In his state of the union address last night, President Barack Obama repeated his call for higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
Over the next couple of days, I’ll be blogging about this debate over higher taxes for our richest citizens.
A good place to start is by contrasting the approaches of two of the country’s most powerful and influential Democrats, Mr. Obama and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Here’s what the President had to say last night:
And if we truly care about our deficit, we simply can’t afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.
Before we take money away from our schools or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break. It’s not a matter of punishing their success. It’s about promoting America’s success.
But on January 5th, during his own State of the State address in Poughkeepsie, Gov. Cuomo took a very different tack, arguing that taxes would actually have to be cut to restore prosperity.
“A key element of this program,” he announced, “will be holding the line on taxes now while working to lower taxes in the future.”
Gov. Cuomo made it clear that balancing the budget won’t be done with the help of additional taxes on the wealthy: “[We will] close the more than $10 billion deficit in the 2011-2012 budget without new taxes or borrowing,” he insisted.
These are radically different approaches to the painful decisions, sacrifices and cuts that lie ahead. So what do you think? Is Cuomo right that wealthy people already pay enough in New York state?
Or is Obama right that in a time of fiscal crisis, when deep cuts in things like healthcare and education are looming, the wealthiest citizens should do more?
As always, your comments welcome.