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State Rep Jay Kaufman on the Millionaires Tax

May 19, 2016|

State Rep Jay Kaufman on the Millionaires Tax

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

So tell us not to vote yesterday. I am pretty well with 135 to fifty seven's so it won by 70% of the vote. And that reflects polling that we've been doing statewide. Which also shows like 70% support amongst our citizens for this. Change in the constitution. And by the way it's not actually decent human missions it's news brought to us by the release of coalition which is a coalition about a 150 groups. There have come together in part around the fact that we don't have critical funds for education transportation. But also around the fact that our currency system is totally unfair. In that the poorest among us and even the middle class pay much higher rate of their income than do the wealthy. Today you know I'm gonna to match on this and obviously I hate this I wouldn't count I can continue to do that yes a lot of your door with a lottery. I don't you know all that goes to the pore much more than it does the Richey this isn't about that this by you guys getting money in you don't care where it comes from you just want other people's money. Actually I hear where it comes from inside about other people's money it's about our fair share. So. The wealthiest in the in the community and I know you won't necessarily agree with me on this. Are paying about 5% is actually under 5% of their household income in state local taxes. Most of us are paying about 9% and of course paying closer to 11%. Because fundamentally unfair do I look lottery no. Is that popular and could we do away with it probably also not. This is something that has some political links as well as good public policy of course and as leg. Because you've you'd need a bad guys saw the rich are always evil because there are the smallest percentage but you know when I know. That they paid ridiculously disproportionate. Amount of taxes. Not percentage just amount of money that the state pulls in a disproportionate amount of it comes from the wealthy. Well the disproportionate use in the eyes of the beholder so I would not that is disproportionate. But the more critical thing is they can also afford more and we are desperately in need of funds. For things like public transportation so there's been multiple you know of his or anybody. So multiple commissions committees it's studies. That shows that we're by the billion dollars a year in arrears and that's what accounts for the puddles as with a counselor and a our bridges that are and in jeopardy of them are collapsing that's what accounts for the TN a the public transit systems that are not working the way they should. People can't get to work reliably. And and what the employers are telling us is that we needed. Better education system primarily. One that provides pre K for everybody which sadly we do not have at the moment. Com and we need kids graduating college or young people graduating college without burdensome debt to. That carries. That they carry for the rest of their lives all of that we can't do that the mood pieces of art. Our tax system. Which has a very regressive effect on us as a as a public so we've been beaten you know has been very reluctant to raise taxes you know. I in fact we have cut taxes more than all but two of the other states in the country over the last thirty years so we have. The completely eliminated that notion that we are attacks which uses. Because of that we have relatively low revenues. And in this state that is a high cost state where there were talking about us as individuals sources of states having low revenues and higher expenses means we've got to cut services. Joseph let me ask you this and I Kim's chomping to get him but I got in Europe that. If that's true what you just said an item for. Me personally I've never felt like my taxes have been caught in that I've been given any breaks by you guys even though you guys somehow twist that and say that. If that's true that everything's being cut and we don't have money to support any of this. How is it that there has never been a year ever in we just saw this again with the what Stanley Rosenberg brought out for his budget. That the budget has gone now it's always going up always. At least half of that every year is accounted for by health care costs. And again whether you are an individual or whether we are talking about this collectively as state. The health care costs are out of control. That is the that is the budget buster every single year and in terms of your tax rates you may mean well you'll remember. That used to paying five point 9% in state income tax. You are now paying five point one and we within two years we'll be down to five point oh so. I don't know how you look at that and not say we've cut taxes. We're talking Jay Kaufman he's state representative from Lexington about the millionaire's tax day we need to take a break can he stay with us for the other side. OK too ridiculous NW RQ Boston a morning choke 749 here that don't have a panel of limited counting down to. We're argue its takeoff meant state representative about the million dollar. Tax. The come to you she's changed millionaires chain. I attacks in you know did the thing that bothers me about these kinds of things. He's that there always your marked for the good and yet how do we know that that money would actually be