Levin to AOC: 'Americans Do Not Like Big, Authoritarian, Centralized Government'
Ocasio-Cortez, who represents The Bronx and Astoria, Queens, expressed support this week for exponentially higher taxes on the wealthy and criticized people worth more than $1 billion.
“So after you make $10 million in one year, your dollars after that start to get progressively taxed at a much higher rate. And really, what that is … at what level are we just living in excess?” she asked.
She added, “What kind of a society do we want to live in … do we want to have these folks with helipads in the same city, in the same society as people who are working 80-hour weeks and can’t feed their kids?”
Ocasio-Cortez first floated the 70 percent rate in a recent interview with “60 Minutes.”
While facing pushback from conservatives, the congresswoman stressed Monday that her proposal is “not a new idea,” and mocked those who yell, “She’s a socialist! She wants 70 percent marginal tax rates!’”
Levin, who served in the Reagan Justice Department, asked Ocasio-Cortez to consider what the richest Americans in history have brought to the people of this country.
He mentioned tycoon John D. Rockefeller, who revolutionized the ability for citizens to have heating oil, as well as the Walton family who employ "tens of thousands of Americans" at Walmart.
Levin also asked the lawmaker to consider the advancements brought upon society by Bill Gates, Pennsylvania steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, Jeffrey Bezos and Henry Ford.
"What has [Ocasio-Cortez] created? Any part time job?" he asked, adding that Ocasio-Cortez failed to lay out how she will deal with those in the higher income brackets.
"Who decides who gets what? The Department of Agriculture?" he asked. "Americans do not like big, authoritarian, centralized government... We live better than kings and queens lived 250 years ago."
Levin then offered an invitation to Ocasio-Cortez to join him on "Life, Liberty & Levin," saying that he has honest questions for her and will be respectful in hearing her views.
"I want to talk to you... about some of your ideas," he said, adding that Ocasio-Cortez tends to accept interviews from more ideologically-friendly outlets.
Watch more above.