Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New York Democrats Party Like It's 1975

With massive tax increases sparing nobody, the state of New York turned back the clocks to the gory days of the mid-1970s when residents fled in droves as the state crumbled under the weight over onerous taxation that finally led to reforms first instituted by then-Governor Hugh Carey.

Well, never ones to avoid repeating history, New York Democrats are now instituting crushing new taxes on everything from electric bills to fishing licenses.

Just wait until Barack Obama whacks them with federal tax increases.
A Big Apple family of five with a combined income of $450,000 will end up shelling out at least an additional $5,200 a year more under the budget agreed to by Gov. Paterson and legislative leaders.

A middle-class family of four with a $95,000 income could have to cough up over $850 more than they did a year earlier, according to The Post's calculations.

And a swinging single guy living in the city will likely put out another $336.72.

The hefty increase includes higher taxes slapped on staples like cigars and 12 packs of beer -- as well as expected hikes in subway fares, since the budget made no provisions for the cash-strapped MTA.

The heads of The Post's fictional family of five will pay the most in new taxes thanks to their income of $450,000.

They'll fork over $4,320 extra in state income tax alone thanks to the "millionaire's tax," which whacks households earning over $300,000 with a 1 percent hike.

The Post reached that number by adjusting their taxable income with $3,000 in deductions for their three children, and the $15,000 standard deduction.

As steep as their new bill is, their more affluent neighbors will be hit even harder. New Yorkers who earn over $500,000 will see their personal income tax rate jump from 6.85 percent to 8.97 percent.

Those hikes -- which are supposed to expire after three years -- are expected to raise around $4 billion this year.
As someone who was growing up in NYC in the 1970s, I recall the most booming business back then was moving companies, as families couldn't get out fast enough.

Mayor Bloomberg recently cited studies showing merely 40,000 city residents pay half the freight, so don't expect all of them to stick around, including some notable celebrities.

So when they leave, the middle class will get hit even harder, and many of them can't just pick up and leave.

The accidental governor, David Paterson, has clearly broken his promises to revive business and reverse the loss of productive citizens. But why should he care, he'll be out of office in another couple of years and probably living large in the Obama administration.

All this does is spell doom for the city and state.
The budget created by Gov. Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith is a monstrously bloated, tax-and-spend plan that, in one fell swoop, reverses a three-decade-long effort to strengthen business and prevent taxpayers from fleeing the state.

The wrecking ball of a new state budget, approved in Kremlin-like secrecy by the troika, also ranks as one of the biggest betrayals in process and substance by a governor in New York history.

The reform effort being reversed by Paterson & Co. began in 1975, when then-newly elected Democratic Gov. Hugh Carey, ending 16 years of Republican rule, famously declared that the "Days of Wine and Roses" were over.

Carey wasn't talking about Gov. Rockefeller's sybaritic lifestyle, just his fiscal policies that, along with Mayor Lindsay's, brought a fiscal crisis -- worse in some ways than the current national recession -- that nearly bankrupted the city and state.

Carey was followed by Mario Cuomo, who, in 1987, slashed the state's top income-tax bracket and even cut the capital-gains tax.

But Cuomo, like Paterson, sought to impose billions of dollars in new taxes and fees during a severe recession, worsening the state's economic climate and setting the stage for his defeat at the hands of George Pataki.

Republican Pataki, even with a $5 billion projected deficit on taking office in 1995, balanced the budget and cut the income tax's top rate once again.

Ironically, while Paterson's Democratic allies in the Legislature gleefully claim to be reversing Pataki's tax cuts for the wealthy, he cut tax rates for the highest earners less than they were cut under Democrats Carey and Cuomo.

"This budget basically represents a reversal of 30 years of New York tax policy," said the Manhattan Institute's E.J. McMahon.
As a New Jersey resident, I'm in no position to gloat much, as Jon Corzine is busy emptying our wallets as well, but at least we can say we're not New York. Plus Corzine is trailing badly in polls and may well find himself seeking other employment six months from now.

Democrats just never learn from history, they just enjoy recreating it.

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