Letter: Keep tax surcharge on NY's richest

Article by: Claudia Hanover, Board Member of the Long Island Progressive Coalition

In response to your editorial “How to keep a millionaire” [Oct. 20], nothing could be more askew. The editorial board suggests that “the state should let its income-tax surcharge on those earning more than $200,000 a year (or married couples earning more than $300,000 a year) expire at year’s end.”

The editorial board would do well to look carefully at the coverage of Occupy Wall Street and its offspring all over the world. Those folks in the United States are decrying these basic facts: From 1979 to 2006, the average household after-tax income, including public and private benefits, rose at paltry rates for the bottom three quintiles.

By contrast, the top quintile says it all: It enjoyed a 55 percent increase, while the very top 1 percent took away a 256 percent gain. Put another way, that amounts to the top 1 percent more than tripling its already substantial disparate gains in 1979. These figures are from the Congressional Budget Office.

To suggest that anything other than an immediate and bold tax be levied against the richest among us is to be anti-American, anti-democratic and anti-humanity.