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The Mugger: Bill De Blasio’s tax will punish the whole city of New York.
National Review ^ | 09/10/2013 | The Editors

Posted on 09/10/2013 4:53:47 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

The last time a man of Bill de Blasio’s political bent was entrusted with the mayoralty of New York, the city experienced 2,000 murders a year, anti-Jewish riots, economic stagnation, and a general sense of ungovernability. Unhappily, New York City Democrats are preparing to make Mr. de Blasio their candidate for mayor, which, the city’s politics being what they are, and none of the Republican contenders being as charismatic as Rudy Giuliani or as rich as Michael Bloomberg, would make him the presumptive frontrunner.

The far-left element, never far from the surface of the city’s Democratic party, has experienced a generation of frustration: No professing Democrat has occupied the mayor’s office since Rudolph Giuliani was inaugurated on New Year’s Day of 1994, and this period of Democratic exclusion from Gracie Mansion has been one of dramatic improvement for the city — economically, socially, and, above all, in terms of law and order. But the Left has been to a large extent watching the action from the outside, and there is a great deal of pent-up demand for punitive politics on the David Dinkins model. Mr. de Blasio has promised to satisfy that demand in full.

The centerpiece of Mr. de Blasio’s campaign agenda is a mugging — a multibillion-dollar forcible wealth transfer from New York taxpayers to the public-sector unions that constitute the backbone of the city’s Democratic machine. This will take the form of half a billion dollars a year in new taxes on certain high-income New Yorkers, to be spent on kindergarten, day care, and after-school activities. Never mind that there is scant evidence, to the extent that there is evidence at all, that such programs improve in any meaningful way the education of students — and never mind that in New York City, education spending already is up some 52.7 percent (adjusted for inflation) over what it was when Mayor Bloomberg was elected. The money will go to Democrat-affiliated public-sector employees, which is enough for the Democrats. And the Left cares just as much about where the money comes from — in this case, from New Yorkers earning $500,000 a year or more. The politics involved are pure resentment-driven, Occupy-style hate. Mr. de Blasio’s wealth-transfer agenda is in fact unlikely ever to come to pass; Albany would need to sign off on those tax hikes, and probably would hesitate to do so. But purely as an instrument of communication, Mr. de Blasio’s proposal is sure to be effective, its unmistakable message to businesses and investors — “Not Welcome” — plain for all to see. The destructiveness of this message is difficult to overstate.

Changes in technology and business practices over the past two decades mean that financial firms, the source of most of those high-paying jobs, have no pressing need to be physically located in lower Manhattan. An office on Wall Street has mainly symbolic rather than instrumental value. Competing financial centers, such as nearby Stamford, Conn., or Charlotte, N.C. — to say nothing of London, Singapore, or Sydney — would be only too happy to absorb those highly paid workers and the already substantial tax revenue they generate. The obvious analogue here is Los Angeles and the movie and television businesses, which have been driven to greener pastures by California’s punitive taxes and regulations. New York City is simply not a going concern without the financial industry at the heart of its economy.

So much for the de Blasio agenda. What of de Blasio per se? New York is a place where people come to invent themselves, which is what Mr. de Blasio, formerly Warren Wilhelm of Cambridge, Mass., has done. He entered politics as a volunteer on the Dinkins campaign before serving as an aide in the Dinkins administration, and he met his wife while working for Team Dinkins. Outside of that world, he is a stranger. He has less-impressive private-sector experience than do many students applying for summer internships, his career having consisted mainly of stints as a minor figure in the administration of Bill Clinton and in the Senate campaign of Hillary Clinton, along with elected offices.

He currently serves as the city’s “public advocate,” meaning roughly “tribune of the plebs,” an obscure office with little in the way of real responsibility or influence. He has made minor crusades out of defending the Section 8 housing program and looking after the rights of transgendered tenants. His most notable success was stopping a plan to expand taxi service with new cabs that would serve the outer boroughs — thus making life less convenient and more expensive for New Yorkers outside of Manhattan, for which he was richly thanked by the cab cartel. And he has been the most severe critic among the Democratic mayoral candidates of “stop and frisk,” a policing tool that has been an invaluable part of New York’s impressive reduction in crime.

His main appeal to the Left is that he is so impeccably Park Slope. He earnestly says things such as: “I am very proud of the fact that my wife and I have raised two vegetarians.” He makes a point of mentioning that his children have attended public schools, and the impressive afro of his mixed-race son has become a sort of campaign rallying point. Not quite fitting this narrative is his wife’s time at Citigroup, where she worked for CEO Chuck Prince, financial archvillain in the minds of the sort of people who vote for men like Bill de Blasio.

In sum, he is a would-be class warrior whose life in Park Slope was partly financed by Citigroup, whose résumé is thin, whose highest-profile job saw him overseeing an agency with a budget smaller than that of a typical Walgreens, who is — thank heavens — unlikely to even begin to accomplish the centerpiece of his agenda, but who has made brilliant if cynical use of his two attractive children in campaign commercials. Rustle up a couple of squeegee men and we’ll know how this story ends.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; US: New York
KEYWORDS: billdeblasio; mayor; nyc; tax

1 posted on 09/10/2013 4:53:47 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

He will be worse than Bloomberg??? This I gotta see.


2 posted on 09/10/2013 5:07:31 AM PDT by Venturer ( cowardice posturing as tolerance =political correctness)
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To: SeekAndFind

New York will decline. When this left wing mayor dismantles stop and frisk, crime and violence will soar. There will once again be many no go zones in the city. Crime and high taxes will contract the economy. Giuliani’s legacy will be squandered. The toxic effects of liberalism will be on full display.


