The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 22:36:44
From: Portside Moderator <moderator@PORTSIDE.ORG>
Subject: New York Is Broke but Cuomo Says, "Solidarity with the Millionaires"

New York Is Broke but Cuomo Says, "Solidarity with the

New York State is Broke, but Governor Cuomo Joins GOP Push
to Spare Wealthy

by Juan Gonzalez

New York Daily News

February 23, 2011

As many New Yorkers struggle to make ends meet and state and
city budget deficits skyrocket, our rookie governor has a
new, astonishing trick for his recovery plan - tax cuts for
the wealthy.

That's right, Gov. Cuomo, the Democrat, wants to join all
those Republicans in Albany and slash an income tax
surcharge for every New Yorker making more than $200,000 a
year - a mere 5% of the population.

We're not talking about a gross income of $200,000. This cut
would be on taxable income above $200,000 - after the filer
has taken advantage of every deduction and loophole IRS
regulations allow.

The Legislature approved the surcharge, or so-called
millionaire's tax, two years ago. It did so following the
near economic collapse brought on by Wall Street greed. The
temporary surcharge was meant to help the state weather the
recession and is set to expire in December.

Since the tax was enacted, big banks, corporations and their
investors have recovered and are flush with record profits.

Too many New Yorkers, on the other hand, still face
unemployment, a persistent mortgage crisis, depressed
property values, zooming health care costs and frozen wages.

As a result, state government is staring at a $10 billion
shortfall for the budget year that begins April 1. Closing
that gap will mean major cuts to education, Medicaid and
other services. It will mean wage reductions or massive
layoffs for thousands of government workers.

You'd think Cuomo and the Legislature would want to extend
the surcharge until the economy has recovered. It would
bring $1.2 billion in extra revenue between next January and
March 31, and nearly $5 billion for the following fiscal

But like so many new governors across the land - including
that guy Walker in Wisconsin - Cuomo is determined to make a
national name for himself as a fiscal conservative.

Cuomo "wants to send a powerful signal to the world that New
York is ready to do business and create jobs," Andrew
Zambelli, counselor to the governor, said Tuesday.

In Cuomo's view, the wealthy have to be wooed with more tax

Nonsense, says James Parrott of the nonprofit Fiscal Policy
Institute. They are doing better than ever.

"The top 1% of New Yorkers have seen their share of state
income grow from 10% in 1980 to 35% in 2007," Parrott said.
Meanwhile, income share has declined for the poor and
stagnated for the middle class.

The rest of us know that instinctively.

That's why a recent Siena poll shows a majority of state
residents favor keeping the millionaire's tax. If Cuomo and
the Legislature do away with it, most New Yorkers - whether
they make $40,000 or $40 million annually - will pay the
same flat income tax rate of 6.85%.

President Obama and Congress have given the rich a windfall
by extending the Bush-era federal tax cuts. Now Cuomo wants
another tax break for our local millionaires on top of that.

Meanwhile, the governor rails against record budget deficits
and asks the public and government workers to sacrifice.

[Thanks to Bill Koehnlein for forwarding this to Portside.]


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