Ocasio-Cortez: We Can ‘Tax It Back’ if We Give Stimulus Money to Rich People

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>> So you seem to be suggesting you support, as a lot of people do in both parties, direct payments to the American people. Some Democrats have said that the $1,200 figure that’seen proposed is way too small. How much money do you think the government should be giving the public directly and should it go to everyone or just people who need it?

>> Well, so the financial services committee actually released their own plan. And I am very supportive of that plan, which has about $2,000 this month for every American with an additional $1,000 per child. But in addition to that, it stops payments. So it halts mortgage payments, rent payments, and all major consumer debt. And that is the key, because when you’re able to stop the money going out, then that money that you do give goes a much longer way. I’m very supportive of both those measures.

>> You used to work as a bartender so you know what it’s like for food service workers, people in the service industry who face the prospect of their hours being slashed. No customers, so there’s no tips, not to mention obviously people being fired. What are some of the economic realities that you’re hearing from your constituents?

>> Oh, I mean, from the moment that the business closures started happening, I’ve been very scared for a lot of these workers. All I can think about is what I would have done just two or three years ago. And so one of the issues here is of course we need to be expanding unemployment. There are a lot of workers in our economy that will not be covered by unemployment because they’re hourly workers, they’re gig workers, they’re freelance and contract workers. And unemployment does not cover those workers, even though they’re essentially unemployed right now, their contracts are frozen up or their hours are drastically slashed but not completely slashed. So what we really need to do, really that’s why getting checks into people’s hands is important. I do think it should be universal. I hear the argument of people saying, why are you going to give a check to Bill Gates. One of the things that we’re saying is, tax it back a year from now so you don’t have to worry about a big complicated bureaucratic means test up front, mail them out to everybody and let’s get it back from the folks that don’t need it next year.

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