Fox & Friends botches concept of marginal rates, claims Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants to take 70 percent of people’s paychecks

During the January 14 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, co-host Ainsley Earhardt incorrectly said in an interview with conservative writer Michael Goodwin that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) “will tax 70 percent of your paycheck if [she] gets her way.” In reality, Ocasio-Cortez floated the idea of a 70 percent marginal tax rate on incomes over $10 million -- the key word being marginal.

As Ocasio-Cortez  explained to Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes, a marginal tax “doesn’t mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate,” but rather that some of top-earners’ income would be taxed at a higher rate after it passed a certain threshold. As Vox pointed out, “The United States used to have many more tax brackets, and the top marginal tax rates were extremely high.” Ocasio-Cortez’s suggested rate is actually lower than the 91 percent marginal rate top earners paid under President Dwight Eisenhower and right on par with the 70 percent marginal rate in effect under Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

Fox & Friends’ distortion of Ocasio-Cortez’s words isn’t surprising given Fox’s obsession with the freshman congresswoman and the network’s abject bias toward tax plans that benefit the rich.

From the January 14 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:

AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): Why are the Democrats -- what’s the appeal to race even farther to the left?

MICHAEL GOODWIN (NY POST): Look, I mean, we're seeing it in the states like Gavin Newsom as we just saw in California --

EARHARDT: Taxing water.

GOODWIN: Yeah, Bill de Blasio here in New York City wants free Medicaid, paid vacations for every private employee. You see it certainly, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, on the border -- “There’s no problem, no big issue there, let's move along.” And of course Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who wants the New Green Deal and Medicaid for all. I mean, Medicare for All.

EARHARDT: 70 percent tax.

GOODWIN: Yeah, this is now what I call sort of the race to crazy land. Everybody on the left is acting as if there’s no history here. That we can, government can take all private property and redistribute it. It’s the great redistribution race that they're in and we're seeing it up and down the Democratic Party. And I think what it says is, it’s two things. Why? First is that, I think, Bernie Sanders was pretty successful in 2016 with this kind of socialist approach to free college tuition, Medicare for All. I think a lot of people saw that as the new wave of the party. And then secondly, I think, it is this rage against Donald Trump.

EARHARDT: And some Democrats saying they're even open to illegals getting a chance to vote, to go to the polls and vote.

GOODWIN: Oh sure. Look this is happening --

EARHARDT: How do they have so much support though? Because when you hear they are going to tax 70 percent of your paycheck if Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gets her way, how do they have so much support? That’s a lot money for people to give back to the government.

GOODWIN: I think a lot of it is ignorance. I frankly think American young people today are not being educated properly in schools. They don't know the history of our country. They don't know the history of other countries. They don't understand economics. Ocasio-Cortez, she is charming and delightful in many ways. She got an economics degree from Boston University and she clearly doesn't understand how the unemployment rate works. She said that it’s low because so many people have two jobs. Now, how do you get an economics degree from a major college and not understand that that’s not how the unemployment rate works? How is that possible? I think that is what we're seeing. Civics isn't being taught. So people don't understand government, they don't understand the economy.