‘We are talking about policies that the vast majority of the population actually favors, you know, higher taxes on the wealthy, most people are really in favor of that. So, as I always like to say, it is not communism it is just common sense. It is about taming this beast that we call capitalism.’
That’s Dutch historian Rutger Bregman, talking on CNBC Tuesday about the hot-button topic of increasing taxes on the rich.
“To be honest, I think that this whole debate that you have — especially in America — about capitalism versus socialism, I think it is rather ridiculous,” he said. “If you want to think about what sensible tax rates are like, in the 50s for example — this era when America was still ‘great’ — we had much higher tax rates.”
Bregman says we need a top marginal tax rate for the richest people of up to 90%, along with much higher inheritance taxes. Some other “quite radical ideas” he has include shorter workweeks, no borders and universal basic income.
Fox News viewers would have gotten an earful from Bregman last month had Tucker Carlson not opted to pull the segment after things got heated. According to the show’s producer, ”the guest turned an opportunity to have a substantive, informative discussion into an obviously calculated personal insult campaign.”
Here’s what Bregman had to tweet about it:
So @TuckerCarlson just called me a ‘fucking moron’ during a prerecord for his show, for pointing out that he’s a millionaire funded by billionaires.
Let’s see if they’ll air it.
‘Did they get it on audio?? Fuck fuck fuck’ we heard them say here..
(Yes, we did.)
— Rutger Bregman (@rcbregman) February 12, 2019
Earlier this year, Bregman struck internet gold at Davos, when he spoke on a panel about the need to address tax avoidance to fix inequality.
“It feels like I’m at a firefighters conference and no one’s allowed to speak about water,” Bregman said in a clip that’s been viewed more than 8 million times. “This not rocket science… we have got to be talking about taxes. Taxes, taxes, taxes.”
Here’s a snippet from his interview on Tuesday:
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