Fact Check: Ilhan Omar Says the Rich Don’t Pay Enough

Ilhan Omar Says the Rich Don't Pay Enough

Radical congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has been stirring things up again. Just for a change, she’s not bashing Israel or retweeting anti-semitic extremists; this time she’s decided to wade into the taxation and health care debate.

Explaining her support for Bernie Sanders’s crazy “Medicare for All” plan, Omar says all Americans can get health care by simply taxing the rich — and that’s OK because, according to her, the rich are getting off lightly in our tax system. Is she right? Are the super-wealthy taking us all for a ride?


  • Omar tweeted Sunday that the health insurance crisis and our tax system could both be improved by “taxing the wealthy to fund #MedicareFor All.”

  • It’s not surprising she thinks this way. After all, Omar is way out on the left of the Democratic Party, and when socialists are challenged on how they plan to pay for their entitlement policies their usual answer is “Tax the rich!” To avoid making themselves look greedy, of course, they usually frame this as “Make the rich pay their fair share.”
  • Obviously this only works if the rich aren’t already paying their fair share, which is why she added the comment about the 1% paying less tax than everybody else.
  • The reality is that she’s basing that claim on some very flawed research. The book she cites to back it up wasn’t even talking about the 1% — it was talking about the 400 richest households in the US, and all it said was that they paid a lower effective tax rate. Even then, to get that result it had to exclude tax breaks given to lower earners. It’s basically fake news.
  • When people talk about the richest 1%, that isn’t 400 households — it’s 1.4 million households. Between them, they earn 16.1% of the nation’s pre-tax income — but they pay 27% of all federal taxes.
  • The numbers say that wealthy Americans are paying more than their share already. What Omar and her fellow socialists want isn’t a fairer tax system; it’s to punish people for daring to be more successful than the socialists want them to be. Her claim that the rich pay fewer taxes than everyone else is simply false.

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