Fox Business host Charles Payne took an ax to the claim made Monday by Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, namely that a capitalist system which allows billionaires to exist is “wrong.”
Ocasio-Cortez, speaking at an event commemorating Martin Luther King Day, said, “If you think the system allows billionaires to exist when there are parts of Alabama where people are still getting ringworm because they don’t have access to public health is wrong.” She later clarified that it wasn’t the billionaires themselves who were the problem, instead blaming the system that allows them to exist.
Payne fired back during a segment of “America’s Newsroom” on Tuesday by pointing out that there were many systems that allowed for the existence of billionaires and argued that most of them were far less attractive than the system currently operating in America. (RELATED: Hollywood’s Aaron Sorkin Scolds New House Democrats, Draws Response From Ocasio-Cortez)
“Here is the point, I think,” Payne began. “I mean, she went on to say she has nothing against the billionaires themselves. And this is what we have to think about, for instance, the richest woman in Africa Isabel de Santos. She’s the daughter of a dictator, she is worth $2.8 billion. The average person in Angola makes $4,000 a year. The richest person in South America, Venezuela, Hugo Chavez’s daughter. Hugo Chavez said the rich are bad, wealthy, lazy, gluttonous. She is worth about $5 billion.”
Payne concluded by sharing a bit of his own story — explaining that he himself came from a poor family and grew up in an apartment “without heat or hot water.”
So the point I’m trying to make is, you know, we have a system where you can become a billionaire, but even though I’m not a billionaire, I am a millionaire. And I was born. I have nothing. I lived in apartment without heat or hot water. So, if she doesn’t like the system someone from Harlem, someone from the South Bronx where she represents, my wife, where we can live an amazing life, give to charities, help raise people, help educate people. If she doesn’t like this society, the alternative is where only the dictators’ kids can be billionaires. Which one does she want?
Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described democratic socialist, has already promoted a number of policies aimed at redistributing the wealth currently held by billionaires — and many who haven’t yet reached billionaire status. She is a staunch advocate of the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and dramatic tax increases targeting the wealthy and corporations.
Payne concluded the segment Tuesday by asking once more whether the system she was advocating would truly be preferable. “That’s why I brought up this point there were billionaires and other systems as well,” he said. “But do we want to adopt a system where only billionaires happen to be the dictators’ children?”