Tax the Rich
Impose higher taxes on millionaires and billionaires and reallocate those funds to the most vulnerable populations in NYC. Create a Public Bank of New York City to consistently create revenue meant for the public good and put an end to Wall Street banking which promotes the business interests of the rich and the exploitation of poor and working people.
- New York is the big money city, the city of Wall Street, and the epicenter of capitalism. According to Forbes magazine, 99 billionaires with a collective wealth of $560 billion live in NYC, with former Mayor Bloomberg among them. With another 350,000 millionaires, it is the richest city in the world.
- Many of these billionaires are garnering more wealth off New Yorkers' backs in a year of immense suffering from COVID-19. The pandemic has so far killed at least 2 million people globally, led to an economic crisis of historic proportions, and cost millions of New Yorkers their jobs. That amount of money could have both prevented anyone from falling into poverty and paid for a COVID-19 vaccine for every person in NYC and the planet. When the virus hit hard, the rich turned tail and ran. If these already wealthy capitalists were simply prohibited from becoming even richer last year, the world would have seen no increase in poverty and everyone could have been vaccinated for free.
- In NYC, over a million people lost their jobs, hundreds of thousands lost child care, and thousands face evictions once the moratorium is lifted. At the same time, the rich got richer from our work, from our labor. All the profits that fattened the pockets of the rich could be used to meet people’s needs and sustainably develop our neighborhoods, schools, transit and housing.
- In NYC, all this could be done by just taxing the millionaires and billionaires and slashing the NYPD budget. Over 15,000 NYC taxpayers currently would pay the “millionaire’s tax” Cuomo passed across the state, increasing taxes for the rich to 14.8% in local and state taxes. Of the millionaires in NYC, over 500 are “super rich” in that they earn more than $25 million a year. The state government opted to raise taxes when the federal government chose not to provide enough of a stimulus package for states recovering from the pandemic. This means taxing the rich is always an option to bail out the workers who suffered the most in the last year. Imagine what could be done if the wealth of the ultra rich was given to our communities: such as our poorly ventilated schools, our closing hospitals like Kingsbrook in Brooklyn, our unemployed from the pandemic, and our hungry on our streets. Those issues would cease to exist in our city.
- We do not have to stop there. We know taxing the rich is possible. It is realistic because it is happening. We can fight for more options that promote long-term sustainability for the welfare of all New York City residents instead of relying on the banks that promote economic inequality, keep us in debt, and foreclose our homes and businesses. We can create a Public Bank of New York City to consistently create revenue meant for the public good and put an end to Wall Street banking that promotes business interests such as speculative real estate, private prisons, immigrant detention centers, global arms trade, and the fossil fuel industry.