November 30, 2011
So- Governor Cuomo-as we said he would do in a previous post- is floating the idea (well his creatures are- same thing) that maybe tinkering with the upper tax brackets …
might be in order considering the state deficits still looming even after massive cuts TO VITAL SERVICES .
Plus –he really seems unable or unwilling to go back on his Grover Norquist- like statement that he wouldn’t raise taxes on the top 1%…in fact he declared categorically he’d cut the top tax rate (surcharge) thereby giving the richest among us a 5 billion tax cut.
That was then….
Well a lot happened on the way to the big tax cut give-a-way…
The polls, showing New Yorkers really,really want the top 1% to pay their share, happened.
The tax cap proved to be the snake oil we said it would be.
Local governments are in revolt.
Fire departments can’t seem to get all the ridiculous paper work required by the dumb cap done on time.
There was no promised mandate relief.
The middle class figured out it was getting the short end of the stick.
That’s what happened…and MORE.
But the governor’s thinking about changing the tax brackets a bit…but doing it like a reluctant virgin bestowing favors… seems to be the approach instead of telling the raw, unblemished truth.
The Albany crowd cannot justify a tax give-a-way to the very richest people when we have so many problems besetting the state …
…when there has really been no property tax relief…in fact the situation is now worse than before.
…when the economy is in the toilet.
…when services are faltering.
…when we can’t fix our crumbling infra-structure (the Tappan Zee for one).
This gubernatorial tinkering is a little too little and a little too late.
We should not be overcome with gratitude even though we welcome this very small ray of light.
Albany’s on the hot seat with the deficit-big time-and frankly I don’t see any real remorse or forward movement on the part of the legislators.
Even some staunch lobbyists for the rich have not been disposed to hold back criticism on the mandates and corporate welfare…probably as a warning not to cave on the millionaire’s tax (…a threat seems to be implicit).
Bless the big mamma of CSNY, Ms. K. (she of the “let’s not pamper the workers “rep?) …she’s not giving (Cuomo ?) a “blank check” she says of the talk on bracket raising for the top 1%…pulling the leash on Albany ?
Letting the administration do a little tinkering with the brackets but warning on anything more?
Albany is sizzling kids…and let’s see which way Albany jumps.
…meanwhile we keep doing what we’ve been doing…the property tax as now constituted is the worst tax bar none–okay with the exception of the poll tax…and continues to do immeasurable damage and continues to be invisible to the Cuomo administration biggies even as they test the waters of MAYBE admitting that the mega rich need to chip in…..So far it is a little too little and a little too late for tinkering.
Scratch that…IT’S A LOT TOO LITTLE…and a lot too late for tinkering.
November 29, 2011
A SCATHING DENUNCIATION…
OF CORPORATE WELFARE …
In dissenting from a really BAD (political?) top NYS court decision which allows NYS to continue giving lots of public money to corporations in defiance of our NYS constitution (which clearly prohibits such folly) ….
Associate Judge Robert Smith said…
“I seem to remember a time when IBM could make money by selling its products for more than it cost to produce them. I would have thought semiconductor manufacturers could do the same. If they cannot, a bail-out for their shareholders is not a prudent use of more than a billion dollars in taxpayer funds.
Of course, the New York Legislature, so long as it stays within constitutional limits, is free to disregard both received economic teachings and common sense. I have defended before, and will no doubt defend again, the right of elected legislators to commit folly if they choose. But when our Legislature commits the precise folly that a provision of our Constitution was written to prevent, and this Court responds by judicially repealing the constitutional provision, I think I am entitled to be annoyed.”
Judge Eugene Piggott’s also registered a scathing dissent from the ludicrous majority decision.
We in the tax reform movement are fed up with all three branches of state government acting like it’s perfectly okay to hand out billions in taxpayer money for corporate welfare…money that comes from the nearly empty pockets of strapped middle class taxpayers and serves no public purpose.
So this year’s session in Albany will be a helluva lot different than ever before because the public now knows:
It’s BS that these coddled corporations create jobs. We have proven they don’t.
It is a fact that the top 1% of the wealthiest New Yorkers are paying nothing even close to their share of taxes for public services.
It is indisputable that few of those at the top of the yawning wealth gap produce anything of value for our society. Nor have they earned the immense wealth they have accumulated by dint of hard work in the service of our country. Quite the opposite. (In other words Mr. Kolb, they are not “successes” as you have designated them when referring to the millionaire’s tax as a “success” tax”.)
It’s more BS that the state has no money. It has billions to dole out to campaign contributors. It rebates 14 billion to Wall Street in stock transfer taxes alone.
It is galling and insulting that the state responded to the property tax emergency with massive cuts to services and passage of a tax levy “cap” that is a “lie”- and which the politicians knew would not reduce property taxes by one penny.
Obviously we tax reformers are no longer alone in our disdain for and distrust of the politicians in Albany. The OWS tsunami is evidence of widespread grass roots discontent with political malfeasance.
The CC. of taxnightmare.org will be meeting soon to outline its agenda in response to Albany’s intransigence and malpractice.
