You are reading

Op-Ed: Tax the Rich, ‘Progressives’ Out of Touch

Photo: Jim Magee, Candidate for Assembly District 37 (Photo courtesy of Jim Magee)

June 13, 2022 Op-Ed By Jim Magee, Candidate for Assembly District 37

I have lived in this district my entire life and I have never seen the working people of these neighborhoods feel so ignored.

It is past time to tax the super-rich in New York State. Billionaires. The Democratic Party is going to have to change its leadership in order to accomplish that. The current “progressives” are not focused on the health of the working class. Instead they used the Democratic majorities in Albany to open the prisons and make criminal prosecution almost impossible.

Historically, a progressive is someone who is a champion for the working class. This April, a group of workers on Staten Island formed Amazon’s first union. When reached for comment, Amazon union organizer Christian Smalls said that Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had not supported the workers’ efforts. Ocasio-Cortez claimed that this was because the Amazon warehouse was not in her district. Smalls responded that many of his Amazon colleagues actually do live in our community.

The disparity in wealth causes problems everywhere, and I do not understand these Democrats’ hesitance to address it.

One of the main reasons that inflation is out of control is that the government’s pandemic assistance was not funded by taxing the rich (where the wealth is), it was funded by printing more money. So the dollar simply isn’t worth as much.

Magee is vying to represent the 37th Assembly District. The district includes Sunnyside, Long Island City, parts of Woodside, Ridgewood and Maspeth

A standard Republican explanation for why inflation has skyrocketed since the pandemic is that problems in the supply chain have caused prices to rise.

The truth is that due to a lack of competition, corporations are able to raise prices far above the rising cost of materials. And that is what they are doing.

These corporations are currently pocketing record profits while the rest of us see the value of our stagnant wages diminish. It is time for New York to raise taxes on those corporations.

Taxing corporate profits would not only responsibly raise revenues that could fund health care, public transportation and housing, it would give the state leverage to force those businesses to invest in their own workers. Ultimately, it would force businesses to negotiate with workers’ private sector unions. That was the economic system that worked between 1933 and 1981.

But the Democratic Party that fought for that economic fairness is a shadow of itself, replaced with modern-day “progressives” who ignore the health of the working class and seek headlines attacking anyone that disagrees with them. This needs to change.

The state tax that applies to estates over $6 million were set to match federal rates in 2020, but the Democrats in Albany opted to give the rich a break. Again this year, Governor Hochul took a progressive tax code off the table and instead gave $600 million in taxpayer money to a billionaire who owns the Buffalo Bills and lives in Florida. And our downstate representatives voted for that deal.

New York has more billionaires than any state in the country with the exception of California. Yet our housing developments are underfunded and our infrastructure is in decay. Commuters are under constant threat of fare hikes and increases in tolls.

The 7 train has been under renovation since I was in high school. The money set aside for mental health and addiction treatment is an embarrassment. These Democrats have been in control of the state government for three years. Yet the legislative majority and both governors repeatedly refuse to responsibly tax the super-rich.

The Democratic Party needs leaders who are willing to stand up to big business and be a champion for the working class. This election presents that choice. I am asking for your vote on June 28.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

Creep sought for performing ‘lewd act’ in front on M train rider in Ridgewood last month: NYPD

Police from the 104th Precinct and Transit District 33 are looking for a suspect in a public lewdness investigation for an incident on an M train at the Seneca Avenue station last month.

A 31-year-old woman was on board a Queens-bound M train on Sunday, Jan. 22, at around 9:20 p.m., when she was approached by the unknown man who proceeded to perform a lewd act in front of her, according to an NYPD spokesman, who could not provide any details about what the lewd act was.

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946 to 1950 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.

Ridgewood’s 104th Precinct working to ward off illegal motorbikes, abandoned vehicles and more 311 complaints

Illegal parking, blocked driveways and abandoned vehicles are some of the more common issues at almost every community-driven meeting. The Ridgewood, Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale communities know all too well that these issues constantly plague their quality of life. 

The 104th Precinct recently shared several posts on Twitter involving the confiscation of illegal motorbikes and the towing of multiple abandoned vehicles. The efforts to thwart these recurring quality-of-life issues increased over the last two months, at the same time Deputy Inspector Kevin Coleman, the commanding officer of the 104, took over.

Ridgewood Garden Associates lawsuit claims city DOT failed to negotiate on locations of new Citi Bike stations

Ridgewood Garden Associates Inc., a residential co-op based in Maspeth, is filing a lawsuit against the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) and Lyft for their alleged lack of negotiation on alternative locations for the installation of Citi Bike stations near their property.

According to Ridgewood Garden Associates Inc.’s president of the board of directors, George Mandato, the organization sent a letter to Councilman Robert Holden in December 2022 requesting a discussion about alternative locations and dates for the DOT’s installation of the bike stations. However, they were unable to get the chance to do so.