Thursday, March 27, 2008

Debate To Tax The Rich Heats Up

As the budget deadline looms near, everyone in New York is looking to get their agenda accomplished. Bloomberg is working hard on congestion pricing, some legislators are looking to get paid more and a Working Families Party idea to raise the tax on millionaires is making its way through the process. Since things are still uncertain, we are hearing a lot from those that want to see the massive budget gap partially filled by this tax and those (the rich) that do not. The ads have already started appearing for congestion pricing and now we have those in favor of the millionaires tax.

From The Daily News:

The one-minute spot starts airing today - just as state lawmakers are back in Albany with one week to go until the April 1 budget deadline - and will remain on the air "for a while," according to Ron Deutsche, executive director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness.

The spot, entitled "Tough All Over," notes how the cost of gas and health insurance keeps escalating, which is allegedly squeezing the middle class nearly out of existence as "the rich are getting richer" and "the wealthiest New Yorkers just aren't paying their fair share."

"A national recession means out state's budget is in trouble," the ad continues. "Some Albany leaders want to cut funding for hospitals and nursing homes and reduce money for schools and colleges. There is a better choice. By raising taxes on people who earn over a million dollars a year, we can protect education and save quality healthcare. Taxing millionaires or cutting schools and health care - that's an easy choice."

Sure, its a little deceptive, but sometimes its hard to fit all the details into thirty seconds and get your point across. The facts are that the middle and working classes are punished in more ways than just taxes and the rich have plenty of money in order to live comfortably. The complaints from the wealthy fall on mostly deaf ears across the state, considering the burgeoning number of foreclosures, rising gas prices and a whole host of issues in this declining economy.

If lawmakers are smart, they'll include this in the budget since their constituents want it. According to the Quinnipac survey , 77 percent of people support it. Not only is it popular, it'll make a billion and a half dollar difference in these hard times. Despite the assumption that the rich will leave NY (which isn't true), it is more important that the burden of the recession not be placed on the people that have always taken the brunt of bad times, those who make way less than a million dollars a year.