Dear Gov. Paterson: Tax the Wall Street Greedy, Not the Main Street Needy of New York

BY Gloria Dulan-Wilson


Gloria Dulan-Wilson ✆
to gloria, Governor

show details 12:13 PM (3 minutes ago)

Dear Governor Paterson:

If this is a tax to mitigate the ill effects of obesity, which is highly doubtful; I would also like to strongly suggest that you impose immediately a comprehensive tax on greed and ill gotten gains levied at Wall Street and publicly traded investment businesses and banks that have wrecked our economy. Let's call it the "modified tax on unscrupulous, ignorant, and incompetent business acts that adversely affect the population and citizens of New York Act." The tax can be between 2% to 10% (10% for the most egregious).

And on the basis of that tax, for every ill-gotten dollar (and I don't need to define that, I think DC, the President and the other analysts have already done so), that we get 10% back, since New York was faced with the double whammy of so many people being thrown out of jobs and homes as the result of our very own key industries ripping us off right under our very noses.

(This based on the propaganda that New York's economy is based on FIRE: FINANCE, INSURANCE, AND REAL ESTATE) Somewhere in there the concept of manufacturing, research, and creativity has been relegated to other borders - more's the pity - because we can certainly use them now).

By implementing the "modified greed and unscrupulous, ignorant and incompetent business acts tax," we will gain an effective tool to combat greed, unemployment, and people suffering at the hands of arrogant, insensitive, acerbic business figures, who have taken a hold of our city and state's economy and trashed it. This plan will restore the citizen's confidence in you as well as in the legislators for the State of New York. It will also make up for the fact that many who have been thrust into unemployment, may be able to look to the state for some extended relieve while they try to put the shamble of their lives back together.

This one cent per ounce excise tax on beverages is still punishing the victims. Let's get punish the perpetrators for a change!! They seem to be adept at ducking and dodging their responsibility; getting around the consequences, and pointing fingers of blame in other directions. As great as we are, New York cannot continue to carry the burden of thieves who have literally made off with our livelihoods, and while we continue to struggle to put our lives back together, they sit in their homes (usually in Connecticut, or out on Long Island) counting their bonuses and making "just in case everything comes back" deals behind our backs.

Rather than the tax on sugary soft drinks, let's tax on those dollars that they are taking from our pockets. Additionally, let's stop warehousing homes and apartments, being held off the market by the real estate industry while so many families who have either lost their homes, or could not afford to be gouged at the higher price points, are living shelters, or doubling up with friends and families.

Pass the Project Restore program Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries as been working on. While you're at it, restore some of the programs and protections Pataki destroyed during his tenure as Governor, that left us pretty much unprotected and powerless.
Putting a tax on sugary soft drinks only takes more money from the pockets of more families that can't afford to pay it. Like most other smart New Yorkers, they'll just go to Jersey and buy in bulk and avoid it all together. It would be better served to stop nickel and dime-ing us to death and deal with some of the real intrinsic issues that really hit us where we live.

Reinstate Kermit Eady and the Black United Fund of New York, the charitable organization that made it possible for African American New Yorkers to pool their resources and underwrite some of the programs that may not have been in the State's budget, but were nevertheless necessary. It was destroyed by unfounded allegations leveled at them by Elliott Spitzer during the time he was aspiring to run for governor. The charges were unfounded. However, not only has Mr. Eady never been "made whole", but the people who benefited from the program were seriously damaged, losing homes, jobs, and so much more. In much the same way you have pardoned individuals who are serving or have served sentences (whether deserved or undeserved), Mr. Eady deserves pardon and reinstatement of his good name, organization and property.
(Mind you - this is not an aside, nor is it off the subject, but goes to the heart of how we've lost the moral compass in New York of putting people first, things second.)

New York is not just a state for brainiacs; it is also a state of ingenuity and creativity. We have become prey to those outside our borders who now have the wherewithal to fabricate, design and develop new and innovative concepts, tools, materials. To that end, bring back some of those manufacturing concerns to our waterfronts -- shipping and manufacturing -- which then takes us off of soley relying on the so-called "smartest men in the room".

