NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg won’t be winning many friends among New Yorkers following his latest remarks promoting tax hikes and defending Port Authority toll increases.
Speaking on his weekly WOR radio show Friday, the billionaire mayor offered his suggestion for cutting away at the nation’s towering deficit — “raise everybody’s taxes.”
It’s either enlightened self interest or a real desire to get something started in Washington, but our billionaire mayor is now saying the rich shouldn’t be singled out — a la President Barack Obama. As far as tax hikes go, he says it’s time to hit everyone. Bloomberg added that it was the “easiest” and “fairest” thing to do.
Bloomberg Suggests ‘Raise Everybody’s Taxes.’ 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan Reports.
“If you want to raise taxes, don’t pick one class of people and say ‘I think they have too much money’ or ‘I don’t think they have enough money or whatever.’ Raise everybody’s taxes 1 or 2 percent, whatever it was,” he said.
The mayor went on to give President Obama some advice on how he should handle taxes and take aim at the deficit.
“Number 1, I think the President should literally go out there and say ‘this is what I propose A, B, C and D’ and I think that should be a combination of revenue enhancements and expense cuts,” Bloomberg said.
As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports, Bloomberg said he is referring to personal incomes taxes and business taxes.
“Everybody says ‘not me’ and if you say ‘I’m sorry, John, it’s everybody,’ we’re not going to list to one special interest the practicality of getting something done when you pick and choose will tie us up forever,” Bloomberg said.
But some financial experts question how you can get the economy out of the doldrums if you hit lower and middle class income earners with new taxes while they are trying to get out of the recession.
“They have less to spend. It’s gonna kill the economy and they’re the ones that we need to spend the money. They need to go out there and buy clothes, shoes and sneakers,” CPA Ellen Minkow said.
“It’s gonna separate the middle class and the upper class. Worse, we’re getting further and further apart,” CPA Fred Slater added.
Joe the average taxpayer seems to agree.
“The poor and the middle class need to be helped a little bit,” Midtown resident John Gladstein said.
“I think it’s a bad idea. I think the more you have the more you can afford to give back,” added Ken Mesnik of Midtown.
“Less money for me, less money for my family. Instead of raising the taxes they should find us more jobs so we’ll be able to afford those changes in the economy,” Bronx resident Alberto Rosario said.
In a sense the mayor was drawing a contrast between himself and both political parties — the Republicans who say no new taxes and the Democrats who say close tax loopholes that benefit the rich and corporations.
And while the mayor was highly critical of the deficit debacle in Washington, he did take a minute to crow about the cities’ bond rating. Many are still AAA, much better than the federal government.
Meanwhile, recently proposed fare and toll hikes by the Port Authority also weighed heavily on Bloomberg’s mind Friday.
1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks With More On Bloomberg’s Comments
He defended the agency’s request for the increased revenue on its bridges and tunnels, saying “You want a service? You gotta pay for it.”
“When it comes to mass transit, like the MTA or going across bridges, how much do you want to charge the person that goes over that bridge or through that tunnel and whatever you don’t charge them, then everybody’s going to have to pay. Because, for better or worse, you have to have people and they’re not going to work unless they get paid,” Bloomberg said.
Further elaborating on the argument about tolls, Bloomberg said that there shouldn’t be a referendum on every single thing, likely in reference to the upcoming Port Authority toll hearings.
“Leadership is not asking the public what they want and then doing it. Leadership is listening to the public, making a decision and then convincing them that that’s the right decision in leading from the front,” Bloomberg said.
Shocked, angered or bewildered by the Mayor’s comments? Do you agree with him? Share your thoughts in the comments section…