…and we will be keeping in mind what we learned through years of lobbying pro bono and fighting non- stop for tax reform -that the record of service to the public of the vast majority of Albany politicians…stinks!
November 21, 2011
BTW…Is it more than a rumor that the Gov.-stung by the public outcry over his tax breaks for the wealthiest few-is eventually going to do a wealth tax but call it something else? That would be good…and smart.
November 17, 2011
November 15, 2011
Peaceful for now…..
The conference at Mohonk 2 highlighted disgraceful income inequity, property tax insanity, and the general turmoil in today’s struggles for economic reform…
The big (about 130) by invitation only crowd at Mohonk 2 yesterday, were following the fortunes of the Omnibus Consortium, a diverse band of good government groups , fiscal fairness leaders , grass roots property tax reformers, labor leaders and others in their continuing struggle for reform…
(We converse with citizens in smaller open meetings around the state…Mohonk was a limited venue and therefore had to be for a limited group of actvists and their guests.Apologies to those we had to turn away.)
This struggle has been going on for much longer than it should because our state government is unashamedly dysfunctional and is an almost wholly owned subsidiary of the mega rich –( almost… but there are some exceptions as we mention frequently).
One reporter, Chris Rowley, my new favorite Brit, felt that Mohonk2 was like opening up a pressure cooker and having EVERYTHING burst out because there is SO MUCH discontent engendered by the way the state ignores its responsibilities… not to mention their obsequious deference to Wall Street and their generosity in matters of corporate welfare…here I must mention Peter Brothers-a tax reformer who covers-and uncovers- the scandals in this area…
Because of the general discontent, it is almost impossible to keep discussions within the confines of our Omnibus mission statement which is to get relief from and reform of the property tax. That remains our goal.
The reform portion of Frank Mauro’s elegant and comprehensive Omnibus Tax Solution- which meshes with the struggles by OWS and others to make the state responsible for funding vital services for the 99% and not just catering to the 1%- plainly rests on a progressive income tax which we do not have in NYS and which the Governor is insisting on further dismantling. The modern day robber barons not only scarf up the fruits of everyone’s labor they also refuse to disgorge even a little for the public services necessary in a civilized society.
Now, the governor is going to give them a 5 billion dollar gift of taxpayer money … even in the face of higher deficits, escalating property taxes ( the cap is a lie) , and workers being thrown under the bus.
The satraps of the privileged few are currently flooding the media with faux figures to justify their rapacity and corruption ( I am exploring the many ways you can say GREED)..
So let me leave you with this advice….trust what you see and experience …not the propaganda the richest 1% and their pols are dishing up..
THE LINES WAITING TO BUY PRIVATE JETS AND THE LINES AT THE SOUP KITCHENS ARE GETTING LONGER EVERY DAY…THAT’S THE STORY THAT NO LIES CAN ERASE.
THE MIDDLE CLASS IS FAST SINKING INTO POVERTY BECAUSE OF BETRAYAL BY WALL ST. AND GOVERNMENT…THE first LOST or STOLE our INVESTMENTS in OUR FUTURE…THE second SOLD OUT…
But in the end there is always nemesis…so watch out bad guys…
(Thanks to Patti and Navajo and Sam and other guests who spoke eloquently at Mohonk…we’re listening.) Thanks to those reformers who came from NYC and way up north and all around.
Keep in touch. Send me your thoughts to put on this blog…I didn’t have a chance to get SO MANY of your names that I wanted to publish…or lost them in the hustle and bustle…. PLEASE Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org…
…and as many of you said…we need to ramp up the fight…WAY UP…
November 11, 2011
…and here they come again…with suitcases full of cash to finish the job they started by pushing through the disastrous cap…The Committee to (Shave) Save (for the mega rich) NYS. is gearing up for the new session of the legislature… Everyone is getting ready to fight the big battle over the millionaires tax…we want the tax kept to help middle class homeowners and renters survive their insane property tax bills.
But the CSNY wants the tax to go away so their masters can reap a 5 billion windfall tax break.
That’s on top of the money the mega rich scarfed up by causing a recession; crashing the economy; and taking what was left in bonuses.
These Wall St. guys didn’t make anything of value to the nation; they outsourced every job (except those of the CEO’s); they gambled with stockholders’ money; impoverished pension funds; and destroyed the hopes and dreams of hundreds of millions of middle class families.
Now they are back for more.
With the abominable and shoddy cap on middle class services in place (lest the rich have to pay a share for public services); While there are DIRE PREDICTIONS THAT THERE WILL BE A SHORTFALL IN THE BUDGET; Wall St. is STILL getting 14 billion rebated from the stock transfer tax.
(Were you aware of this give-a-way?)
BUT –INCREDIBLY- THEY ARE STILL HUNGERING FOR MORE LOOT FROM THE OVERBURDENED MIDDLE CLASS TAXPAYER…
Considering how much damage was done last session to the NYS economy by a combination of this mega rich lobby and our (their) state government, we now hear csny is refitting its lobbying arm and collecting funds to fight to get rid of the mega rich section of the progressive income tax in order to give their masters a further 5 billion tax break!
OUTRAGEOUS! HAVE YOU NO SHAME, MR. 1%!!!!