3 posted on 09/10/2013 5:07:53 AM PDT by allendale
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To: SeekAndFind
But purely as an instrument of communication, Mr. de Blasio’s proposal is sure to be effective, its unmistakable message to businesses and investors — “Not Welcome” — plain for all to see. The destructiveness of this message is difficult to overstate.

The only upside is that the majority who vote for this idiot will get what they deserve. I remember when Gov. Celeste in OH was fed up with the flight of businesses to the less expensive (and less unionized) environs of the South. So, Celeste rallied the Dems to pass an "exit tax" that was equal to six months wages of the company. Months later, Celeste and his stupid party were standing around trying to figure out why new business formation in OH had dropped to zero. Their "Ah-ha" moment eventually led to the repeal of this stupid tax. If de Blasio gets voted in, I wonder how much damage will be done to NYC before they have their ah-ha moment.

4 posted on 09/10/2013 5:08:57 AM PDT by econjack (I'm not bossy...I just know what you should be doing.)
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To: allendale

Couldn’t happen to a better place.


5 posted on 09/10/2013 5:09:00 AM PDT by anoldafvet
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To: Venturer

Worse then Dinkins, though, no. Albany will keep him with bounds. He’s a shapeshifter like Obama but at least he is not black.


6 posted on 09/10/2013 5:14:25 AM PDT by RobbyS (quotes)
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To: SeekAndFind

Detroit, Part Deux.


7 posted on 09/10/2013 5:18:01 AM PDT by moovova
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To: allendale

I went to NYC in 1989 to visit a girlfriend. I was so appalled by what I saw that I swore to never go back. I had gone there several times a year to shop for music and books that were not available in York, PA - pre Amazon, and even pre-Borders.

There was garbage and bums laying all over the streets and walks, even in front of elegant restaurants. The people just stepped over them. My girlfriend lived in a one-room apartment, with a very sophisticated lock because of the high crime. She religiously followed the pooper scooper law, carrying an inside out baggie, which she used to pick up her little yapper’s droppings, and there were plenty of open garbage cans, full of uncollected garbage, for her to deposit the bag of feces.

There were panhandlers all over the place, scam artists set up in Times Square, and the unwelcome windshield washers at every traffic stop.

In November of 2001, my fiancee and I visited NYC to pay homage to ground zero. I was very pleasantly surprised at the change. The streets were much cleaner, free of garbage, bums and panhandlers. The taxis were clean, and the drivers were polite and helpful.

I suppose the New Yorkers can’t stand prosperity.


8 posted on 09/10/2013 5:20:59 AM PDT by Daveinyork
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To: SeekAndFind

When they run out of other people’s money, NewYork will look like a scene out of World War Z!


9 posted on 09/10/2013 5:21:22 AM PDT by Dr. Ursus
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To: allendale

It will make great TV though....... Bill Street Blues

Anti Jewish riots? Their boy caused the city nothing but pain and their day must be declared over. Need healthcare? Pay the lady selling the tickets at the Hospital door. ....cash only


10 posted on 09/10/2013 5:28:14 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Travon... Felony assault and battery hate crime)
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To: Venturer
He'll be Bloomberg without the good points -- law and order, for one thing.

imagine Mussolini but with the trains running like sh*t.

11 posted on 09/10/2013 5:28:45 AM PDT by Tanniker Smith (Rome didn't fall in a day, either.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I find it amazing...

His latest commercial comes right out and says: “Bill will be the only one to tax the rich and fund pre-K for everyone”...

Unf^ckingbelievable


12 posted on 09/10/2013 5:33:13 AM PDT by TangledUpInBlue (I have no home. I'm the wind.)
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To: TangledUpInBlue

RE: Unf^ckingbelievable

The more unbelievable thing is this -— HE IS MAKING THIS AD BECAUSE HE KNOWS THAT PEOPLE WILL VOTE FOR HIM *BECAUSE* OF IT...

Go figure...


13 posted on 09/10/2013 5:38:35 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: TangledUpInBlue
His latest commercial comes right out and says: “Bill will be the only one to tax the rich and fund pre-K for everyone”...

After Bill's taxes are implemented and the FAIL to produce the anticipated revenues. He will have to call for MORE TAXES or fines to make it up causing LESS REVENUES.

DOH!

14 posted on 09/10/2013 5:38:51 AM PDT by sr4402
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To: Venturer

Think Dinkins, but harder left.


15 posted on 09/10/2013 5:40:12 AM PDT by from occupied ga (Your government is your most dangerous enemy)
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To: Venturer

I remember Dinkins.
Believe it or not, it IS possible to do worse than Bloomberg.


16 posted on 09/10/2013 5:56:42 AM PDT by Little Ray (How did I end up in this hand-basket, and why is it getting so hot?)
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To: SeekAndFind
Drudges headline for the election:

ERECTION DAY: Weiner peters out at 7% as voters head to polls...

ROFLMAO

17 posted on 09/10/2013 6:02:16 AM PDT by Bushbacker1 (Molon Labe! (Oathkeeper))
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To: Daveinyork
I suppose the New Yorkers can’t stand prosperity.

There is an element who miss the Pre-Guilani days because they claim NYC was "gritter" and "edgy" back then.

18 posted on 09/10/2013 6:15:07 AM PDT by C19fan
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To: SeekAndFind

Right. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me anymore.


19 posted on 09/10/2013 9:03:06 AM PDT by TangledUpInBlue (I have no home. I'm the wind.)
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