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Expand chart
Data: Internal Revenue Service, staff research; Chart: Axios Visuals

There's been a lot of talk about the proposal from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) proposal to raise tax rates as high as 70% on America's wealthiest citizens.

Why it matters: An American making $11 million per year filing as single would pay $4,365,687 in taxes under the U.S.' marginal tax code rather than $7,700,000, which would be paid if the tax rate were a flat 70%, as some have suggested. That's a difference of more than $3.3 million annually.

  • The difference for someone making an additional $1 million of income ($11 million instead of $10 million) under Ocasio-Cortez's plan would be about $330,000 in taxes.

Be smart: Here's what she actually said during her interview with "60 Minutes" on Sunday:

"You know, you look at our tax rates back in the '60s and when you have a progressive tax rate system, your tax rate, you know, let's say, from zero to $75,000 may be 10% or 15%, etc ... But once you get to, like, the tippy tops, on your 10 millionth dollar, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60 or 70 percent. That doesn't mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate, but it means that as you climb up this ladder you should be contributing more."

A full plan would presumably have new tax brackets, but since Ocasio-Cortez only provides a couple examples in her response, we'll work with the current tax plan, cap the current highest tax bracket of 37% at $500,001-$10,000,000 and add a presumed tax bracket starting at $10,000,001 that's taxed at 70%.

  • Reality check: One could also assume that like in the 60s and 70s (and today), America's ultra rich would find ways to dodge much of that onerous tax bill should this highly improbable proposal ever become law.
  • Bonus reality check: Ocasio-Cortez has been a member of Congress for less than a week so maybe we can dial back talking about her tax plans for a bit.

Go deeper: Wealthy Americans are already exploiting the tax plan

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 10 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 10 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.

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