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Opinion: Tax the rich, but not me?

Along with divas who shined with their fancy and expensive dresses, this year’s Met Gala mixed fashion with politics — a dangerous concoction.

On Sept. 13, at the biggest annual fashion event, New York’s 14th District Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sparked quite some controversy with her “Tax the Rich” dress. Corporate America and elites might have felt emboldened by Ocasio-Cortez’s act as if they were not the subject of it. Skeptics, however, have always questioned whether Ocasio-Cortez practices what she preaches, and this time it turns out she doesn’t.

Sources from the New York Post report that Ocasio-Cortez’s infamous dress was designed by Brother Vellies, a company founded by fashionista Aurora James. The same sources report that Brother Vellies has racked up three open tax warrants in New York for failing to withhold income taxes from employees’ paychecks, totaling around $14,978. Ocasio-Cortez fanatics would say, “So what, how could she know about that?” True indeed, however, the representative seems to have a pattern of hypocrisy with regard to this issue.

While calling out the massive congressional corporate bailouts and calling for higher taxes on the rich in March 2020, the democratic socialist seemed to have forgotten her own family. Business Insider reports that, on June 2021, Ocasio-Cortez refused a $100,000 donation for her grandmother’s destroyed home in Puerto Rico. So, if improving the lives of the American middle- and lower-class people would require tax hikes on the rich, why isn’t Ocasio-Cortez doing anything about her own grandmother? According to the Federal Election Commission, in 2020, Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign spent around $17.3 million. Even a small fraction of that could have bailed her grandmother out. Tax others, but not me for my own grandmother? A big red flag in the eyes of the skeptics.

However, the hypocrisy pattern seems to be an identifying characteristic of our “socialist” ruling class. The most prominent figure of social democracy in America, Senator Bernie Sanders, has a net worth of $2.5 million, according to Forbes.He famously continues to call for higher taxes on millionaires and billionaires. So, why isn’t Sanders paying 80% of his income to help poor people in America? Why isn’t Ocasio-Cortez doing the same thing to help her own grandmother build a house? But again, “tax the rich.”

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