spain from a deadly dictatorship to a healthy democracy after the death of Gen. Franco in 1975.

However, once his. 2014 abdication of the throne, new allegations of corruption and shady financial deals have followed him. As a result, the former king’s son – King Felipe – has led a very austere personal life in a country where the monarchy does not enjoy high levels of support. 

Many experts say that the whole situation has cast a shadow on the future of Spain’s monarchy. The emergence of shocking allegations of corruption and money laundering against former Spanish King Juan Carlos have cast doubt over the very future of the monarchy, under his son King Felipe

Meanwhile, officials actually have no idea where the former king is currently at.

Credit: Daniel Perez / Getty Images

Since the former king first published his letter detailing his plan to live in exile, outside of Spain, there has been intense speculation about where he would go. Turns out: we still don’t know for sure.

His letter gave no details about his destination but many media outlets reported he would be going to the Caribbean – perhaps the Dominican Republic. However, officials there said they had no information that he was coming. 

A spokeswoman for the Caribbean nation’s immigration service said he had not entered the country, despite reports that he had arrived on Tuesday. But she said he had been there for a few days from late February to early March.

Media in Portugal have reported that he is in a Portuguese resort town, but few outlets have actually been able to confirm these reports.

So with all this drama what could happen to the former king next?

As a royal, Juan Carlos still enjoys some level of immunity from prosecution. However, in Switzerland, which is investigating alleged money laundering, the former king has no immunity, regardless of the date of any possible crimes. So it’s possible that Swiss prosecutors could attempt to bring charges against him.

Regarding the Spanish Supreme Court inquiry, most experts believe the former king will avoid charges as most of the possible crimes took place before his abdication.

Spain’s Congress too has so far voted against a minority of left-wing and regional parties that wish to hold an investigative commission into the origin of Juan Carlos’s offshore fortune.

But what of King Felipe’s future in a country that polls suggest is split fairly evenly down the middle on remaining a monarchy? Some argue that Felipe needs to take greater steps towards a clean break with the past. The Prime Minister has admitted that he is in favor of reforming the constitutional concept of absolute immunity for Spain’s head of state. 

While a prominent supporter of Spain’s monarchy, José Antonio Zarzalejos, told the BBC that King Felipe should take further steps to secure his future on the throne, including the “physical removal” of Juan Carlos from Zarzuela palace.

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Latinas Are Opening Up On Instagram About Why They Didn’t Report Their Sexual Assault And The Stories Are Heartbreaking

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Latinas Are Opening Up On Instagram About Why They Didn’t Report Their Sexual Assault And The Stories Are Heartbreaking

Drew Angerer / Getty

TRIGGER WARNING for victims of assault.

Recently we came across six stories by women who opened up about why they didn’t report their sexual assault via the account @whyididntreport. Heartbreaking, tragic, and also empowering each of these stories were a reminder that not only do we need to believe women but also support them.

As a response to the posts, we asked Latinas what experiences they had with keeping quiet about their assaults.

See their stories below.

Because it was a family member

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“My mom did not believe me because it was her husband … we would always fight and he would put her against me … that’s why I always say my children will always come first … then anyone … even before me and my own needs.” – soley_geez

Because of the statute of limitations

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“I did report. The cop taking notes told me they couldn’t file the report because of the statue of limitation being 10 years. I was reporting 13 years after I was raped. I was 3 years old when it happened. I was 16 when I reported.” – jedi_master_evila

Because she’d been labeled dramatic

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“He was my ex boyfriends cousin and I was intoxicated after a night of partying with a group of friends. I said no over and over again. I never came forward because I was already labeled/seen as “dramatic” by my ex and his friends and figured they wouldn’t believe me.” – love.jes

Because she was punished by her parents

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“I was 12. He was 18. My parents found a note he wrote to me. They spoke harshly with him but never pressed charges and punished me for lying.” 0valicorn_rainbow_pants

Because it was someone she thought loved her

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“I had a boyfriend rape me after I confronted him about lying and cheating. He used it as a way to punish me. And I stayed with him a year after the fact. I’m still processing feelings almost 20 years later. I’ve gone through self-destructive behaviors and tried to push others away. I’m forever grateful my husband showed me I am worthy of a beautiful life even after trauma. To all my fellow trauma survivors…we are worthy of good things.” – thebitchyhippie559

She thought she deserved it

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“He was my “step” grandfather. He molested me from ages 5-10, I was having some rebellious teen years and my parents were trying to find out why. I told them, my dad didn’t talk to me for a few days and after that everyone pretended that nothing happened and the rest of my family never found out. I held on to this secret until I told my parents at about 16 or 17 I was always so embarrassed and thought I deserved it.” – klemus09

She didn’t want to ruin HIS life

“It was my boss. At 15 I felt so bad, bc the wife was the only other person working with us and I was more worried about what this could do to their marriage. I thought I healed but typing this was hard.” –dolores.arts

If you or someone you know needs to report sexual assault, please contact the National Sexual Assault Helpline 800.656.4673 or speak with someone you trust.⁠⠀

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