Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as part of a series of social-media messages over the weekend, defined the group she wants to see pay more in taxes as “nesting-doll yacht rich. For-profit prison rich. Betsy DeVos, student-loan-shark rich. Trick-the-country-into-war rich. Subsidizing-workforce-w-food-stamps rich.”
The New York Democrat’s tweet-storm included thoughts on this now-deleted post from Chase JPM, -0.01% earlier in the week, in which the bank implied people who spend money at coffee shops and restaurants deserved to be broke:
“It’s the idea that if you choose to have any expense beyond mere animalistic survival — an iced coffee, a cab after a 18hr shift on your feet — you deserve suffering, eviction, or skipped medicine,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote, explaining to her 4.2 million Twitter followers why it was such a bad tweet.
She has been pushing for a marginal income tax rate of 70% on income over $10 million — an idea drawing support from many on the left.
Such wealth “is simply not good for society, and it’s like 10 people,” she wrote Saturday. While Ocasio-Cortez says she was merely using “dry humor + sarcasm” to a make point about wealth inequality, her detractors seized on her word choice.
She didn’t shy away from the mounting abuse on Twitter TWTR, -0.88% , firing back at the fact-checkers who took her “10 people” comment literally as having the “social intelligence of a sea sponge.”
She added that “the GOP is basically Dwight from ‘The Office’ so who knows,” referencing the paper salesman played by Rainn Wilson:
Max Kennerly, a Philly-based lawyer, defended her “10 people” take:
“The the richest Americans are worth $730 billion. The 14 richest American families (excluding the Koch brothers, so no double-counting) are worth $511 billion,” he wrote in a tweet Ocasio-Cortez highlighted. “Together they’re worth more than 60% of Americans combined.”