From this report of around November 2008 comes a look at how income inequality is working in New York.
But the redistributionist argument is at best a half-truth. The larger truth is that much of the income of the rich and well-to-do comes from what they do. If they stop doing it, then the income and wealth vanish. No one gets it. It can't be redistributed because it doesn't exist. Everyone's poorer.He may have to do some more pleading
This isn't just theory. Last week, New York Gov. David Paterson pleaded with Congress to provide emergency aid to states. Heavily dependent on Wall Street for taxes, he testified, New York faces a $12.5 billion budget deficit next year and expects joblessness to rise by 160,000. Wall Street bonuses will drop by 43 percent and capital gains income by 35 percent, he estimated. People in New York would be better off if the securities industry were still booming, even if there were more economic inequality.
Being a really smart Democrat Governor Patterson raised taxes on the rich. With the usual result.
Now, a half-dozen states in this recession-driven movement are nervously eyeing New York to see if it's wise to demand so much from people rich enough to have a second home in less taxing states — and for whom a change of address can be its own tax break.And they are flying alright.
Early data from New York show the higher tax rates for the wealthy have yielded lower-than-expected state wealth. Gov. David Paterson, who had always warned targeting the rich could backfire, fears that's just what happened.
Paterson said last week that revenues from the income tax increases and other taxes enacted in April are running about 20 percent less than anticipated.
The concern about millionaire flight has prompted some states, including New York, New Jersey and California, to increase the highest tax rates only temporarily. For New York, it's the second temporary increase for high earners since 2001.
Florida looks like a nice destination.
State officials say they don't know how much of the missing revenue is because any wealthy New Yorkers simply left.And don't kid yourself. The state knows exactly what these new wallet grabs are costing them. They just can't say because then people would know just how stupid the people running the government are.
But at least two high-profile defectors have sounded off on the tax changes: Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano, the billionaire who ran for governor three times and who was paying $13,000 a day in New York income taxes, and radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh. Golisano changed his official address to Florida, and Limbaugh, who also has a Florida home, announced earlier this year that he was relinquishing his home in Manhattan.
Donald Trump told Fox News earlier this year that several of his millionaire friends were talking about leaving the state over the latest taxes.
Golisano, who created 5,000 jobs from his Rochester payroll processing company, Paychex, bristled when politicians said he was bailing on New York in the spring.
"If anything, New York state has bailed out on us," he said.