During the first primary Democratic debate on Wednesday night, failed senate candidate Robert ‘Beto’ O’Rourke dodged his first question of the night, which concerned his potential support of a 70% margin tax rate.
“Some Democrats want marginal, individual tax rate of 70% of the very highest earners, those making more than $10 million a year,” asked debate moderator Savannah Guthrie. “Would you support that, and if not, what would be your top individual rate be?”
“This economy has got to work for everyone, and right now, we know that it isn’t,” O’Rourke sidestepped. “And it’s gonna take all of us coming together to make sure that it does.”
Taking up his limited time, the Democrat then started speaking in Spanish. Here’s what he said, translated via Time magazine:
“We need to include every person in the success of this economy. But if we want to do that, we have to include every person in our democracy. Every vote needs representation and every voice needs to be heard.”
“Right now we have a system that favors those who can pay for access and outcomes, that’s how you explain an economy that is rigged to corporations and to the very wealthiest,” O’Rourke continued in English. “A $2 trillion tax cut that favored corporations while they were sitting on record piles of cash for the very wealthiest in this country at a time of historic wealth inequality.”
“A new democracy that is revived because we have returned power to the people; no PACs, no gerrymandering, automatic and same-day registration to bring in more voters and a newer voting rights act to get rid of the barriers that are in place, now,” spouted O’Rourke. “That’s how we each have a voice in our democracy and make this economy work for everybody.”
“That’s time, sir,” Guthrie notified the candidate, offering him 10 seconds to answer the question he dodged.
“I would support a tax code and tax rate that is fair to everyone,” O’Rourke again sidestepped.
“Tax capital at the same rate that you tax ordinary income; take that corporate tax rate up to 28%, you would generate the revenues you need to pay for the programs we are talking about,” he added before his time was up.