We the People have been tapped by the Feds to bail out the billionaires. Now in New York City, Michael Bloomberg, candidate Mayor For Life, will tap regular New Yorkers to bail out the city. Fine. We bear a collective (though not necessarily equal) responsibility to get ourselves out of this mess.
But one group is exempt -- Mikey's peers -- the millionaires and billionaires, the very people at the heart of the maelstrom in the first place.
Bloomberg proposes cutting teachers, cops, firefighters. He proposes raising sales taxes and cutting property tax rebates. But NO increase in taxes for the wealthiest.
What makes this doubly hypocritical is that the wealthiest already enjoy the lowest tax rates. The IRS has released figures showing that the wealthiest 400 Americans averaged $263 million income in 2006 -- most of it as capital gains taxed at a rate of 17%, far below what many average Americans pay. Yet both Mayor Bloomberg and New York Governor Paterson have expressly opposed raising taxes for those most able to pay. Instead they embrace hammering those least able. Brilliant. American democracy at its truest.