The Daily Telegraph

That’s one way to get people’s backs up...

US President tells wealthy to pay their fair share as Ocasio-cortez causes stir with ‘tax the rich’ dress

- By Nick Allen in Washington

Alexandria Ocasio-cortez, the Left-wing Democrat congresswo­man, was accused of hypocrisy after she wore a dress stamped with ‘Tax the Rich’ to the exclusive Met Gala in New York, an event that charges £22,000 a ticket. Just hours later, Joe Biden announced a tax policy targeting the highest earners in the US, stating they had been given a ‘free ride’ for too long

JOE BIDEN warned rich Americans last night that they will no longer get a “free ride” as Democrats moved to impose sweeping new tax rises on the wealthy and major companies.

The US President was accused by Republican­s of trying to impose “farleft” policies that would “kill jobs” and vowed to fight him “tooth and nail”.

The proposed tax increases are the latest step in Mr Biden’s massive “Build Back Better” public spending agenda in which he hopes to emulate Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal by spending trillions of dollars on government programmes.

The colossal scale of Mr Biden’s tax and spend policies has endeared him to Left-wing Democrats.

On the day the plans were unveiled, Alexandria Ocasio-cortez, the Democratic Socialist congresswo­man, wore a dress emblazoned with “Tax the Rich” to the Met Gala in New York. She was accused of being a “fraud” and “champagne socialist” after rubbing shoulders with figures from the entertainm­ent world including Kim Kardashian at the party which costs $30,000 for a ticket.

The next morning Mr Biden wrote on Twitter: “Look, I don’t want to punish anyone’s success, but the wealthy have been getting a free ride at the expense of the middle class for too long. I intend to pass one of the biggest middle class tax cuts ever – paid for by making those at the top pay their fair share.”

Mr Biden repeated his pledge that taxes would not go up “one penny” for people making under $400,000 (£290,000) a year.

But he said: “The fact is a firefighte­r shouldn’t pay more in taxes than an entire tech company. A teacher shouldn’t pay more in taxes than an oil company.”

Mr Biden wants $3.5 trillion to pay for measures such as universal prekinderg­arten, reducing child care costs, improved access to health care, public housing, creating a pathway to citizenshi­p for migrant workers, and initiative­s to fight climate change.

The tax proposals unveiled in Congress would raise $2.9 trillion. It would see the top tax rate for the wealthy rise from 37 per cent to 39.6 per cent. There would be a levy of an extra three per cent for people earning over $5 million.

The highest capital gains rate would go up from 20 per cent to 25 per cent – a smaller increase than Mr Biden had initially wanted. Corporatio­n tax for businesses with an annual revenue of more than $5 million would rise from 21 per cent to 26.5 per cent.

Under Donald Trump’s tax cuts in 2017 the corporate rate was slashed from 35 per cent to 21 per cent.

The Democrat plan would see the exemption for inheritanc­e tax, which was doubled by Mr Trump, revert to $5million. democrats have been arguing internally for months over the levels of proposed tax rises. The party has a

‘The fact is a firefighte­r shouldn’t pay more in taxes than an entire tech company’

narrow majority in the House of Representa­tives and the Senate is split 50-50, with Kamala Harris, the US vice-president, holding the casting vote.

Joe Manchin, the moderate Democrat senator of West Virginia, could hold a key vote on the proposals yet he has been trying to get the tax rises reduced.

Mitch Mcconnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, lambasted the “staggering tax hikes”, saying they would “kill jobs, hurt families, and crush our competitiv­eness with the Chinese”.

♦ America’s most senior general was so worried Donald Trump would provoke a war with China that he called his counterpar­t in Beijing to avoid an armed conflict, a new book claims. General Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, twice attempted to reassure Gen Li Zuocheng over Mr Trump’s bellicose rhetoric, according to Peril, a book by Watergate journalist Bob Woodward and Washington Post reporter Robert Costa.

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