Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bill de Blasio Calls For Progressive Taxation

Bill de Blasio came in first in the Democratic primary for mayor of New York City. Thousands of paper ballots, however, are still being counted, as the city waits to see if he can hold on to 40 percent of the vote and avoid a runoff with Bill Thompson, who came in second. In the following video, de Blasio speaks to supporters at Borough Hall in Brooklyn about income inequality and progressive taxation, alluding to his proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy to afford preschool for every child in the city. These crucial economic issues and de Blasio's liberal perspective are relevant not just to NYC, but to the entire nation. His words confirm why I voted for him Tuesday night. Watch:


Michael J. Mand said...

I agree that the continual increase in income inequality is situation that cannot continue without grave negative consequences down the road. If the common person finds himself without the means to consume more than only products and services needed for basic sustenance, the wealthy will find that there are fewer and fewer customers able to purchase what they produce and maintain. And, if it continues, because prices will have to rise to compensate for fewer products sold, many people won't even have enough money to provide even for their most basic needs.

However, I'm beginnning to believe that the tactic of "us vs. them", "good vs. bad", is not the best way to reverse this unsustainable condition. About one third of New Yorkers pay no tax at all. The other two thirds are covering the costs of the services the city provides to all. DeBlasio's implication is that the wealthy are not paying their fair share based upon the income disparity. "They need to pay more." And I agree, but it's not because they are not paying what's asked of them. I contend that many do pay what is asked. So it is incumbant on DiBlasio, on any candidate for that matter who wishes to be a political Willie Sutton ("...because that's where the money is"), to convince the "haves" that it is in their best interest to pay more into the system; not to make them the enemy of the "have-nots". Explain to all of us how this could be a "win-win" situation.

One other thing. The tax code, always a target of politicians, is desinged to direct private interests to invest in such a way that the taxpayers won't have to lay out even more money - that is why charitable contributions are deductible. When wealthy people take advantage of tax shelters, they are often saving the public quite a bit of money at half the price. Loopholes, on the other hand, are unintended consequences, and when lawyers are hired for the sole purpose of finding loopholes, the line separating the ethical from the non-ethical has been crossed - even if it's legal. Loopholes must be closed.

Jeff Tone said...

The wealthy are not contentedly paying what's asked of them. If that were so, they wouldn't support Republicans who want to cut their taxes based on a fraudulent "trickle down" scheme. They wouldn't park their money abroad or take advantage of the loopholes you mention. There's no way to "convince" them to pay more. It can only be done through political pressure including, ultimately, reversing "Citizens United" and public funding of elections.

De Blasio is accurately describing the class warfare of the one percent and justifiably calling for them to pay a bit more, in particular to afford preschool for every NYC child. It's quite an irony when describing and protesting against such a condition is labeled "class warfare."

See my article, "Wealthy Take Record Share Of U.S. Income In 2012" 9/15/13. Rising income inequality is a matter of policy funded by the wealthy.