Alex Blaze

Millionaires Ask to Be Taxed More as New York Tries to Cut Social Services

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 05, 2011 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Media, Politics
Tags: budget cuts, Morning Joe, MSNBC, rachel maddow, rachel maddow show, tax

Some millionaires in New York put out a video and a statement last week asking the governor not to cut their taxes in the next budget:

Keep in mind that's not all of the millionaires of New York, probably not even a representative sample (New York millionaires usually complain about how "20 [million a year] is just 10 after taxes"). Most of them are probably happy to get the tax cut even if they won't feel it.

Included in those $9 billion in budget cuts, which have to happen in order to give millionaires a tax break), is defunding of services for homeless youth, including the Ali Forney Center. There isn't even room for sarcasm there as the state tells homeless youth to go sleep in the street (where they'll probably be arrested for sleeping in the street) while it sends money for their future (and many other people's) to millionaires. That's simply wrong, but it's the kind of governance rich people are paying for when they donate large sums to political campaigns.

And the governor of New York who's fighting for this budget proposal? He's a Democrat, working with exalted "centrist" Mayor Bloomberg to loot the state treasury for themselves and their benefactors.

Also, it should be noted that this has barely been mentioned on MSNBC, the "liberal" cable news channel. Although it's based in New York, it hasn't found more than a segment with which to discuss the budget deal that was proposed in its anchors' own state. A search of their site shows that the only mention of Cuomo's budget is this segment from Mornin' Joe, where the anchors fawned over how fast the budget was written up, calling the governor "The Gamer," talking about his "maturity, patience, a soft touch" and saying it sets him up to run for the presidency in 2016.

Get a room!

And what about Rachel Maddow, who hammers Republican governors of states she doesn't live in for cutting taxes even microscopically while proposing budget cuts? The same anchor who relentlessly covered DADT last year in an effort to get it repealed? A search of her show's site doesn't turn up anything for "cuomo"; if anyone knows of a clip, link it and I'll put it up. But she was conspicuously missing from that letter from the millionaires even though she has a seven-figure salary and works in New York.

This is why it's even more problematic for liberals and Democrats to call for budget cuts and tax cuts for the wealthy - people let them get away with it because, for some reason, they have the reputation of being communist socialists who cry over all the poor people of the world while giving welfare queens handouts. They could even call for the homeless to give up a few meager services so they could give millionaires a tax break and some people would still think they're trying to impose Marx's dream on Real America.

That's just theatre. There are plenty of decent Democrats out there, but just having a "D" after one's name doesn't make a politician impervious to the structural forces that are pushing for a feudal state in the US.

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Rick Sutton | April 5, 2011 10:00 AM

Very unique post. Thank you.

At this point in the "budget battle," I'd tell Harry Reid:

"You're going to get clobbered next fall. You've got a 16-18 month window. Job One is to realign the tax burden, or this nation will be headed toward a Class War that will be monumental."

And if I were a Congressional budget negotiator, I'd give up to the GOP almost everything they want on the expense side, in exchange for a restoration of the Bush tax cuts for the upper 3% of us. It is their Holy Grail.

Otherwise they'll divide us in perpetuity arguing over this-and-that federal earmark which we favor. Or "taxpayer-funded abortions" untrue though it is. The more we talk about individual federal earmarks, the less we tlak about the real culprit: taxes. This never was a true expense issue, although the government is bloated. Your "pork" is someone else's necessity.

This is an INCOME issue. And the GOP has successfully framed the argument: taxes/bad.

So much so that the wealthiest among us has become 40% more tax-status-wealthy since those tax cuts were enacted in 2002. And corporations are fleeing America for favored-tax status in multiple foreign nations. Empty offices in Zurich just to beat back taxes. It's shameful.

It's a tough sell. TalkRadio noise and too many legitimate reporters, don't "get it."

I think the President gets it. Harry Reid? Never did get it, never will.

It does help, that the natteering nabobs on the far right seem to be taking over the GOP. But that party is 100% united on the tax front.

One more reason the President needs re-elected. The Senate will likely be Republican in 2013. The veto pen must be ready or we're all screwed.

Just finished my 2010 taxes. Little-noticed: the tax-bracket creep since 2002 is astounding.

If they're serious can't they donate directly to the state?

My guess is the 100 millionaires who signed the thing aren't even a large fraction of them all and they're trying to raise awareness.

Rachel Maddow lives in Massachusetts. It's a 190 mile commute. She has an apartment in NYC (although she says it's tiny and never stays there), but her legal residence is MA.

That said, the only people standing up for the working class nowadays is, well, the working class.