used in such a way in this case you know for bridges and for infrastructure. In general for education. How do we really know that that'll be used for those purposes. Well there's you know there's no ironclad guarantees obviously since every legislature has to determine its own budget. But. When you think about the people who are going to be casting those notes not only in between nineteen after this is on the ballot but respond to the future is any licensing. Why would we not be funding of the critical services and most of Iceland's advance and education and transportation are pretty damned essential. I can't think of and he probably one or two other things that I'd rank as high as critical services provided by state and local government. So first of all I think that. Anybody when he crosses going to be doing that to advances. Critical services. And besides that if this is the constitution is awaiting. In the way that we imagine it will be. Every single citizen can hold us accountable to that. So I think there's no guarantee that there's an awfully good indication that we you're gonna want to do that and every good reasons to expect the public to hold us accountable. Jay didn't everybody had to deal that we hear that over and over again you know our intentions are good but we don't. We don't know it's it's it's really just goes to conversation this morning as well as the debate yesterday reflects. Sort of some have fundamental. I was gonna call attention is not really retention bonuses to its. Competing narratives of who we are as a society and on the one hand we have this sort of the idea of the mayflower compact that role in this together and that what's good for all of us together. Is what's gonna advance most of us. And then on the other side that we have the idea that if you just advance yourself and everybody just advances themselves that'll be produce those results for us collectively. But you just competing narratives and we're gonna have those are as well as we have a democracy. That will be fought out in the course of the next 901 days between now and November 6 2018. I have some confidence. That trend since. Lately has been more back in the direction of having some sense that we own. Our collective. As good as much as we do our own we've not been there all that much in this country or in this commonwealth but I think grown over the assets of. Today what are you talking about yeah. That's ridiculous what you have to physically selective good they need where it for taxing millionaires like that who are producing jobs in the states and the collecting their charities. In the roi. Running our ships. I'm I'm arguing and I know you won't necessarily agree with a bad society as divided as we are between the wealthy and the poor work. With as many people's suffering in in the middle and unable to advance themselves was social mobility is as low as it's ever been in the history of this country. I don't think that's our I don't think that does a as a society or even us as individuals any good and by the way. Many millionaires or people that by the way the community is really quite appropriate since what we're talking about as taxing income over a million dollars. So this isn't about collective collected well this is an annual income. And many people who are making more than a million dollars a gonna come out and say. If we don't do this maybe we will have an unfair society and a little you know produce gated communities all the tensions and so with that. But more importantly we won't know what we're equally importantly. Well I have a society where people are not educated to be able to hold an advance themselves caught in terms of their jobs and careers and we even if people are qualified to kick it to work as is or transmitting what. Can't wait a minute what millionaires said that to you yesterday Jared Hoffman that's ridiculous what is. What they're saying he was were gone if you pass this in with we run a business were taken and all Edward because you're punishing success in Ohio you are telling everyone about small business because that's what really gets hurt by this because a lot of times a business owner. May show over a million dollars as their income but that's their business. So that there are being penalized in their business is being hurt. Again that's that's that's part of the mythology that's going to be so we're gonna need to address in this campaign but. You know fewer than 1% of the small that the so called small businesses where it is an income of over a million dollars for the definition of small businesses. For the most part is that you're just getting started you're building something you're doing something that will provide. Both jobs and economic opportunity for us going forward. But very few of those court records small businesses have income over a million dollars because of course for anything that's reinvested in the billion comes off. And so invested in the in the business comes up profits anyway. And then the very few businesses are owned by people who are bringing home more than a million dollars and take home pay. And this is a tax on personal income is not a tax on corporate income more business and come. I would keep yelling about that want to let me go to the year previous Wen Jiabao where this money's going to solve my town just had a two and a half override which of course went through because they always do because you guys scare us. So I feel like I'm getting hit