Michael Bloomberg says taxing poor people is one of the ways you “influence them to do what’s in their own interest”

by DCG

Bloomberg founded Everytown for Gun Safety.

It’s ALWAYS ABOUT CONTROL with demorats.

From Daily MailFormer mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg said he supports regressive taxes, meaning taxes that end up costing poor people proportionately more money than their more well off counterparts, as a means of control.

‘Taxes are one of the ways you influence people to do what’s in their own interest, where they might not expect that,’ he said. ‘So if you want to get kids to stop smoking, raise cigarette taxes, and the more you raise them, the less they smoke.’

Bloomberg made the comments during an interview with Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), that was streamed live on April 19 from the IMF’s Spring meeting in Washington, DC.

The billionaire and philanthropist admitted that sometimes taxes take a proportionally greater amount from those on lower incomes, especially in the case of taxes that are imposed as a means of control. 

‘Some people say, ‘”Well, taxes are regressive,”‘ he said, referring to taxes that effectively take a larger percentage out of the wallets of those who make less money. ‘In this case, yes they are. That’s the good thing about them because the problem is in people that don’t have a lot of money.’

Presumably here, he was referring to smokers, and those who drink sugary beverages, as he famously instituted a high tax in the city on the purchase of ‘Big Gulp’ size sodas during his term as mayor.

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He went on: ‘And so, higher taxes should have a bigger impact on their behavior and how they deal with themselves. So, I listen to people saying, “Oh we don’t want to tax the poor.” Well, we want the poor to live longer so that they can get an education and enjoy life. And that’s why you do want to do exactly what a lot of people say you don’t want to do.

Bloomberg brought the issue up in response to a question about his ideas on global policy as a philanthropist. He started the conversation talking about how one goal of Bloomberg Philanthropy is to raise money to fight non-communicable diseases.

‘The question is do you want to pander to those people?,’ he asked, referring to individuals who say taxation of the poor is never a good thing, while also assuming it’s the poor who are making that argument.

‘Or do you want to get them to live longer? There’s just no question. If you raise taxes on full sugary drinks, for example, they will drink less and there’s just no question that full sugar drinks are one of the major contributors to obesity and obesity is one of the major contributors to heart disease and cancer and a variety of other things.’

Bloomberg then went on to make the analogy that arguing against high taxes on things he thinks are bad, like sugary beverages, is the same thing as saying we should prop up outmoded jobs in disappearing industries, just to ensure those workers don’t have to find new employment.

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‘It’s like saying, “I don’t want to stop using coal because coal miners will go out of work, will lose their jobs,”‘ he said.

‘We have a lot of soldiers in the United States in the US Army, but we don’t want to go start a war just to give them something to do and that’s exactly what you’re saying when you say “Well, let’s keep coal killing people because we don’t want coal miners to lose their jobs.” The truth of the matter is that there aren’t very many coal miners left anyways and we can find other things for them to do. But the comparison is: a life or a job. Or, taxes or life? Which do you want to do? Take your poison.’

At this point, Lagarde interjected, repeating Bloomberg’s analysis of regressive taxes. ‘So it’s regressive, it is good,’ she said. ‘There are lots of tax experts in the room. And fiscal experts, and I’m very pleased that they hear you say that.’

Lagarde then quoted a well-known phrase, attributing it to the financial experts in the room.  ‘They all say that two things in life which are absolutely certain. One is death, the other one is tax,’ she said. ‘So you use one to defer the other one,’ she added, summarizing Bloomberg’s point.

‘That’s correct,’ he said. ‘That is exactly right. Well said.’

At this, those in attendance started applauding.

Bloomberg served three consecutive terms as mayor of New York City, from 2002 to 2013.

DCG

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