Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “Call me a radical”

Posted at 10:09 AM, Jan 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-04 12:09:33-05

The youngest woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), tells Anderson Cooper that high tax rates on the very rich would help finance an ambitious plan to combat climate change known as the “Green New Deal.” The interview will be broadcast on 60 Minutes, Sunday, January 6 at 7:00 p.m., ET/PT on CBS.

In the wide-ranging discussion, the 29-year-old from the Bronx also talks about her life, her political views, the reasons why she attended a protest in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office shortly after being elected and her thoughts about President Trump.

Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” aims to eliminate carbon emissions within 12 years. Speaking about the ambitious goal, Ocasio-Cortez says, “It’s going to require a lot of rapid change that we don’t even conceive as possible right now. What is the problem with trying to push our technological capacities to the furthest extent possible?”

To pay for the plan, Ocasio-Cortez floated the idea of tax rates as high as 70 percent on the ultra-rich.

“You know, you look at our tax rates back in the ’60s and when you have a progressive tax rate system, your tax rate, you know, let’s say, from zero to $75,000 may be ten percent or 15 percent, et cetera.” Ocasio-Cortez said. “But once you get to, like, the tippy tops, on your 10 millionth dollar, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60 or 70 percent. That doesn’t mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate, but it means that as you climb up this ladder you should be contributing more.”

“I think that it only has ever been radicals that have changed this country,” Ocasio-Cortez says. “Abraham Lincoln made the radical decision to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the radical decision to embark on establishing programs like Social Security. That is radical.”

When asked if she considers herself to be a radical, Ocasio-Cortez says, “You know, if that’s what radical means, call me a radical.”

Ocasio-Cortez was sworn into the House of Representatives Thursday as the 116th Congress began its work in Washington, DC. During the Democratic primary in June, she unseated the fourth highest-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives. Ocasio-Cortez is a Democratic Socialist. She believes in universal health care, tuition-free public college, and huge government outlays to combat global warming.