#NYINEQUALITY'S WINNERS AND LOSERS OF THE WEEK: FINAL EDITION

#NYInequality's Winners and Losers of the Week

March 28, 2014

With a budget deal likely to be announced today, it appears the Governor made it one step closer to doing what he unwittingly set out to accomplish--making New York the inequality capital of the world.

The winners of the budget, spanning the Real Housewives of New York, to Eva Moskowitz, to Ken Langone, represent the 1% who have fared the best while average New Yorkers have struggled to see an economy recover. Yet the estate, corporate, and bank tax cuts are designed perfectly to benefit the wealthy few at the expense of New York's middle and working class families.

Cuomo, who Politico described as the "hero" of Wall Street, has a budget that doesn't stop there--the property tax plan forces local governments to cut essential services and school funding so that he can deliver rebate checks to homeowners (and voters) weeks before Election Day.

It's a recipe for disaster. New York's inequality will soar, schools will suffer, local governments will be hobbled, students will be overloaded with debt, children in poverty will starve and working families will be abandoned. But the 1% will be getting a raise.

Here are some more big winners this year from the budget deal:

Winners

Andrew Cuomo for Governor 2014 Campaign - It may have been the plan all along--propose an impractical, perverse property tax freeze and consolidation plan up until the very end, when you throw in a rebate check that legislators struggle to vote against. Governor Cuomo's rebate check plan is perfectly timed to arrive in mailboxes just as voters who might not have been paying close attention to government policies begin to start making their minds about whom to vote in as Governor this year.

Joe Henchman and the Koch-backed Tax Foundation - It's always nice to be consulted by your worst enemies, as Joe Henchman found out last week when Larry Schwartz, secretary to the Governor, wanted to make sure the Governor's tax cuts would get rid of that abysmal last place ranking the Tax Foundation gives New York for its business climate. Schwartz, of course, criticized the Tax Foundation two years ago for being "right-wing" and manipulating data to fit its worldview, an argument supported by the rivers of Koch money backing the Tax Foundation--but appears to have changed his mind when faced with the prospect of an election year attack ad.

Billionaires among the 170 Donors representing half of all the money given to campaigns - NYPIRG's report earlier this week highlighting the fact that New York really was the pay-to-play capital of the nation, with 170 donors alone contributing $28 million to political campaigns. Among these are billionaires, like Ken Langone, Len Blavatnik, and Ronald Perelman, who will see handsome rewards from the tax cuts--looks like their capital investments in our democracy are paying off big returns for them.

Folks who have enough money to buy private jets - The Senate introduced in its one-house budget resolution an exemption to the sales tax for the purchase of private jets--we'll see if Governor Cuomo can resist an opportunity to subsidize the lifestyle of the 1%.

Losers

New York - New York is the big loser of the budget. Our entire state--including the 1%--cannot go on as the state with the worst inequality in the nation. It economically marginalizes entire swaths of the population, concentrates wealth and political power in the hands of a few, reduces opportunity and social mobility for our children, and imperils the American Dream. But this year's budget takes no heed--with over two billion dollars in tax cuts to help Wall Street banks, wealthy estates, hedge-fund managers and wealthy backers of charter schools--our schools, firefighters, colleges, and families will all suffer and only widen the inequality gap.

There have been real faces to these "losers" -- town board members, farmers, teachers, children, college students, and working families. They want more aid for schools and local governments, more human services programs, fewer tax cuts for the rich, and no more starving children upstate.

But as it stands, everyone in the state of New York will lose if this budget succeeds.

Add your reaction Share

#NYINEQUALITY'S WINNERS AND LOSERS OF THE WEEK: 3rD EDITION

March 21, 2014


The Governor's budget proposal this year lifts the 1%--millionaires and Wall Street financiers--in a bid to make New York the inequality capital of the world. 

Last week's Winners and Losers featured Ken Langone, the multibillionaire chair of "Republicans for Cuomo," who stood to benefit from $350 million in proposed corporate and bank tax cuts. Alongside him was Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, the highest paid CEO of a major U.S. bank, with a recently reported pay package of $23 million for 2013, and James Gorman, the CEO of Morgan Stanley, whose senior adviser also consults Governor Cuomo.
After unequivocal comments that compared the struggle to lift millions of Americans out of poverty to Adolf Hitler's genocide in Nazi Germany, you guessed it--Ken Langone is a reprised big winner this week.
Cuomo, who Politico described as the "hero" of Wall Street, has proposed a budget replete with gifts for historically confused, callous billionaires like Ken Langone--more than a billion dollars in estate tax cuts, corporate and bank tax cuts, and even a proposed elimination of a stock transfer tax.

