From the Right: Working Families Party’s delusion ideologues

From the Right: Working Families Party’s delusion ideologues
George Marlin

The renown political philosopher Hannah Arendt described ideologues as people who dismiss reality outside of the mind and attempt to establish “a functioning world of no sense.”

Arendt’s take on ideologues aptly depicts the radical leftists who head up New York’s Working Families Party.

The leaders of the WFP live in ideological bubbles. The policies they expect their nominees for state office to support and to enact in Albany are not only ludicrous but would not be in the best interests of their constituents.

The WFP, for example, calls for undocumented migrants to receive health insurance coverage and the right to vote in state and local elections.

The party also expects their candidates to oppose the expansion of charter schools and to oppose any additional financial aid to those alternative public schools. The fact that charter school students, most of whom are minorities, are significantly outperforming public school kids in math and reading scores doesn’t matter.

But the WFP’s latest demand takes the cake. Their “Invest In Our New York Project” proposes so-called tax reforms which would raise about $40 billion annually.

The WFP claims its plan “would raise taxes on New York’s richest through a progressive income tax, and increased corporate tax, and a set of reforms targeting other forms of wealth.”

Forty billion in new taxes? Obviously, WFP ideologues are blind to the following facts:

New York’s top earners, 1.5% of tax filers, presently pay the highest combined state and local taxes in the nation. Their tax payments generate approximately 46% of the state’s total personal income tax revenue.

To avoid state income taxes and various other taxes (i.e., inheritance taxes), many are moving to low-tax states like Florida. E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center for Public Policy pointed out that “between 2010 and 2020, New York’s share of taxpayers who earn more than $1 million annually declined from 12% to a record low of 8.9%.”

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has determined that tax filers earning more than $1 million “left at a rate four times higher in 2020 than in 2019. That slowed in 2021 to just double the pre-COVID rate.”

That’s not all. The wealthiest are not the only ones giving up on New York.

The New York Times reported that “the people leaving New York at the fastest rate were families making between $32,000 and $65,000. A disproportionately high share of these movers were Black and Hispanic. They were followed by people earning $104,000 to $172,000 a year, an above average income in many parts of the country, but a modest one in New York City.”

The out-migration of upper-class, middle-class, and working-class folks explains why New York’s population has declined more than any other state’s in the nation.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, New York’s population loss between July 2022 and July 2023, was 102,000. Since 2020, the population has dropped 631,000.

New York City has taken a big hit. Between April 2020 and July 2022, the Big Apple’s population declined by 5.3%—over 500,000 left town. The biggest population loss, 100,000, was in the city’s wealthiest borough—Manhattan.

Because the numbers of households with children are declining at a rapid pace, the city’s population is also getting older. In 2022, the state comptroller has noted that “out of all occupied households in the city, only 25.4 percent of them had related children, down 5.9 percentage points from 2010. This drop was larger than the 3.9 percentage point drop than the nation’s shared experience during the same time period.”

Analyzing these trends, E.J. Antoni of the Heritage Foundation concluded “the flood of New Yorkers searching for tax havens is completely overwhelming the number of people born in the state, causing the total population (in both absolute and percentage terms) to drop faster than anywhere else—another ignominious first place finish.”

Let’s review. Wealthy people are leaving because taxes are too high.  Middle-class and working-class people are leaving because the cost of living is too high and the quality of life is declining.

And what does the WFP want to do? Tax anything that moves, increase regulatory burdens and wreck charter schools.

WFP ideologues will never understand that their prescriptions will not revive New York but will create conditions that only hasten the exodus of long suffering taxpayers.

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