“Capitalism is only as good as the respect it has from its citizens”

New York, NY – After participating in the launch of the 99 New York campaign, a coalition of community groups, labor leaders and businessmen who want to stop state tax breaks for millionaires, Bill Samuels, Founder of New Roosevelt issued the following statement:

I agree that a top priority for Governor Andrew Cuomo and our legislature should be to make New York State one of the best climates for businesses in the Country.  We want businesses to relocate here, grow here and create good jobs for New Yorkers.

But to link this top priority to lowering taxes for the state’s wealthiest 1%, those that make over a million dollars as a part of attracting and retaining business, is just bad thinking.

Making New York a great state for business has little to do with whether we maintain a small surcharge on high-wage earners; it has much to do with the state providing a strong education system with good teachers in its schools, colleges and universities; a strong transportation and transit system and a state government that prioritizes productivity and efficiency through the consolidation of the various overlapping local government regulations.

In addition what helps make businesses in New York strong, is that young people who graduate schools and want to stay here is that they believe our government and corporate leaders are fair and provide a great work environment.

Capitalism is only as good as the respect it has from its citizens.

Lowering taxes on the state’s wealthiest 1% today and calling it a top priority, sends the wrong message to our workers and decreases respect for capitalism and our business leaders.

Since the legislature’s decision earlier this year to lower taxes on the wealthy, the economy has continued to deteriorate with demonstrations in Governor Cuomo and the legislature’s backyard on Wall Street, echoing similar protests at the national and global level.

Recognizing that you need to rethink your position on an issue due to unforeseen circumstance is a mark of leadership.

I urge Governor to show leadership on this issue rather than stubbornly pushing forward with a plan to make our tax structure more regressive, embarrassing the progressive values of this great state.

I believe that everyone, including the wealthy, need to join in the shared economic sacrifice in a time of great economic uncertainty in New York and across the United States. It is time for Governor Cuomo to rethink his position and call for a Special Session to extend the Millionaires tax.

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