Sunday, January 5, 2014

De Blasio Pledges "New Progressive Direction In NY"

At his inaugural address, Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed a "new progressive direction in New York" and a commitment to alleviating the city's growing income inequality. "When I said we would take dead aim at the 'Tale of Two Cities,' I meant it," he declared. De Blasio cited a number of reforms his administration would undertake, including expanded paid sick leave, affordable housing, stopping hospital closures, expanding community health centers, reforming stop-and-frisk, and raising taxes on the wealthy to afford universal pre-K. Watch:



Michael J. Mand said...

Although I would certainly echo Mayor DeBlasio's sentiments concerning who should be asked to pay for additional sevices deemed necessary, I believe that the term "tax the wealthy" be retired due to its divisive tone. The implication is that the wealthy are, by and large, using all loopholes at their disposal to avoid paying what the rest of us believes to be their fair share. And that is just not the case. Some do, of course, but others simply use the existing tax code to divert money into investments that reduce their tax liabilities. And there is nothing wrong with that. (A loophole is an unintended consequence; incentives, on the other hand, are expected to yield desirable results.)

The tax code is set up to encourage certain investments by the private sector toward specific activities that have been established for the public good and for which taxpayer dollars would otherwise have been needed. For those investments, usually by people with healthy incomes and bank accoutns to match, the public offers a discount on the payers' tax rsponsibilities. It is a great example of a win-win situation. May I suggest DeBlasio use the following? "We will ask those who can better afford it, to pay a little more for additional goods and services that will benefit all of us." It says the same thing and sounds a helluva lot better than "tax the wealthy". Perhaps, however, it doesn't grab as many votes.

Jeff Tone said...

Of course the wealthy are using all the loopholes at their disposal to pay their fair share. Your next sentence restates the same proposition in nicer terms. The fact that they "use the existing tax code" doesn't mitigate that fact-nor the fact that, in our corrupt system, they pay off politicians to tilt the tax code in their favor.

Some of the most profitable corporations in the country pay little or no taxes. I find little justification for reducing taxes on capital gains or the estate tax. The money was taxed? What about the heirs? How about parking investments in foreign tax shelters? We are losing billions due to these scams. Mitt Romney and the Republicans would agree with them. The majority of Democrats and liberals don't. Current regressive taxation is central to today's income inequality.

Accusing de Blasio of using cynical slogans is unfair. In this speech and elsewhere, he clearly explained why more taxes from the wealthy for pre-K is for the common good.

Michael J. Mand said...

I don't disagree with DeBlasio, I just want it put in inclusive terms, not divisive ones. You get more cooperation that way and you move the line of scrimmage a little more in your favor with future issues.

Jeff Tone said...

Correction to my first sentence above: "Of course the wealthy are using all the loopholes at their disposal to AVOID PAYING their fair share."