Oca­sio-Cortez woe­fully un­pre­pared

Boston Herald - - OPINION -

You wouldn’t ex­pect new U.S. Rep. Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez to re­veal how lit­tle she knows about tax pol­icy in front of a na­tional TV au­di­ence, but we’ve en­tered an en­tirely new era of pol­i­tics. Just state what you be­lieve to be true, with­out a shred of ev­i­dence to prove it. Did she have time to study the re­la­tion­ship be­tween in­come tax rates and in­come tax re­ceipts be­fore she got to the Capi­tol? Canada tried to in­crease in­come tax re­ceipts re­cently by lift­ing mar­ginal in­come tax rates on high in­come earn­ers and failed mis­er­ably. Tax re­ceipts ac­tu­ally fell. Rep. Oca­sio-Cortez re­minds me of our own Ed Markey when he was in the House. While serv­ing on the En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee, Markey fought the in­creased pro­duc­tion of do­mes­tic oil and nat­u­ral gas at ev­ery turn. When eco­nom­ics nat­u­rally won out, he fought ve­he­mently against the ex­port of U.S. crude. When for­mer Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Larry Sum­mers pointed out that banning the sale of crude vi­o­lated gen­er­ally ac­cepted free trade agree­ments, Markey tried to frame it as an is­sue of na­tional se­cu­rity. Since then, free-mar­ket prin­ci­ples have re­turned to the do­mes­tic oil and gas in­dus­try, and the U.S. now out­pro­duces Rus­sia, Saudi Ara­bia and Venezuela in crude oil for the first time in decades. The way I look at it, then-Rep. Markey’s ef­forts to re­strict do­mes­tic en­ergy pro­duc­tion re­sulted in a mas­sive ex­pan­sion of en­ergy jobs and ex­ports. There­fore, I’m in fa­vor of al­low­ing so­cial­ists to for­mu­late tax pol­icy. It might be the only way to frighten them back to cap­i­tal­ism. — Sean F. Fla­herty, Charlestown

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