Green Party Chair Joins Wisconsin Type Protest at State Capitol over Cuomo Austerity Budget
Howie Hawkins, the recent Green Party candidate for Governor, applauded effort by a wide range of community and labor groups to occupy the State Capitol to protest the austerity budget agreed to by Governor Cuomo and state legislative leaders. Hawkins was in Albany to join in the protests. “Wisconsin showed us that working people don’t have to roll over and just take the attacks on their living standards from the two major parties. In Wisconsin, the Republican Governor led the attacks. In NY, it has been a Democrat Governor, who began attacking public workers and their modest pensions months before he was elected. It’s time for New Yorkers to reject the misinformation peddled by the two major parties. Three decades on unrelenting bipartisan assault on the living standards of average New Yorkers have resulted in the worst Depression in 70 plus years, the greatest income inequality since 1927 and a massive budget deficit from huge tax cuts to the rich. The people of NY needs to rise up and say that this austerity budget will not stand,” said Hawkins.
The wealthiest 1% of New Yorkers now get 35% of the state’s income, up from 10% in 1980.
Hawkins said that while he supported continuing the so-called millionaires tax rather than giving the wealthy a $5 billion tax cut by ending it, far more fundamental reform of the state tax system was needed to make the wealthy provide their fair share, invest in needed programs, and provide fiscal relief to school districts and local governments.
Restoring the state income tax system to the more progressive structure under Governor Rockefeller would provide a tax cut to 95% of New Yorkers while raising $8 billion in additional revenues. Hawkins would also stop rebating $14 billion annually from the stock transfer tax to Wall Street speculators and would raise about $10 billion this year by recapturing a small part of the trillion dollar taxpayer bailout of the crooks in the finance industry by instituting a 50% tax on bankers’ bonuses.
“Let’s be clear. The rich in NY have far too much money and that is a root cause of the great recession, the unemployment crisis and the state budget deficit. Cuomo, Silver, Skelos and the rest of the lawmakers want to make the situation worse by continuing to favor their wealthy campaign contributors over the needs of average New Yorkers. We need a Green New Deal to have the state directly provide at least 500,000 living wage jobs as the employer of last resort. Cuomo instead has pushed through a budget that will put tens of thousands of more New Yorkers on the unemployment line,” added Hawkins.