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Politics Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Hits Back at Critics, Defends Met Gala 'Tax The Rich' Dress

13:05  14 september  2021
13:05  14 september  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

The Memo: Like the dress or not, Ocasio-Cortez is driving the conversation again

  The Memo: Like the dress or not, Ocasio-Cortez is driving the conversation again Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) wore a "Tax the Rich" dress to the glitzy Met Gala on Monday night - and broke the internet.Criticism and praise rained down instantly.Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was not a big fan of the dress or its message, which was hardly a surprise. Ocasio-Cortez's legions of fans on social media - she has 12.7 million followers on her main Twitter account and 8.7 million on Instagram - loved it.The episode underlined that Ocasio-Cortez, 31 years old and only in her second term in Congress, is a singular figure in contemporary politics.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended her appearance at the Met Gala, hitting back at critics of her head-turning dress emblazoned with the words "tax the rich."

a group of people in a room: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wears a gown was made by Brother Vellies designer Aurora James at the 2021 Met Gala on September 13, 2021 in New York City. © Kevin Mazur/MG21/Getty Images Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wears a gown was made by Brother Vellies designer Aurora James at the 2021 Met Gala on September 13, 2021 in New York City.

The Democratic New York Representative stood by her outfit choice at the exclusive event, telling her detractors "the medium is the message" in a series of tweets on Tuesday.

"Proud to work with Aurora James as a sustainability focused, Black woman immigrant designer who went from starting her dream Brother Vellies at a flea market in Brooklyn to winning the cfda [the Council of Fashion Designers of America] against all odds - and then work together to kick open the doors at the Met," Ocasio-Cortez wrote alongside a photo of herself and the designer, seemingly taken just before the gala on Monday night.

AOC's 'tax the rich' dress: Who qualifies as wealthy? And how much are they getting taxed?

  AOC's 'tax the rich' dress: Who qualifies as wealthy? And how much are they getting taxed? Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez told Vogue on the red carpet the dress was meant to be a conversation starter.Ocasio-Cortez attended one of fashion's biggest night wearing a Brother Vellies' white dress with "Tax the Rich" written in red on the backside.

"And before haters get wild flying off the handle, New York elected officials are routinely invited to and attend the Met due to our responsibilities in overseeing and supporting the city's cultural institutions for the public," the progressive politician added.

a person in a wedding dress: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended her attendance at the 2021 Met Gala. Jamie McCarthy/MG21/Getty Images © Jamie McCarthy/MG21/Getty Images Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended her attendance at the 2021 Met Gala. Jamie McCarthy/MG21/Getty Images

The invitation-only event is an annual fundraiser benefiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City.

Ocasio-Cortez also used the opportunity to remind her supporters that "the time is now for childcare, healthcare, and climate action for all" and reiterated her original message: "Tax the rich."

AOC’s Met Gala Dress Is Not the Statement She Thinks It Is

  AOC’s Met Gala Dress Is Not the Statement She Thinks It Is The empty spectacle of that TAX THE RICH gown.This is not exactly a new cause for Ocasio-Cortez. In January 2019, for instance, she suggested that a marginal 70 percent tax rate could be imposed on the wealthiest Americans. But now she was bringing the message through the front door of one of the glitziest events of the year: the Met Gala.

The political statement reflects the congresswoman's previous proposals to increase the marginal tax on the nation's wealthiest Americans as a way to pay for the Green New Deal: a set of proposals that would help improve national infrastructure and fight climate change.

However, many jumped on social media to highlight Ocasio-Cortez's apparent hypocrisy for donning a tone-deaf message against the wealthy while simultaneously attending such an exclusive and expensive event.

The Met Gala reportedly charges nearly $35,000 per ticket, however most celebrities invited to attend don't pay if they wear the work of an up-and-coming designer featured at the event, according to the Evening Standard.

Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of former President Donald Trump, was one of many public figures who mocked the dress, calling the politician a "fraud" and an "authoritarian mask Karen."

"What makes @AOC a bigger fraud," Trump Jr. tweeted. "The 'tax the rich' dress while she's hanging out with a bunch of wealthy leftwing elites or the lack of masks after spending the past 18 months as one of the biggest authoritarian mask Karens in the country?"

The topic of increasing taxes for America's most wealthy in order to reduce income and wealth inequality has dominated recent political conversations.

Conservative group files ethics complaint over Ocasio-Cortez appearance at Met Gala

  Conservative group files ethics complaint over Ocasio-Cortez appearance at Met Gala A conservative group filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) after she attended New York's Met Gala on Monday.The American Accountability Foundation argued in its complaint that she had accepted a lavish gift of admission to the event "without having a permissible exemption." The conservative watchdog claimed that if she purchased a ticket to the event using campaign funds, she also broke Federal Election Commission rules. Ocasio-Cortez's office said in a statement to NBC News, "We are confident we complied with all ethics rules.

Ocasio-Cortez has frequently criticized wealthy business owners who shirk on their responsibilities to adequately pay their employees.

A recent report revealed that the nation's elite increased their wealth by $1.8 trillion during the coronavirus pandemic.

The collective fortune of U.S billionaires surged by nearly two-thirds (62 percent) from just short of $3 trillion at the start of the COVID crisis on March 18, 2020, to $4.8 trillion on August 17, 2021, according to a report from Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), a political advocacy group, and the Institute for Policy Studies Program on Inequality (IPS), a progressive Washington-based think tank.

A report from ProPublica released in June estimated that the 25 top billionaires paid on average just 3.4 percent of their expanded wealth in federal income taxes, and that several, including Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, went multiple years paying no federal income tax at all.

Newsweek has contacted Ocasio-Cortez's office for comment.

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