So this week's winners continue to be Ken Langone and Wall Street, who are rewarded by a budget that deepens the divide between the richest few and the 99%. 
And there are always the losers. More than one out of every two children in certain upstate cities will go to bed poor. Public schools will be shut down and teachers and children who don't have the graces of hedge-fund charter backers will be abandoned. Our colleges and universities won't have the resources they need to train the next generation. The list goes on.

Every week we’re going to profile #NYInequality's Winners and Losers. Be sure to check out the haves and have-nots in the state with the worst income inequality in the nation.

Winners
 
Ken Langone, Billionaire Republican & Chair, "Republicans for Cuomo" - You know the Governor really likes you when you equate progressives with Hitler and get away scot-free, without a single comment from the Governor. Langone is a big winner of Cuomo's budget--tax breaks of more than $2 billion will be precisely the gift he's looking for. 
Wall Street's "Insider Traders 2.0" - The 150 or so banks, brokers, and money managers on Wall Street who currently see unfair advantages in the stock market by getting information early through "co-location" services will be relieved to see a proposed end to the stock transfer tax. It would kill any chance of reversing a rebate on a small financial transactions tax that deprives New York of billions in revenue.
Daniel Loeb and other Hedge Fund Titans Backing Eva Moskowitz- The budget cuts $323 million in aid to New York's schools through Gap Elimination Adjustment levels. But the Governor seems intent on giving charter schools--and the hedge fund financiers that back them--a big, unnecessary funding increase in the budget.

Losers

Chris Pyslopski, Rosendale Town Council - The Governor's property tax freeze proposal simply won't work. It's an election year gimmick that provides perverse incentives to towns that were doing exactly what the Governor wanted. Chris Pyslopski writes of Rosendale: "Rosendale has [worked] to begin consolidating all Town offices and services to our new municipal center in 2013 and will continue throughout 2014...But this won’t count in 2016, when we will instead be required to cut or consolidate programs in order to remove an additional 1% or more of our local levy to qualify for the Governor’s assistance program. For our town, this new program is actually an incentive to wait to improve efficiency and save our taxpayers money."
 
Rosemary Melendez, Director at the Ellenville Community Action Center - Budget cuts over the last few years have dramatically limited the services this crucial community organizations like this one in Ellenville have been able to provide. They've seen the populations they serve be hurt by austerity budgets that decimate services for working families.  
Manuela Butler, Home Health Care Assistant - Manuela, a 71-year old home health care assistant from Brooklyn, writes "We are the working poor. We don’t get paid decently. [My] clients are also the ones who suffer. They have their hours cut, and in turn we have our hours cut. It hurts everybody. I know a woman I used to work with who had to move into a homeless shelter – while she was working...But because this Governor does not want to give us a Cost-of-Living-Adjustment, there is no money."
Add your reaction Share

#NYInequality's Winners and Losers of the Week: 2nd Edition

Cuomo Winner and Losers

#NYInequality's Winners and Losers of the Week

 
March 14, 2014

The Governor's budget proposal this year lifts the 1%--millionaires and Wall Street financiers--in a bid to make New York the inequality capital of the world. 

Last week's Winners and Losers featured the Real Housewives of New York, five wealthy individuals who alone had a collective net worth of over $130 million and stood to see a windfall from the Governor's proposed estate tax cuts.

This week's winners are the Wall Street and corporate titans who managed to both bring down the global economy in 2008 and fare better than everyone else since, deepening the divide between the richest few and the 99%. The Governor's proposed budget would seemingly reward them, with fresh new tax cuts in the corporate tax rate and the elimination of a longtime, dedicated bank tax. 
 
The Senate--realizing the absurdity of such a move--rejected this bank tax cut yesterday.
And there are always the losers. More than one out of every two children in certain upstate cities will go to bed poor. Public schools will be shut down and teachers and children who don't have the graces of hedge-fund charter backers will be abandoned. Our colleges and universities won't have the resources they need to train the next generation. The list goes on.

Every week we’re going to profile #NYInequality's Winners and Losers. Be sure to check out the haves and have-nots in the state with the worst income inequality in the nation.