already and education but you're telling we we need his money for education Urals telling the reader for roads and bridges but didn't you just Jack up the gas tax as a result that I didn't we just have a billion dollar stimulus plan that was designed to fix our alleged crumbling bridges rated that's tough golf. Two points first of all your community I don't know where you live with your community may well have voted for prop two and have override. Very few communities. Even have those on the ballot. And almost all of it to our two relatively wealthy communities. So again we're talking about some disparities in the commonwealth and folks who live in communities that don't have. That extra income and extra property value on even attempting continent ample Montserrat steps to that point. I'm serious second. Point it was a there's loads of the alleged crumbling bridges which Obama picks I saw lots. So. In the course of that conversation. Again we were. Advised by it but some committees commissions bipartisan nonpartisan. That we probably needed to race but a hundred million dollars we probably needed to race against tax. Somewhere in the neighborhood twenty and so I think the recommendations or anywhere between fifteen and 25. We raised the three cents so we made it down payment. On the investments that we need to make we are probably doing a better job of keeping them from getting in worse shape than they currently are. But we're nowhere close to where we need to be mechanic according to all the people who've taken a look at it. Who have a financial state usually and his bridges that I could help you with that if we if needed but we have a patient what Jay we had a we had the big yes sometimes yes but we had the biggest. Government handout program in the history of the country which was the stimulus. Which was designed to fix specifically are crumbling roads and bridges and they came back to Watson said. Give us more projects that you could have helped fork as we still have some money left and we had trouble compile coming up the list. Because there weren't crumbling anymore and now you're telling us were in complete disarray. I have not a clue that student trouble coming up with a list as the Department of Transportation. They've got a long list. Liked. What gimme a bridge that we did it's gonna fall in the next year we don't fix it. I don't have to estimate it. But I did tell you how are you taking my money yelled you're not taking my money is I'm not a millionaire and his case. But you could take my job because my boss that's may decide to move because he doesn't want to pay this ridiculously. We were just beating your chest about getting GE here and that's bringing in numerous millionaires who now all of a sudden would be faced with this kind of tax. Yeah any of you noticed that the CEO's seat of he said he was coming here. For an educated workforce and for communities that supports employees of corporations like like GE and he was coming here without worrying about. But tax rates so. There's a perfect example of what businessperson who understands what's critically important. In order to advance his business. But it boy you said is true Sanjay why stop at 4% wanna make this 10% 1520%. On millionaires because that money so much battery in your hands in the people that actually earned. But I could when you I wanted to question why ridiculous why. If you can do so much good with 4% why couldn't you do double the good with the 8%. We've identified. What we can do with 4% from. This is not about gouging people this is thought about attacking people who made us who are making good money. It's about providing essential public services and doing that in a way that makes our tax system fair. Doesn't continue to disproportionately advantage. The wealthiest among us. Today let me let me just ask him what was just agree to disagree. And we can't we can't let me ask you one final question though. Why is a billionaire would I not see this as you penalizing my success. If you look at the of course well one of two or three of them might do that. I I can never denied something like that. But I think for the most part if you step back to take a look at. Our needs our collective knees and if you take a look at the fact that over the last many decades. You have been. Added that that it's serious and advantage. Over the poor and over the middle class over the people you employee. Because of the way our tax system is structured. So it's a fundamental. Restructuring of the tax system. That's gonna make it's both fair and more sustainable. That the recent coalition was looking at in bringing this is profit. Jericho. Are right now we we been talking with OK I was gonna say I am as my last by the way. Obviously I get impassioned about the subject I hated I appreciate Jay believer in not coming on. Taken some shots of it being not afraid to sort of defend what I think is a cock in me and creative vision just may be accidentally. Clicking the off button on the thought oh I know I don't know I valley golf has always. Jay was good to come on we appreciate it I love that he does do this and is willing to do this and is willing to spar I appreciate tensions are secular I think you're not so on the spot. This antagonistic hopman he's state rep from Lexington and we do appreciate and we do you agree to disagree six or 72666816. As the number. They have said this story coming up at 8 o'clock here on the W ArQule boston.com or mention.