NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 14: Mayor Michael Bloomberg attends the Mayor's Fund benefit dinner to support the Family Justice Centers at Red Rooster Restaurant on June 14, 2011 in New York City.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg explained Wednesday why he believes taxes need to be raised across all income levels, not just the wealthy.
“I think it’s fair… everybody’s in this country together,” the billionaire philanthropist said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “Everybody pays taxes. We have a graduated income tax so those that have more, pay more as a percentage…[those who pay] all benefit and should understand it’s their money [too].”
“I don’t like class warfare,” Bloomberg said in justifying his position on scrapping the tax cuts, which would impact most Americans.
Bloomberg also said that the move would also make sense politically, as the elimination of the Bush-era tax cuts is one of the most viable ways to raise revenue. “Politically, it’s the only thing that has any chance of getting done,” he said.
This was true, the mayor argued, because the Bush-era tax cuts could be eliminated simply by allowing the cuts to expire. “Congress will never vote to do it. But the president just has to veto any new bill and have a handful of people supporting him so it doesn’t get overridden,” Bloomberg said.
Steven Rattner, a former Obama administration official, said on the show that the elimination of the Bush-era tax cuts could raise $4 trillion in revenue over a decade.
The mayor also asserted that he thought taking such a stand would make for great optics for the president.
“I think it’s great politics. It’s time for the president to stand up and say, ‘look, this is what I believe, this is the only way we’re going to get out of this problem, and I’m going to do it whether it’s good politics or not.’ And I think he’d be well-received for doing that,” said Bloomberg.
On Tuesday, Bloomberg gave a speech at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., laying out his other parts of his proposal to balance the federal budget, including raising the Social Security retirement age, as well as eliminating the Bush tax cuts.