The New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl this year, which was, incidentally, the lowest-scoring ever. The teams’ combined score of 16, plus a half-time show that spurred a surprisingly nuanced social media discussion about Adam Levine’s nipples (will they tank his career and make him the subject of much public scrutiny, à la Janet Jackson in 2004? Doubtful), has a lot of people acknowledging just how, well, boring this year’s game was.
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, however, took the opportunity to educate the masses on her vision of a proposed wealth tax. Specifically, she advocates for a 70 percent marginal tax on incomes over $10 million. And if you want an idea of how just how much money that really is, most NFL players don’t even come close to it.
This education came via a back-and-forth on Twitter, of course.
Here’s how it went down:
Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas started things off when he tweeted the following jab, suggesting he doesn’t understand taxes or salary caps in the NFL:
Should someone propose a 70% tax on the Patriots so that NFL competition is more fair and equal? Asking for a friend.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) February 4, 2019
The average NFL salary is $2.1 million, so most players would never experience a 70% rate.
The owners who refuse to hire Kaepernick would, though. https://t.co/AnST2lCiU9
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 4, 2019
For the record, her data on the average player salary seems to be from 2016, as reported in Forbes, so they could have risen slightly since then, but the point still stands. Some top earners in the NFL, such as Tom Brady, who reportedly earns more than $10 million per year, may be subject to the 70 percent tax rate, but again, they’re the exception, not the norm.
As Ocasio-Cortez says in her tweet, NFL owners would likely be impacted. They make a lot—and I mean a lot—of money. Dan Snyder, for example, who owns the Washington Redskins (how this is still the name of a sports team continues to be baffling), just bought a $100 million yacht, if you want an example of the kind of wealth they’re hoarding.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren pointed this out on Twitter as well:
This billionaire NFL owner just paid $100M for a "superyacht" with its own iMax theater. I'm pretty sure he can pay my new #UltraMillionaireTax to help the millions of yacht-less Americans struggling with student loan debt. https://t.co/Gk4ifAkxdT
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 26, 2019
Technically speaking, how much anyone (owners of NFL teams or not) would be affected by the hypothetical tax increase would depend largely on where their money actually comes from: for example, how much they get from an annual income vs. how much comes from stock holdings and other investments.
Regardless of where exactly the money comes from, it goes without saying that it’s time for the super wealthy to pay their real fair share of taxes. As far as Ocasio-Cortez is concerned, that money can go towards funding progressive programs like Medicare for all and reducing income inequality. Does anyone really need a yacht with an iMax theater when people are struggling to afford food or health care?