Mayor Michael Bloomberg shot down union-backed protesters who have called for soaking the rich with higher taxes by saying such a move would hurt everyone.
"We can tax the rich, except that, if you haven't looked at the stock market lately, they aren't making any money," Bloomberg said on his radio show on WOR on Friday, the New York Post reported.
Later he said: "You know, the yelling and screaming about the rich - we want rich from around this country to move here. We love the rich people."
Bloomberg's comments came in response to an organized protest of thousands outside City Hall two days ago. To avoid cutting city services, the protesters had called for the Mayor to raise taxes for those who make $250,000 and above, according to the Post.
The Mayor did not acquiesce. Instead, he delivered a vociferous defense of the city's economic elite, noting that wealthy New Yorkers were responsible for sustaining jobs at high-end restaurants and stores.
"I hear the protesters, you know," Bloomberg said, during the radio show according to the Post. "I think that deep down inside, I assume, they understand that we live in a different world."
It remains to be seen how people will respond to the billionaire Mayor's impassioned defense of his fellow well-heeled.
At least one union official involved in the protest told the Post that Bloomberg appeared "tone-deaf."