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

Photo: Jim Magee, Candidate for Assembly District 37 (Photo: Magee For Queens)

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]

27 Comments

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Queazy the Clown (birthdays/bar mitzvahs)

You position yourself as more left than the “progressives”, then attack AOC, who has done some very heavy lifting to grow the DSA left. If you’re truly progressive and you mean to get serious work done, you need to know that our only power is in a coalition. Of all the Democrats to attack, especially those centrists who hold all the power, why attack the ones you need on your side? And why ignore the calls from the working class to stop funding the bloated police budget and to stop jailing us?

It’s great that you want to Tax the Rich, but how are you going to do that? And what else are you going to do for the working class? Have you stood with any unionizing workers?

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Jim Magee

The state legislature sets on state tax code. I am running for the state legislature. Passing a progressive tax code that taxes the rich and doesn’t shove the tax burden on middle class homeowners is how I plan to do that. That position is the purpose of my having written this.

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Eddie

Millionaires and billionaires worked to get where they are and should be under no obligation to bail others out.

I’m not a millionaire but I make a lot of money because I worked my rear off from the day I graduated PS11 and JHS 125 to get where I am today. I choose to support the charities I want to but I don’t need the government taking more of my hard earned dollars to support illegal immigrants.

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Queazy the Clown (birthdays/bar mitzvahs)

Nobody does it alone, and few get rich without exploiting the labor and resources from others. The rich have to pay their fair share, which they haven’t yet done.

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Gullible Republicans believe in myths fairytales and conspiracy theories

Eddie – Not all millionaires and billionaires are cut from the same piece of cloth nor are they all created equal. People who do not earn a lot of money also work hard for their money too. Becoming a millionaire or billionaire is not always a result of hard work. Supporting only charities you like is not a practical approach for a functioning society because only popular causes would be addressed. Funny you threw illegal immigrants into your rant but never mentioned the illegal hiring of these “illegal immigrants” by corporations and individuals.

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Taxing the rich is a terrible idea

Trump said not paying taxes “makes me smart.” Makes sense to me. Rich people can write off their taxes, only poor people should have to pay them.

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Anonymous

What is presented here, independent from my own position, is presented poorly, and it lacks a real rigor. There are no actual arguments put forth, just floating opinions.

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Karin

But, the proposed LIC lot proposed for a new Amazon office, was not in her district either. Do you recall what she said about that?

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The rich already pay taxes?

Trump said he paid a whole $750 on his billions. He says not paying taxes “makes you smart.” Why disrespect the former president?

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Gardens Watcher

Taxing the super-rich billionaires will just encourage them to permanently move to their second or third homes or fourth homes, and Covid has already forced many to decamp already. We’ve already lost one House seat due to the population drop, and high taxes are forcing many to leave — and not just billionaires. Changing the New York estate tax will not only affect billionaires, but many middle-class people as well.

New York needs to attract business, and keep the existing ones here. The Buffalo Bills are going to stay in Buffalo for another decade, thanks to the deal worked out in Albany. They could have left, and not only would it have been a heart wrenching loss for Buffalo, but an economic blow for the region and for NY state coffers.

I agree with your plans to address the crime issues facing NY, but you lost me with your economic plan.

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Jim Magee

Obviously, I am sorry to hear that, but it’s important that you know where I stand.

I think that you are describing a hostage situation. Which is exactly how the Governor describes it. “If we make the rich pay taxes, they will leave.” I don’t accept that, and I don’t think that we should cater to it even if it were true.

The reality is that people are leaving because the middle class are being forced to pay more taxes to make up for the government’s hesitance to tax billionaires. The middle class is tapped out, nickled and dimed into debt.

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David

Jim – I agree with much of what you’re saying but I have some reservations with your response regarding as to why people are “leaving” NY. People are not leaving NYC, over 600K people moved to NYC (five boroughs) from 2010 to 2020 according to the US Census, that’s the equivalent of the entire population of the city of Miami moving in here. People are leaving upstate, that is where the population decline is occurring. As for the population loss from Covid, the US postal service says the vast majority of those who left have returned. People have been leaving NYC as long I could remember, new residents moved in and replaced them. Just like now. Most people I know who left NYC saw large gains from real estate investments and had pensions which are almost unheard of in places like Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina, right to work states (RTW). That coupled with savings and higher social security benefits from higher wages moving to places with a lower cost of living and milder winters are more easily within one’s grasp. When I visit friends in North Carolina there are developments called little New York, little New Jersey and little Massachusetts because of all the residents from those states. New Yorkers retiring to other places should be held up and displayed as an example of successful policies that give people opportunities that are not found in Republican RTW states like Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and so on. Good luck with your campaign.

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Unintelligible

The two quoted sentences below are such a gross oversimplification as to disqualify this candidate. He may be from here but he will never be for here. Disgusting.

“ 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.”

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Gullible democrats reduce women to "birthing persons."

Pro tip: whenever you hear or read the word “progressive” simply replace it with “communist.”

Things will make a lot more sense.

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Gullible Republicans believe in myths fairytales and conspiracy theories

Gullible- Forcing women to breed is a solution ?

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Allow me to retort

Who said that? Who even suggested it? And what problem were you referring to?

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Batica

You should work on your understanding of the left side of the spectrum. As a Social Democrat I understand Progresives as a mutant of USA Democratic Party. They’re face lift of Democrats to trick young people. Look just Bike Boulevard in our neighborhood. Always ready to cut a deal with one in power and to throw away public interest. Other purpose is to scare Cold War minds to start screaming Comunist;)

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Nice try

Uh Jim you can’t tax your way out of this
In fact taxpayers are leaving New York
Typical tax and spend democrat with no understanding of economics

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Anon

When it came to economic issues FDR was an idiot, so not much of a compliment there.

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Jim Magee

The state legislature sets on state tax code. I am running for the state legislature. Passing a progressive tax code that taxes the rich and doesn’t shove the tax burden on middle class homeowners is how I plan to do that. That position is the purpose of my having written this.

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Anonymous

Brilliant observation. Take a look at how much of New York State’s and New York City’s tax base actually comes from , you pea brained idiot. Wall Street can move out of state whenever they want, there is nothing holding them here. Go ahead, kill the golden goose.

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