Tax the Rich and Invest in Our NY

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by Gary Weinstein

“Almost everyone agrees with Socialism, until they hear it’s socialism….” 
– local autoworker

Hey Auburn! Hey Cortland! Governor Cuomo’s April 1, 2021 budget is expected to deliver painful budget cuts across the State in the wake of the Pandemic’s shattered economy. But New York State has the wealth to prevent these financial cuts. Year after year, in budget crises, money for working people is slashed, but taxes almost never rise on the wealthy. 

We need to Tax the Rich. Will you make two phone calls to help it happen?

Democratic Socialists of America, DSA, recently crafted six proposals to tax the wealthiest New Yorkers. A hundred other organizations have signed on, forming Invest in Our New York

Democratic Socialists insist working people’s needs must come first. We are thousands strong across New York State. Whether you’re Upstate or down, red, blue, or independent,  urban or rural, black or white, taxing the rich advances economic justice, helping those who need it most.

In September 2020 a Fiscal Policy Institute poll of 665 registered voters showed over 80% of Republicans, and over 90% of Democrats in NYS support raising taxes on the wealthy. 

Did you know: New York State is the tenth largest economy in the world? NYS GDP is larger than Canada’s, larger than Russia’s or South Korea’s. There is more than enough wealth in NY State to preserve and even enhance the State budget. A four percent tax increase on NYS’s top one percent would produce $70 billion in new revenue. 

There are 118 Billionaires in New York State, and one million millionaires. The net worth of the New York State billionaire class has increased over $70 billion just since the Pandemic began.

The average yearly income of those in New York’s top one percent is $2 million dollars a year. The average income of the bottom ninety nine percent – that’s you and me! – is around $50,000 dollars a year. While we work for a living and lose sleep at night over making ends meet, billionaires earn more overnight than you or I make in a lifetime as half of New York State suffers an economic depression. 

It’s time to Tax the Rich and Invest in Our New York.

Hey Syracuse! Did you know someone making $30,000 a year pays the same tax rate as someone making $800,000 a year? This is an absurd injustice. New York is the worst state in the U.S. for wealth inequality.

Socialism is often attacked for wanting to “redistribute the wealth.”  It’s actually the opposite. Democratic socialism seeks to “undistribute” the wealth that constantly flows to the top. New York’s tax code already “redistributes the wealth;” just highly unfairly.

An American capitalism that creates unthinkable wealth alongside growing, never-ending poverty, is a national disgrace. Today’s wealth inequality capitalism is the opposite of democracy. Democratic socialism is not coming for your assets, it’s coming for people making $300,000 a year and up. Six bills before the NYS Legislature will raise critical revenue needed to help millions of New Yorkers. Call your Assembly Members and NYS Senators, tell them to back Invest in Our New York:

  • Tax investment income the same as wages. The rich make money by owning money. The rest of us make money by working. Capital gains by the rich is barely taxed. But your income is.
  • Tax income progressively:  NYS’s tax code is archaic and regressive. The wealthy pay less than working people, as a share of income.
  • Tax inheritance: Massive, low-tax wealth transfers, make the rich even richer, and deprive New York’s working people of State resources needed for survival.
  • Amend the State Constitution: New York taxes you on the value of your house. The State does not tax the rich on their immense stock portfolios or art collections. DSA insists the NYS Constitution allow taxing the rich’s hidden wealth.
  • Tax financial transactions: Manufacturing was once king in New York, but now the Finance Industry is thirty percent of the State’s economy. The State’s dilapidated tax code has not kept up. London, Hong Kong and other financial centers do this.
  • Reverse the 2017 Trump corporate tax cuts; back to 35% from 21%

The myth If We Tax the Rich,They’ll Flee the State has never been shown true. Taxation is among the last things the wealthy consider in relocating. Millionaires in New York have doubled since the last modest rise in their taxes in 2009.

Hey Elbridge! Hey Oswego! 90% of New Yorkers support this campaign. Socialism, it turns out, is democratic by nature because it upholds the interests of working people – the 99% —  you and me, the Majority. The working majority’s priorities come first. That’s socialism, folks. Call your NYS Senator and Assembly person. Insist they support Invest in Our New York, and Tax the Rich. The Senate Switchboard is 518 455 2800. The Assembly switchboard is 518 455 4218. 

Interested in Central New York DSA? Write us at

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