Rather than acting as though working with your hands is somehow lower class, you need to return vocational training to the schools so our youth can have some competitive skills, without having to import labor from other borders, while the people here go begging or on welfare, or worse yet, end up in the streets.

Make it mandatory for all students from the 5th grade on to have comprehensive training in financial literacy, including Wall Street (in all schools and make Wall Street underwrite the program). Make it possible for an adult education class so those of us who missed it during our formative years can also learn what it is that the "biggest industry" in New York is really about.

Ever wonder why most of the guys on Wall Street come from places other than New York? Why is it that the biggest industry in NY has the lowest placement from our own hallowed halls of education? We are not providing our own youth with the opportunities people from other countries receive.

In reference to education and the concern about limits on Charter Schools vs. Public Education: Neither avenues are that impressive. It is clear that more dollars are being thrown in the path of Charter Schools to the detriment of Public Schools by private concerns. Most feel there is an ulterior motive, which may or may not be the case. For the most part, there has to be some over all standards or criteria for quality education.

There has been a tendency to make it an either or situation. Perhaps it needs to be both, with the overarching criteria being set in place by both parents and teachers; and the resulting Charter Schools required to specialize in specific fields; while the Public schools also being required to improve, and being given the additional funds to do so. The two are not mutually exclusive. It is, however, relatively off putting to know that we could be losing over $700 million dollars, that we can't afford to lose, rather than figure out a way to have the best of both worlds.

I have always had the utmost respect for you. Still do. And you've always had the ability to make those kinds of empowering choices. I don't see that you've lost that faculty or capacity now that you're governor. I think those muscles should have been enhanced.

This tax on Wall Street's greedy will definitely help the People of New York, if it's allocated appropriately. And while you are our Governor, please focus on what that means and where that is. Don't let the greedy get away with walking on the backs of the needy.

Governor Paterson, New York needs you to be the Governor that brought balance back to the state. And you can only do that by putting the people of New York first. You have to look at what's for our enduring good. Do we need homes? Yes. Do we need better jobs with career paths to them? Yes. Do we need a Transit System that is clean, safe, affordable and reliable? Yes we do. Do we need educational programs that prepare our children to be competent, competitive, and respectful in an age of buffoonery? Yes we definitely do. It may be time for a resumption of those town meetings you initiated to get a sense of what people are concerned about. That way you're not isolated (or insulated) from what's really happening.

I think you can leave a very wonderful and important legacy by not trodding over the same go no where paths your predecessors did. You have really lived among the real people of New York. You know what they need. We're looking to you to make it happen. We want you to go down in History as the Governor who save New York from itself.

Thank you and stay blessed.
Gloria Dulan-Wilson

(by the way - I am sending this response back to the email I received from you. I will be curious to see whether or not you receive it. And would appreciate a response from you in reference to this recommendation. )


My Fellow New Yorkers:
Obesity is a public health crisis. When over half the adults in this State, and one out of every four New Yorkers under the age of 18, are overweight or obese, we must recognize that there is a tremendous problem. Obesity is associated with life threatening conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer, and the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages is a major contributor to obesity. These health problems and costs will only increase in the future, unless we take steps to help all New Yorkers adopt healthier lifestyles.
By implementing my modified sugar-sweetened beverage tax, we will gain an effective tool to combat obesity. This plan will increase the price differential between the high sugar-high calorie and low sugar-low calorie beverages and encourage consumers to make healthier choices. A one cent per ounce excise tax would be added to sugary soft-drinks, bottled coffee and tea drinks with added sugar, powders and other sugary beverages, but my revised and improved plan will also eliminate the sales tax for bottled water and low-calorie drinks that have 10 or fewer calories per 8 oz.
New Yorkers spend an estimated $7.6 billion annually to treat obesity related health care costs. This initiative will help lower those costs over time, and improve the health and quality of life for all New Yorkers. Now is the time for us to take bold actions, and I again urge the Legislature to help me encourage healthy eating by approving this new tax on sugar sweetened beverages.
For more information about the modified sugar sweetened beverage tax package, please click here. Also, please share your views on this issue on Straight Talk from the Taxpayer.

David A. Paterson
Governor of New York State

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