With the annual World Economic Forum opened in Davos, Switzerland underway, Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) declared a day earlier that “a system that allows billionaires to exist“ is “wrong.”
That claim drew a fiery response from Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo, who dismissed the socialist’s proposal to increase the tax rate on wealthy people to 70 percent, a concept she called on the Fox News Channel's America's Newsroom “quite naive.”
A report on the Forum -- which describes its mission as “engag[ing] the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas” -- showed a clip of the New York Democrat asserting:
I do think that a system -- that allows billionaires to exist when there are parts of Alabama where people are still getting ringworm because they don’t have access to public health -- is wrong.
Bartiromo fired back by stating that “people look at that and say ‘What is that going to do to the economy if you make it so economically difficult for the highest earners?’”
“Let me just point out,” she continued, “that according to the Tax Foundation, the top 10 percent of earners already pay almost 80 percent of all taxes. So you already have the highest earners paying their fair share, if you will.”
“But you know, this comment reminds me of something that [New York Mayor Bill] de Blasio said about a week ago,” when he stated: “Look, there’s a lot of money in the city. It’s just in the wrong hands.”
“What exactly is the wrong hands?” Bartiromo asked. “Is the wrong hands Ken Langone -- the billionaire who just gave $100 million” to the New York University medical school “so that NYU could give out free medical school educations?”
“Or maybe if it’s in Steve Schwarzman‘s hands -- who just gave hundreds of millions of dollars to the New York Public Library so that people can have access to new technology in the library? Or maybe it’s someone like David Koch, or someone else who has given so much to medical schools?”
Bartiromo also mentioned Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, who has “given hundreds of millions of dollars to New York Presbyterian (Hospital).”
“So you have to wonder what those billionaires would do with their money if the first thing they have to do is give 70 percent of it to the government,” the Fox Business anchor added.
“And let’s talk about productivity for a second -- a whole ‘nother conversation,” she noted.
“Are you going to work really hard if you know that, at a point, you’ll have to give it all to the government?" Bartiromo asked. “I don’t think so.”
“So those comments, to me, seem quite naive,” she stated.
As NewsBusters previously reported, the freshman Congresswoman’s proposal for a “Green New Deal” received a more positive response from media liberals who embraced the “soak the rich” strategy.
However, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan told CNBC in early January that raising the top rate so high “would be a terrible mistake.”
In a separate CNBC interview, Harvard economist (and president emeritus for National Bureau of Economic Research) Martin Feldstein called the proposal a “nutty idea” and added: “I don’t want to see us going back to where we were 10, 20 years ago.”