Thursday, April 15, 2010

Underrepresentation on Tax Day

With all of the class-based Wall Street bashing going on down in the nation's capitol, where are NY's representatives on the assault against the state's and city's financial bedrock? Daniel Mitchell in the The NY Post reports on what he sees: "Mayor Bloomberg went to Washington on Monday to sound the alarm over Wall Street-bashing in Congress that may lead to higher taxes and crippling regulations that could drive financial firms out of the city, out of the country -- or out of business. He's right: A threat to the financial sector is a threat to the whole city economy -- but it's far from the only problem. Thanks to the profligacy of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the burden of government has significantly expanded and New Yorkers are hit with an unfair share of the cost. And countless Washington policies disproportionately hurt New York, with New York City suffering the greatest damage."

And our own reps are manning the barricades-not. As the Post editorializes: "What's the point of having a high muckety-muck like Chuck Schumer sitting in the US Senate if he refuses to fight for New York's best interests? And that goes double for his hapless little poodle, Kirsten Gillibrand. Congress is poised to rip the heart out of New York's economy -- i.e., Wall Street -- while Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand stand by dumb as fence posts."

Gee, tell us how you really feel. But from our viewpoint, we're just not getting the representation we deserve-and too many of our legislators are imbued with a reflexive soak the rich ideology (failing to realize just how the soaking gets all of us just as wet).

Nicole Gelinas underscores this point: "Consider: In the short term, hiking taxes on the rich perversely allows New York to get away with yet more spending -- because the state can borrow more cheaply to do it. How's that? As tax rates rise on profits from stocks and private-sector bonds, wealthy taxpayers will put more money into tax-exempt debt, including . . . New York's own government bonds.Thus, Obama's tax hikes will actively discourage putting money in private investment markets, helping to heal the economy -- and encourage investors to pump more money into bloated state and local governments."

Feeding the beast, while starving the real economic growth engine. But the reality is that the soaking can only continue for so long-and our debt levels are so high that eventually we're gonna have to target the almost rich, the not quite rich, and the wannabe rich: "The cycle of higher taxes on the rich to fund higher spending will continue -- until the rich are just exhausted. That day is coming -- and then we'll all get higher taxes. That's why we're hearing talk of a "value added tax" on consumption, which hits middle- and lower-class folks hardest. People who theoretically have no skin in the game, then, should worry hard about "taxing the rich."

And so should are elected officials whose silence on this is about as funny as lockjaw at a fellatio convention. We'll give Mitchell the last word: "Last but not least, it's only fair to note that New York's state and local politicians aren't doing much to offset the damage from Washington. State and city taxes are far too high, accelerating the loss of jobs and investment -- especially to states such as Texas and Florida that don't impose income tax. If New York City and state want more prosperity, they need their politicians at all levels to reverse course and concentrate instead on reducing the burden of government."