On Taxes, Millionaires, and the NY Republican Party

To my left, you see a picture of Governor Andrew Cuomo sandwiched by two freshman Republican legislators: Sen. Lee Zeldin and Asm. Dean Murray (or, “The Legion of Doom” as I’ve taken to calling them). The picture is from today’s bill signing of the Governor’s Tax Reform plan which, among other things, reduced the MTA Tax by 80% and temporarily increasing taxes on people making more than two million dollars a year.

There have been quite a few from the right criticizing the Republicans in Albany for selling out and agreeing to a tax hike, giving in to the Occupy Wall Street crowd, not having back bone, and so on. While I agree that in a perfect world everyone would agree with us and we’d get everything we want, I just want to bring up three key points:

1.  Like it or not, the Democrats in New York are not going away anytime soon and Republican’s have a single seat majority in the state senate…in a deep blue state that’s going into a redistricting year with a Democrat Governor who generally polls in the 60’s.

2.  The “millionaire’s tax” is a temporary increase on people making more than two million dollars a year. The Obama/Pelosi/DCCC endorsed Occupy Wall Street crowd wants a permanent tax hike on anyone making more than $200,000 a year that they’re calling a “millionaire’s tax” because they think people are too stupid to know any better (and that’s on top of all their other ridiculous demands). The two things are not the same.

3. There was a ginormous repeal of the job killing MTA Tax (I think 80%). The MTA Tax was the main focal point of all down state Republican’s running in 2010. The MTA Tax is why freshman like Zeldin and Murray were elected to office in the first place. Repealing the MTA tax is how they’re going to run successfully for re-election.

This is what compromise looks like. Would I have preferred a 100% repeal of the MTA Tax, no tax increases on anyone, and a serious reduction of spending? Of course I would. I’m well aware that there’s no such thing as a temporary tax increase in Albany…so we have that fight in 2014. You win what you can, and prepare for the next battle. Cats like Zeldin and Murray can now campaign on the repeal and continue to debate on a tax cut plan that cuts spending as well, all while asking voters for an opportunity to send them back to Albany to continue what they started.

Unless of course you think explaining to voters why you gave up a repeal of the MTA Tax that would have helped small businesses create jobs because you refused a temporary increase over people making 2mil+, all while President Obama is going to be top of the ticket in a state like New York, would have been a good thing.


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