According to self-described socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D.-N.Y.), 540 Americans should not be permitted to exist.

America is “immoral,” she says, for letting anybody be one of these billionaires, to have net worth of $1 billion or more.

Equality is the highest ideal of socialists, an ideal Ms. Ocasio-Cortez wants to impose with a very unequal progressive income tax of 70 percent on the rich. Another Democrat in Congress wants 90 percent.

Radical leftist presidential aspirant Senator Elizabeth Warren (D.-Mass.) is even more extreme. She proposes not only steep income, capital gains and other taxes, but also a (likely) unconstitutional “wealth tax” that would let the government take a hefty bite of the total assets and property of anyone earning $10 million or more per year. (Remember, in 1913 progressives promised only the “rich” would pay income tax.)

Warren’s strong-arm confiscatory asset forfeiture would continue year after year until those it targets are no longer rich. And to make sure government gets their money, Warren’s law would make it illegal for the rich to take their wealth out of the United States.

Oddly, 39 percent of the billionaires in the crosshairs of such new laws are not Republicans. Many – especially in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and Wall Street – are among the biggest donors to the Democratic Party and its candidates.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and Tesla’s Elon Musk donate to Democrats. So do Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, the heads of Google, and Berkshire-Hathaway brain Warren Buffett. Hedge fund billionaires Donald Sussman and James Simons helped bankroll an anti-Martha McSally senate campaign in Arizona.

The rich sometimes turn to the dark side of politics. LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman was reported allegedly involved in a false-flag operation to smear the GOP candidate in Alabama. George Soros worked to elect leftists as state attorneys general and city district attorneys, who can then manipulate the outcomes of election disputes, vote fraud and recounts; in Philadelphia, by spending $33 per vote, Soros has a top legal official working to “de-criminalize” crime.

Rich people are sometimes recruited for political office because they can fund their own campaigns. Thus, for example, Democrat David Trone spent $16 million to buy his own Maryland congressional seat. Hyatt hotel heir J.B. Pritzker spent $170 million to become governor of Illinois.

When billionaire Donald Trump won the presidency – albeit with $2 billion in free airtime from a liberal media scheming to nominate the weakest candidate for Hillary to beat – this stirred the fantasies of wealthy Democrats.

In 2018, Michael Bloomberg – media mogul billionaire and three-time nanny-statist liberal mayor of New York City – spent more than $100 million buying California congressional seats and other favors to be cashed in if he decides to seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Likewise, Tom Steyer, who became a billionaire largely through fossil fuel investments, in 2018 spent $110 million, including $5 million put into the failed campaign of Andrew Gillum for Florida governor. He once offered a huge chunk of cash if Democrats bent their congressional calendar to the environmental left as he wished, so they did. Steyer is proof we now have the best government money can buy.

Both Bloomberg and Steyer are brazen ego freaks, and both believe they can find a way to buy the presidency for themselves. After all, another billionaire just did so.

But when the liberal founder and former CEO of Starbucks Coffee, Howard Schultz, proposed running as an independent candidate for president, he came under screaming, vile assault from the left for daring to “divide” the Democratic vote in 2020. “Don’t help elect Trump, you egotistical, billionaire a**hole,” shouted one heckler. “Go back to Davos with the other billionaire elite who think they know how to run the world.”

The liberal mainstream media were careful not to name this protestor. He was activist Andy Ratto, a radical fanatic zealot for Palestine and critic of Israel. Could this attack have come not only because Schultz believes that the Democratic Party is going much too far left, but also because Schultz is a Jew widely admired in Israel?

Billionaires such as Donald Trump and Howard Schultz create leavening, independence and alternative ideas in our culture. They are too rich to be bullied or silenced. They laugh when “woke” radicalized billionaire Nicolas Hanauer declares collectivist Ms. Ocasio-Cortez the “centrist” and capitalist Schultz the extremist. Some billionaires are better than the poor, servile politicians who are bought, sold or controlled by conformist leftist mobs.

Lowell Ponte is a former Reader’s Digest Roving Editor. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and other major publications. His latest book co-authored with Craig R. Smith, “Money, Morality & the Machine,” reveals how bad money drives good morals out of society and how you can protect your family from the future of “Star Trekonomics.” For a free, postpaid copy, call toll-free 800-630-1492.

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