Winners
 
This week’s winners all have one thing in common--they're great friends with Governor Cuomo. Before proposing the corporate tax rate cut and the elimination of the bank tax earlier this year, Governor Cuomo was reported to have had secret meetings with two heads of Wall Street giants, and he has allowed another billionaire financier with deep ties to Karl Rove and conservative causes host lavish fundraisers with other Republicans.
In turn, they love the Governor back--the elimination of the bank tax saves Wall Street up to $250 million every year, and a separate cut in the corporate tax rate would give them almost $150 million annually
 
This follows a year when bonuses went up 15% for Wall Street employees, who each took home an average of $164,530. And they weren't even rewarded for performance--profits for NYSE broker-dealer firms fell 30%.
.
We don't need hundreds of millions in tax cuts for New York's wealthy few, least of all the engineers of the Great Recession. Law enforcement authorities are still plumbing through the extent of their criminality in those years.
.
Ken Langone, Billionaire Republican & Founder of Home Depot - Langone, a multibillionaire and co-founder of Home Depot, is leading the charge for Republicans for Cuomo. He has played a big role in funding deeply conservative causes with strong ties to Karl Rove and national dark money funds. 

Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs CEO - Goldman Sachs made $8 billion in profit last year, and Blankfein himself earned $23 million last year. 

James Gorman, Morgan Stanley CEO - Morgan Stanley, whose senior adviser was also hired as an adviser to Governor Cuomo (so that's where he's getting his ideas), saw $3.1 billion in profit last year, with James Gorman making more than $6 million personally in cash and stock.

Wall Street banks and big corporations stand to make nearly $400 million more in profits in the Governor's budget if the bank and corporate tax cuts pass.

Losers

Like last week, the losers of Governor Cuomo's budget hail from all corners of the state. The budget will make local governments, schools, and low-wage workers suffer the most, all because the Governor is committed to serving at the pleasure of Wall Street. 
These are just some of the faces of those suffering most from an austerity budget that prizes the wealthy few over the 99%:

Jen Metzger, Town Council - Rosendale, NY - Metzger tells us that in January alone, Rosendale's Highway Department staff clocked nearly 240 hours in overtime for winter storm response--a big expense for a small town. The property tax freeze in Governor Cuomo's budget would further squeeze municipalities. Along with more than 100 elected officials across the state, Metzger says Albany fails to recognize the challenges faced in upstate New York for local governments. 
Rosendale is actually without a single school because of the Governor's cuts to school aid. Could it get any worse?

Maureen Morrow, Professor of Biology, SUNY New Paltz: Morrow says reductions to promised SUNY aid will make it more difficult to teach and employ New York's next generation. In her words, f
 aculty and 
administrators have been forced to survive cuts in salary increases and programs that are essential to learning. SUNY schools across the state have seen dramatic cuts in the last two decades--the result is higher tuition, fewer teachers for our students, larger classes, and fee increases for our students overwhelmed with debt.
.
Barbara Wurtz, Potential Unlimited, Ulster County, NY: Wurtz is the head of Potential Unlimited, an critical arts group for developmentally disabled New Yorkers. The program is essential for hundreds of developmentally disabled who use the arts as an outlet for learning, growth, and as a support service. Yet budget cuts may force her organization to close next year. As the mother of a child with developmental disabilities herself, she'd feel the impact in more ways than one.
.
The losers of Governor Cuomo's budget did nothing to cause the Great Recession. They're town board members, mothers, professors and teachers, and average New Yorkers who look after the neediest in our state. They need a budget that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected.
Add your reaction Share

Take a Closer Look at Governor Cuomo's Budget

Now is not the time to give millionaires and Wall Street Banks a tax cut. Now is the time to invest in our schools, communities and safety net. New York State deserves a budget that works for All of Us!

Add your reaction Share

NY Inequality Winners and Losers

Cuomo Winner and Losers



The Governor's budget proposal this year lifts the 1%--the millionaires and Wall Street financiers behind Eva Moskowitz's privatization agenda--and abandons the rest of New York, quickly anointing our state as the new inequality capital of the world.

But relax--it's for a good cause. With more than a billion dollars in tax cuts for Wall Street banks and wealthy families, down-on-their-luck multimillionaires like the stars of Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York will finally be able to afford that second mansion they so desperately need.

And of course, with every winner, there are always the losers….poor children in Rochester, crumbling schools in Hempstead and farmers in Niagara County. But not to worry - food pantries can be stocked with Spam, kids can share textbooks, and farmers can just sell their produce outside the local Walmart.

