I was asked to write about AOC, what a nice request.

Having been in the financial world most of my last 50 years, I was amazed to hear AOC talk to a group about incremental income tax rates. Their reason being that I tried to explain to lay people that if the highest tax rate is 40% (91% in the 50s and 60s), this high rate applies only to the highest portion of a person’s income. They never seemed to ‘get it’.

Then, along comes this 29 year old bartender that was elected to congress explaining it. OMG. Her audience got it. I was amazed how clear and succinctly she presented the concept at a time when she may have been suggesting a 70% tax on that portion of income over $10 million. Where did she come from? I had to learn more about her.

As many of us are reminded, she came from the Bronx and her father died in ’08, her mother had to move to Florida to reduce her living costs. She graduated Boston College… Cum Laude…I’m starting to get more embarrassed; a double major in international affairs … and economics. I had a close friend who owned a bar; I was surprised at how well-read he was, along with having street smarts.

Plus she’s is a ‘minority’ citizen of Puerto Rican decent. Minority, young, low income, bartender: not the normal credentials for Wall Street talk. But the main label people tend to stick with when discussing her is ‘socialist.’

So labels are horrible… I’m a liberal AND a conservative, but what do these words mean?

‘Conservative’ in my day  meant ‘waste not want not,’ don’t borrow (credit cards were rare in my day), good morals, save. Corporate America was honored because they provided jobs.

‘Liberal’ implied careless spending, Unions (bad), lazy, intellectuals.

When thinking of these labels, Pres. Eisenhower, a Republican, brought us the Interstate Highway System in the 50s in light of an incremental income tax of up to 93%, which many also considered to be socialist.

Did we get our money’s worth? YES.

In the 60s, JFK, a Democrat, inspired the Space Race (see my blog on Infrastructure) during a similar incremental tax environment of 91%.  Did we get our money’s worth? YES.

Both acts of government crated great jobs; and, the middle class was born whereby a family could own a home and have medical and retirement benefits.

So today, most projects similar to those of the 50s and 60s get labeled as ‘spending,’ thus our infrastructure is behind 17 trillion dollars.

Back to AOC. She’s for healthcare for all (see my blogs on Medical Insecurity). She’s for limited free college, like what I received (see my blog on student loans). And, she wants to save the planet from environmental catastrophe; it seems like a worthy project.

But why the hatred toward her?

It’s not about her. The opposition sees in her what they saw in Hillary back in the 80s. Both are very highly intelligent, charismatic, and knowledgeable. They ground on Hillary for over 30 years. Now we know who they fear the most in years to come. 

Rich Meyer, Author & Blogger