Billionaires (Or) Bust?

Aug 26, 2020 by

Governor Andrew Cuomo has given a thumbs down to the so-called “Billionaires Tax”  (S.8277/A/A.01041)   This “bill”,  in the sense of being an invoice or as a proposed piece of legislation, was a step in the right direction.  Its intent was to cushion the blow of destitution which workers, to no fault of their own, faced because they were denied federal and state aid having not qualified for any means of sustenance during the pandemic.

Cuomo, wearing the hat of a fiscal pragmatist, predicts that all it would take is a mandatory siphoning off of what amounts to pocket change, for the more than 100 billionaires in New York State to punish us by high-tailing to more wealth-hospitable climes and taking their bulging portfolios with them. They were not put on this earth to be benefactors of the bottom-feeding riffraff’s treasury.

It may not be realistic or even ethical to seek or even desire the full monty of the economic-justice warrior’s agenda for an equitable redistribution of wealth, as they conceive it.  To try would be anathema to our way of life and thereby arguably morbidm

It neither comports with human nature nor is politically possible.

But give decency a break! 

The disparity between the “haves” and have not” is obscene and repulsive.  It is wildly disproportionate . It is mind-boggling and gob-smacking. 

Many people leave their houses of worship supposedly inspired to perform acts of random compassion and yet their greed and hypocrisy intractable immunizes them to shame.

Certain popular television news hosts and commentators, who affect an “aw shucks, I’m just a regular guy”  persona, (e.g.: Mr. “Live Free or Die”)make more money in a week than the average American in a decade, and they are not even the worst offenders.

According to Americans for Fairness, the combined wealth of New York State’s billionaires has skyrocketed by around 15 percent in just the first three months of the pandemic.  Richard LeFrak ( of the “City” named after him) “earned” over $850 million in just the last four (4) months!  If I were to type the appropriate number of exclamation marks to highlight this outrage, my keyboard would be shot.

Can’t Mr. LeFrak and his cronies be voluntarily or otherwise persuaded to tolerate having a skinny sliver of their Asset Pie rationed to the huddled socially-distanced masses?  The eternal question: is it too much to ask?

The billionaires will neither miss nor even notice the diversion of a tiny percentage of their largess.  It won’t drive them away. They have roots here. Empires here.  Privileges here.

They ain’t going anywhere!

Ron Isaac

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