Every week we’re going to profile #NYInequality's Winners and Losers. Be sure to check out the haves and have-nots in the state with the worst income inequality in the nation.

 

Winners: The Real Housewives of New York

This week’s winners feature a few of the more famous beneficiaries of Governor Cuomo's $750 million estate tax cut -- this season's Real Housewives of New York.

Season 6 of Bravo's Real Housewives of New York premieres next week, featuring six reality TV stars who will benefit handsomely from Governor Cuomo's estate tax cut that raises the exemption to $5.25 million and cuts the rate by 6%. Together this amounts to $750 million in tax cuts for the wealthiest New Yorkers--for folks like the Real Housewives, who have an estimated net worth of at least $133 million.

So get ready for a heartfelt toast to their big benefactor in Albany, as viewers can look forward to watching longer boozy brunches and bigger polo parties for these fabulously wealthy six:

Aviva Drescher - Aviva's husband runs a multimillion dollar hedge fund, Cape One, and a boutique investment bank, Spencer Clark LLC. Would make Wall Street proud. Estimated Net Worth of at least $20 million.

Kristen Taekman
 - Kristen's husband makes energy drinks and supplements, and together they've really boosted their net worth--estimated at $20 million.

Carole Radziwill - Carole is a TV personality, journalist and a widow to a Polish prince with an inherited fortune of $50 million.

Heather Thomson - Heather is a fashion designer of slimming clothing for women branded Yummie Tummie, and has the slimmest net worth of the bunch--only $10 million.

Sonja Morgan - Sonja's ex-husband, the great grandson of J.P. Morgan (yes, the bank), and great great grandson of John Adams (yes, the President), has an estimated net worth of $100 million dollars. After her divorce, she's been left with a paltry estimated net worth of $15 million.

Ramona Singer - A beauty and skin care entrepreneur, Ramona has accumulated a net worth of at least $18 million.

This Season's Real Housewives, with an estimated collective net worth of $133 million, love Governor Cuomo's estate tax cut, which will save them tens of millions of dollars. 

Source: celebritynetworth.com


Losers

The losers of Governor Cuomo's budget come from all corners of the state. The budget withholds essential aid to school districts across New York, delivers cuts to vital human services programs, and places heavy burdens on working families and critical organizations that comprise New York's social fabric--food pantries, literacy groups, and farming associations. 

These are just some of the faces of those suffering most from an austerity budget that prizes the wealthy few over the 99%:

Schools, Teachers, and Children - Hempstead, NY: The School Board President of Baldwin's school district, Kim Taylor, has seen two elementary schools shutter, class sizes balloon, and electives cut for the students of this school district in Long Island. The Governor's refusal to remove "Gap Elimination Adjustments" this year and place his tax and budget cuts on the backs of students and teachers across the state leaves school districts like Baldwin struggling.

Cancer Prevention and Support - Statewide: Governor Cuomo cuts funding for the state's Cancer Services Program by $450,000. The program delivers critical breast, cervical and colon cancer screenings to New Yorkers and saves lives and taxpayer money through early detection. But there's more--critical programs like the Breast Cancer Survivors’ Support Initiative, which was the lifeline for survivor-led community support organizations across the state, get the axe.

Want Job Growth? Invest in Literacy Advocates - Ulster, NY: Adult literacy programs are cut by more than 10% in the Governor's proposed budget, crippling these organizations across the state. Cassandra Beam, the head of Ulster Literacy Association, has been struggling to survive recent budget cuts over the years. In a state with high unemployment and over one million adults lacking high school or English proficiency, a hint to Governor Cuomo: literacy programs can be a crucial step to a job.

Debt-Saddled College Students - Statewide: Governor Cuomo's higher education proposal leaves New York's debt-saddled students with higher tuition costs and fewer resources--the Governor leaves funding flat for CUNY, SUNY, and community colleges and delivers millions in tuition aid cuts to lower-income students. By reneging on his promise to maintain essential support for higher education, the Governor is failing New York's college students and only leaving them with more debt.

"Taste NY" is Starving - Niagara County: It's a mystery how the Governor intends to promote Taste NY if he slashes funding for New York's apple farmers--via the New York Apple Association--by more than 70%. If the Governor is unable to restore crucial funding for apples, farms in Niagara County may suffer, and good cider across the state will be scarce.

The losers of Governor Cuomo's budget aren't on reality TV, but they do represent real New Yorkers struggling without a voice. Schoolchildren, farmers, cancer patients, college students, and working families all need a budget that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected.
Share