While Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (whose close friend and fellow activist Cori Bush just upset a longtime incumbent in a Missouri Congressional primary earlier this week) pushes for a 'first-in-the- nation' wealth tax that most reasonable people fear would destroy the state's tax base by driving the billionaires and multimillionaires who finance more than half of the state's budget to leave, NY Gov Andrew Cuomo is begging rich people to "please come back" to NYC.
During a briefing earlier this week, Cuomo shared an amusing anecdote with reporters as he tried to illustrate the importance of retaining wealthy taxpayers during a period of fiscal crisis (remember, NY is seeking $60 billion in federal money to plug a gaping hole in its budget). Cuomo said that he had been calling up wealthy New Yorkers and asking them to please return to the city from their second homes out in the Hamptons, or Palm Beach, or Greenwich.
"I literally talk to people all day long who are now in their Hamptons house who also lived here, or in their Hudson Valley house, or in their Connecticut weekend house, and I say, ‘You got to come back! We’ll go to dinner! I’ll buy you a drink! Come over, I’ll cook!’” Cuomo said.
Unfortunately, a personal overture from one of the country's most recognizable governors - in many cases - simply isn't enough to convince rich people to return to a city where crime has just skyrocketed to levels unseen since the 1990s, rattling even "Ultra-Wealthy" neighborhoods like the Upper East Side.
“They’re not coming back right now. And you know what else they’re thinking? ‘If I stay there, I’ll pay a lower income tax,’ because they don’t pay the New York City surcharge,” he added.
Just remember: When pandering politicians like AOC inflame public anger toward the wealthy and successful, they know what they're doing - and they're doing it for a reason.
If the state's finances collapse and NYC returns to the "bad old New York" of bygone decades, then that should translate into even more support for demagogues who have already indoctrinated a whole generation to blame "capitalism" for all their problems.
This isn't the first time Cuomo has brought up the need to coax rich people to return to the city and the state: Here's another clip from July 23, where Cuomo goes into more detail about the "aggravating factors" driving people away.