Ignorance Is Unbecoming

There has been intense reaction to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal to increase the marginal income tax rate to 70 percent on income over $10 million. Which is good. Debate is what democracy requires. However, I am stupefied by the ignorance on the part of some people who should know better. For instance, billionaire Michael Dell, when asked about AOC’s proposal at the World Economic Forum at Davos (a retreat for the world’s billionaires and power brokers), remarked, “Name a country where that’s worked. Ever.” The answer, Mr. Dell, would be the U.S.A.

No matter one’s position on marginal tax rates or any other public policy issue, there really isn’t any excuse for ignorance of basic facts. And here are the facts with respect to marginal federal income tax rates in the U.S.