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Mayor Bloomberg demands higher taxes for all

August 14, 2011

Seeking a way out of the nation’s deficit mess, Mayor Bloomberg for the first time yesterday proposed a specific solution — hike taxes across the board, not just on the rich, but for everyone.

“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,” the mayor declared. “Raise everybody’s taxes 1 or 2 percent,whatever.”

For days, Bloomberg has been pounding both Democrats and Republicans in the deficit debacle for taking the nation to the edge of default before reaching a short-term deal that lifted the $14.29 trillion debt ceiling 10 hours before the deadline.He didn’t let up yesterday on his weekly WOR radio show.

“It cannot go on,” the mayor insisted. “It’s dysfunctionalgovernment.”Although he’s counseled against raising city and state taxes, Bloomberg noted that federal rates are “very low compared to other developed societies.”That later prompted a caller to ask what he would do to resolve the impasse in Washington.

“We can sit here forever and say we’re going to reform the tax code, we’re going to reform how Medicaid is done — you will never get it done,” Bloomberg responded. “The easiest ways, the most practical ways, and maybe the fairest ways is everybody a little bit.”Mayoral spokesman Stu Loeser emphasized that his boss was calling for a tax increase only as part of a long-term agreement down the road.

The top federal tax of 35 percent will jump to 39.6 percent if tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush aren’t extended past 2012. The cost of a 10-year extension has been put at $3.7 trillion by the liberal-leaning Center on Budget & Policy Priorities.

Bloomberg is suggesting a far smaller hike.Dan Cantor, of the Working Families Party, one of the earliest to demand higher taxes on millionaires, dismissed Bloomberg’s suggestion as a “nonstarter.”

“The mayor lives in a world of his own,” Cantor charged. “It doesn’t make sense to ask a salesman or a waitress making $3,000 a month to pay the same taxes as a commodities trader making $300,000 a month.”

City Councilwoman Tish James (D-Brooklyn), another longtime advocate for taking more taxes from the rich, wasn’t ready to include the poor and middle class for the sake of compromise.

“Over the years, not everyone was given tax breaks,” she said. “The tax breaks went to the wealthy.”

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