New York Magazine, no right-wing rag by any stretch, recently asked 50 Occupy Wall Street protesters some basic questions about U.S. fiscal policy. While the survey is not scientific, the rank-and-file protesters in Zuccotti Park seem to be woefully ignorant on such basic questions as what the SEC stands for (Securities and Exchange Commission), what the top marginal income tax is (35 percent), and how much money the military gets from the federal budget.
Just 28 percent got the SEC question correct while 10 percent correctly knew (or guessed) that the top marginal income tax rate falls somewhere between 25 and 50 percent. Somehow, however, I doubt the broadcast and cable media will pick up on this item to attack the protesters as ill-informed pawns of the Left.
What's more, nearly every protester got wrong the question "What does the government spend more on? Health care and pensions, education, or the military?" Ninety-four percent answered the military, when in fact health care and pensions account for the bulk of the federal budget.
The magazine also asked protesters what they the capital gains rate should be, given that it currently stands at 15 percent. While 14 percent answered "zero percent," six percent wanted a 100 percent rate while the vast majority wanted between 25 and 80 percent.
That's fully 64 percent who want to drastically raise the rate above where it stands right now.
Ill-informed and gung-ho for massive tax hikes. That's the Occupy Wall Street movement in a nutshell.