Over the last half-century, we have seen a very successful propaganda campaign. The right wing of the country (not just Republicans) has portrayed the government as a bad thing. They also convinced Americans that taxation is a form of theft. It is so bad, that it is now a de rigueur campaign plank that the candidate will cut taxes. This is independent of yes, political party.
So Democrats are also promising to expand the safety net. Fun fact, that takes money and unicorn farts will not work for long. I know we have tried this theory in the past, like the last forty years or so. Remember prop Thirteen in California? Well, guess what? Now there is talk that we need to reform it because schools and roads don’t pay for themselves. The Golden State might be leading a return to sanity. I suppose all those bad roads finally impressed on Californians that a slightly higher gas tax was needed to fix them, but I digress.
Tax the rich! Representative Alexandria Ocasió-Cortez got the chattering (and very wealthy) classes nervous. Seventy percent marginal tax rate? What kind of insanity is that? As Peter Dell asked at Davos, show me a country that has ever succeeded with such a tax scheme! The horror! Well Sir, as you were told, that would be the United States of America. Granted, likely school failed him and never told him of this horrible era of American history, when marginal rates reached all the way to the nineties. Fun fact, in modern-day dollars, that tax rate started above $3.5 million. And yes, I am rounding up, it is actually less. In 1950 Dollars, that was $350,000. Ocasio-Cortez is talking $10 million as her starting point. What a steal!
However, the elites are not happy. They have funded museums, drinking water and vaccines in the developing world. That is much cheaper than paying their fair share of taxes. What we have now is a scheme that is transferring vast amounts of money to the top one percent. They are using all kinds of schemes to keep the good times going. These range from neoliberal economics that favors them to tax shelters. Their objective is to hoard as much wealth as possible. This is why taxes, especially progressive taxes, are so horrible to them. Incidentally, neoliberalism is a new take on the Manchester school that became the rage in the first gilded age and is almost the same economic system.