Democratic strategist Angela Rye on Sunday disputed former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) after he argued that tax increases are the same as "socialism."
During a panel segment on ABC's This Week program, Republican strategist Sarah Fagan accused President Joe Biden of packing "social spending" into his infrastructure proposals.
But Rye disagreed.
"I think it's so rich to hear folks talking about Joe Biden's far-left agenda," Rye said. "If it is to far left to sign 60 executive orders overturning the hatred that was in Donald Trump's executive orders -- at least 23 of them -- if it is far left to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, if it's far left to end the Muslim travel ban, if it is far left to restore the partnership with the World Health Organization then I think most of the country is far left."
"Yes, there are some social things that need to happen in infrastructure," she added. "Because it just so happens that discrimination and inequitable conditions exist even in our infrastructure. That was not something that was originated in this administration."
Christie, however, argued that the Biden's proposals are not popular even though 59% of Americans have said that the plan is a good idea.
"Look, we can set up strawmen and say he overturned this executive order but that's not what we're talking about," Christie complained. "The capital gains issue is nothing more than income redistribution. It's socialism."
As Christie spoke, Rye could be heard laughing in the background.
"Let's remember that that investment income, they've already paid taxes on it," Christie continued. "You paid taxes on it before you invested it and now you're going to pay taxes on it again."
"But a difference in the rate on capital gains taxes changes it into socialism?" ABC host George Stephanopoulos asked.
"Of course it does," Christie replied. "It's redistribution of income, George. And I just want to warn everybody out there. Wait until you see what happens to your retirement fund. If Joe Biden gets a 39.6% capital gains [tax], wait until you see what happens to the market."
Rye pushed back against Christie's allegation that capital gains taxes are socialism.
"It's so interesting to hear this allegation of socialism," she said. "I know these are buzzwords that work very well with the Republican Party so congratulations for using them this morning."
"But we have people in a pandemic that you said wouldn't matter by the time you get to the fall, and on the left there's a conversation happening about student loan debt," Rye continued. "How much should be forgiven? $50,000 vs. $10,000. And we're talking about a capital gains increase when you all just had basically the reparations we've been asking for [in] your last tax proposal. So I don't even understand what we're talking about here."
Former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) spoke up to correct Christie's misinformation about capital gains taxation.
"Let's correct this idea you already paid on your capital gains," Heitkamp told Christie. "You paid [taxes] on the initial investment, which then you only pay on the actual gains from the initial investment."
"So let's not say you already paid taxes on it," she said. "You're actually earning income. You are actually getting dividends or you're getting interest. When you sell it, you make money."
She added: "And this is one of the biggest scams in the history of forever on income redistribution. If you have a stock, you can pass it on to your kids with stepped up basis and it's never taxed. You know that there needs to be reform in unearned income."