He is particularly upset about an idea from freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to finance the plan by introducing a marginal tax rate of up to 70 percent for the nation’s wealthiest people. Doing so would have dreadful effects on the very rich, Hannity said Tuesday in an at-times nonsensical rant on his radio program.
If wealthy Americans were taxed more ― or, in Hannity’s words, if their wealth were “confiscated” ― “rich people are not going to remodel their homes, they’re not going to build new homes,” he claimed.
“The contractor, the electrician, the plumber, the carpenters ― they’re the ones that benefit when rich people spend money on their homes,” continued Hannity, who has been linked to shell companies that spent tens of millions investing in residential real estate over the last decade.
The idea that wealth “trickles down” from the richest to those less privileged has been bashed by none other than billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has argued that people like him should pay more in taxes.
Ocasio-Cortez has floated the tax hike only on income in excess of $10 million. Hannity earned $36 million last year, according to Forbes.
Car manufacturers, the host said, would also hurt if multimillionaires were asked to contribute more to benefit social programs.
He continued, bizarrely: “All of a sudden, ‘Well, maybe I’m going to hang on to that old clunker for another five years because I can’t afford another new home because the government’s taking a bigger portion of my income every year.’”
The Fox News personality made similar claims on his radio show last week, when he said that Ocasio-Cortez would prevent wealthy people from “buying boats that they like recreationally.”
On Tuesday, he doubled down.
“People got mad at me, they said, ‘Hannity, you were talking about, well, rich people won’t buy boats.’ No, rich people won’t go to restaurants, because they won’t have the money,” he claimed without evidence. “Rich people won’t invest in companies, that means they’re not going to hire people.”
Ocasio-Cortez and other proponents of the Green New Deal have argued that the program would help alleviate inequality through public spending on sustainable energy sources aimed at curbing the devastating effects of climate change on low-income communities. Precisely how much the plan would cost, however, has not yet been hashed out.