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

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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.


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President Trump Didn't Get His Border Wall Funding So He Is Now Declaring A National Emergency

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President Trump Didn’t Get His Border Wall Funding So He Is Now Declaring A National Emergency

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

After months of negotiations with Congress, President Trump took the unprecedented step of declaring a national emergency to get funds for a border wall along the U.S-Mexico border. The news came on Friday morning after Congress passed a spending bill to avoid another government shutdown. The Senate voted 83-16 to pass the spending deal, which would provide a little over $1 billion for border security but no money for Trump’s border wall. It was soon after that the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday that the President would “take other executive action — including a national emergency — to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border.”

Trump isn’t the first president to call for a national emergency but he’s the first to declare one for a crisis that technically is not a crisis at all.

After President Trump’s original request for $5.7 billion wasn’t part of the spending bill approved by Congress, he is now taking things into his own hands. The president suggested for weeks that he would declare a national emergency if Congress wouldn’t approve more funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He says a wall is necessary to counter what he has called a “humanitarian crisis” at the border.

He will now be facing mounting legal opposition now that he has announced $8 billion moved in the budget to fund his border wall. Soon after news broke of the presidents plans, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly responded to the belief that there is a crisis happening at the border.

“First of all, it’s not a national emergency; it is a humanitarian challenge to us,” Pelosi said. “The president is making an end run around Congress.”

Pelosi is correct here. Illegal border crossings have been dropping every year since 2006 and the argument that drugs are being smuggled across the border is also incorrect, most drugs are seized at ports of entry.

By declaring a national emergency, Trump plans to use funding from various parts of the federal government for his wall, most notably the Department of Defense.

By declaring a national emergency, President Trump is able to reach into certain funds provided under statutes previously passed by Congress. This essentially means that he has the authority to pull from military construction funds and civil works projects, like infrastructure repair projects. The president has to notify Congress of where he decides to pull money from but they cannot stop him due to the call of a national emergency.

While legal challenges can temporarily stop him, the chances of succeeding are slim because the definition of a national emergency is vague in wording. The president will likely face more roadblocks with landowners whose property is along the border. They will surely take legal action if they are forced to have a border wall built on their property.

Polls show that a majority of Americans are against Trump’s decision to delcare a national emergency.

Americans have overwhelming denied the need for a wall along the southern border. Even more, Americans are against Trump taking money from military and infrastructure budgets to build his wall, which is what Trump is doing with his national emergency delcaration.

What does this all mean going forward?

The president is now facing opposition not only from Democrats but from even some Republicans. The call for national emergency sets precedent moving forward that is a slippery slope when it comes to using presidential authority. It also essentially undermines the purpose and role of Congress.

What happens in the courts next is the big question at hand. A president calling for a national emergency when there technically isn’t one, just to build a large barrier — has yet to be tested in the courts. If the case is to reach all the way to the Supreme Court, which currently favors in the conservative side, the president could likely win. This could take months or even years to get settled. If the president is trying to get a quick fix for his border wall, he’s going to have to wait.


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