President Biden and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY CD14) agree on a LOT these days. A lot of press, especially younger press, and many politicos from across the generations seem mystified. How on earth can this “Moderate President” be getting help from the most progressive members, including ringing endorsements from AOC, herself?
It’s simple, really. When Joe Biden was elected to the Senate in 1973 a moderate was fighting for the things that AOC is fighting for today. 1973 was pre-Reagan, and unions were strong, there was hardly any national debt compared to now, and the middle class was expanding.
AOC was labeled “extreme” for advocating a 70% tax rate. But Joe Biden grew up noticing that President Kennedy lowered the top tax rate from 90% to 77% for the 1964 tax year, and it was lowered again to the AOC advocated rate of 70% from 1965 to 1981, after Joe Biden had been elected to the Senate.
President Biden remembers when health insurance meant health insurance. Before Reagan most union negotiated contracts included health policies that covered everything. And worker rights were much more respected and enforced. And workforces who were NOT unionized had to compete with the much more prevalent union negotiated benefits. Union worker conditions, because they were prolific in the workforce, caused non unions to offer the same, better, working conditions.
AOC’s generation mostly doesn’t even know what “worker seniority” is, while Joe Biden remembers it very well, and he remembers it being commonplace in the workforce.
When President Reagan was elected and began to lower tax rates on the super rich the middle class changed from expanding, to contracting. And the GOP deficits grew radically.
AOC is an economist who has studied and become very fluent with these issues and economic principles. President Biden grew up witnessing the GOP attacks on the middle class, and he began his career fighting for the same things that AOC is fighting for.
But just remember. When Joe Biden and AOC agree, it’s not that one is moderate and one is progressive. What it really means is that politics has changed and changed radically.
We need BOTH Joe Biden AND AOC to fight for the return of the expanding middle class. Call it ‘progressive”. Call it “Moderate”. It’s generational and, unfortunately, they are BOTH fighting for the same thing.