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Fairness Advocates Debunk Bloomberg BS

Posted by libhom Friday, March 27, 2009

Michael Bloomberg, the worst mayor our city has had since Jimmie Walker, has consistently put the financial interests of his rich friends above the general welfare and the needs of middle class and poor NYC residents. Now that the state is facing a fiscal crisis, Bloomberg is taking this to ridiculous extremes. He actually is opposing efforts to make the rich pay something a bit closer to their fair share in taxes. (New York Times 3/18/09)

It is perhaps the most potent argument offered by those who oppose increasing the income tax on wealthy New Yorkers: If you raise it, they will flee.

That case has been made repeatedly by Gov. David A. Paterson, who says that higher taxes should be a last resort. It has been featured in a campaign by Taxpayers for an Affordable New York, a coalition of real estate and business interests. And it has been on the mind of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City’s richest person, who said in a radio interview, “You can’t tax too much those that can move.”

I wish Bloomberg would leave New York and never come back.

Anyway, this bullshit has been debunked by Fiscal Policy Institute and the Center for Working Families. Here's their 3/22/09 press release.
New Report Debunks Criticisms of Progressive Income Tax Reform in New York

Raising Taxes on Wealthy New Yorkers Is the Best Option for Balancing the State's Budget During the Recession

Albany - The Fiscal Policy Institute and the Center for Working Families released a new report today debunking criticisms of progressive income tax reform. The report also explains why increasing taxes on the portion of income over a relatively high level is the "best option" for solving New York's current budget crisis.

The report, Back on Track: Why Progressive Tax Reform Is an Essential Part of New York's Budget Solution, looks at the economic changes and policy choices that caused New York's current fiscal crisis and examines the consequences of rolling back some of the state's income tax cuts on the wealthiest taxpayers.

"In less than two weeks, New York policymakers must decide how to balance next year's $14.2 billion deficit; the federal stimulus helps, but there's still a gap of about $8 billion," said Jason Angell, Director of the Center for Working Families, who co-authored the report. "Progressive income tax reform is not only the fairest way to get New York back on track, it's also the most economically sound. Low- and moderate-income families already are being battered by the recession. The State shouldn't add to that pain with damaging budget cuts."

"When you look at the economic evidence," said Frank Mauro, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, "there's little reason to believe progressive tax reform that adds one or more brackets to the personal income tax at relatively high levels would hurt New York's economy, and good reason to think it's the best option policymakers have left. The experience in other states that have raised high-end income taxes shows that the wealthy have not deserted their states just because their taxes were increased."

Under current law, the threshold for the top personal income tax rate is $20,000 for single taxpayers and $40,000 for joint filers. "Relatively few taxpayers would be affected by a high-end tax increase," said James Parrott, Chief Economist and Deputy Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute. "In 2006," according to Parrott, "only 2.5 percent of New York residents had annual incomes above $250,000, one of the thresholds often discussed for an increased tax bracket. In most New York counties, fewer than two percent of taxpayers would be affected."

The study notes that drastic state budget cuts will harm the economy more than progressive income tax reform, and that such reform would provide balance to the overall tax system and help make New York more economically productive in the long-term.

An Executive summary, Table of contents, and Full report are available as well if you scroll down a bit.

If not for decades of tax cuts for the rich, our state wouldn't have much to worry about fiscally. Now, middle class and poor people in our state will be forced to have reduced services and higher fares for public transportation if the rich aren't forced to pay their share. Financial speculation by the rich was one of the main cause of the Wall St. meltdown that is creating the fiscal crisis. The rich should cough up the money to make up for what they have done.



  1. JayV Says:
  2. Although I've not lived in the city since I was a kid, for me a close second in the worst category would be Giuliani.

  3. libhom Says:
  4. JayV: Bloomberg is pushing an even more extreme version of the Giuliani agenda. He's just less abrasive in his persona than the previous bad mayor.



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