Politics

New York Mayor Proposes Millionaire Tax to Fix Subways, Ignores Chronic Mismanagement

“The major problem with that liberal rhetoric is that the government never asks anything, they demand that a person pay the taxes or they send them to jail.”

New York Mayor Bill De Blasio is currently being confronted with a deteriorating subway system. The trains are unreliable and old, and frequent rush hour malfunctions paralyze the city to the point that the governor was forced to declare a state of emergency for its subways.

To help resolve the issues De Blasio proposed a half percent raise in the tax on millionaires that aims to raise an extra 500 million dollars. The tax proposal and the language used are typical of liberal politicians who propose ineffective half measures that ignore the larger problems while using focus group tested rhetoric.

The fundamental problem is described very plainly by the City Journal. Thanks to the lavish benefits for the unionized transportation workers and expensive labor contracts, the four billion in tolls and fees the New York City transportation system collects is less than half of its operating costs.

Only an obscenely bloated government entity can regularly collect four billion a year and still need to rely on taxpayer money to fund its operating costs. The extra money is just so the subway system can break even; this doesn’t take into account the funds needed for upgrades and expansion.

A private business would make the necessary cost cutting measures to improve quality while lowering the cost of the product at the same time. For example, Amazon manages to offer free and low-cost shipping on millions of goods and products even as it develops mergers with grocery stores and two hour drone deliveries. With the seemingly unlimited pockets of taxpayers, the unions don’t have to make the same improvements. The powerful unions elect public officials, and instead of promoting change and reform, the politicians propose more taxes and spending.

De Blasio’s statement is full of politician doubletalk that disguises the union’s responsibility for the disaster and soft peddles the consequences of his proposal. He said that “rather than sending the bill to working families and subway and bus riders already feeling the pressure of rising fares and bad service, we are asking the wealthiest in our city to chip in a little extra to help move our transit system into the 21st century.”

The major problem with that liberal rhetoric is that the government never asks anything, they demand that a person pay the taxes or they send them to jail. “Chip in a little extra” sounds okay as well, especially when the wealthiest are compared to the “working families” that are stuck using the horrible subways. But the wealthiest citizens in New York already pay upwards of 70% of their incomes in taxes when the city income tax is combined with federal and state taxes.

At a certain point even the big government liberals and those that envy the wealthy must conclude that taking almost three quarters of a person’s income is not fair and move far beyond “chipping in a little bit.” That is unfair and rapacious taxation that goes to support the lavish benefits of inefficient union workers. It’s not very popular for politicians to argue for lower tax cuts for the rich, but the principle that a person should keep the money they earn is a just principle that applies to everybody.

Raising taxes to support a corrupt union using misleading rhetoric that attacks the rich is typical liberal behavior. It ignores the larger problem of the insolvent and mismanaged transit system. The higher taxes will do little to help because the wealthy have the means to move to areas with lower taxes, and as conservatives often say, eventually you run out of other people’s money.

Morgan Deane

Morgan Deane is an OpsLens Contributor and a former U.S. Marine Corps infantry rifleman. Deane also served in the National Guard as an Intelligence Analyst. He is the author of the forthcoming book Decisive Battles in Chinese history, as well as Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents: Ancient Warfare in the Book of Mormon.

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