December 6, 2011 Associated Press
Written by Sonia Lindell on November 16, 2011 – 10:13 am
The Siena College Research Institute released a new poll on Nov. 15. According to Siena pollster Steven Greenberg:
“By two-to-one, voters say that the Occupy Wall Street movement does not represent 99 percent of Americans. Even a majority of Democrats – a majority of whom have a favorable view of Occupy Wall Street – does not believe the movement represents 99 percent of people. By a smaller, but still strong 58-37 percent margin, voters – including those from every party and region – believe that the Occupy Wall Street movement does not have a clear message.”
To read the entire release click here.
*** ALERT FOR NOVEMBER 17TH – STEER CLEAR OF OWS ***
OWS Vow ‘Day Of Action’ (Day of Rage !)
Sean opened Wednesday’s show discussing the ouster of OWS protesters from Zuccotti Park. The protesters vowed to hold “a national day of direct action” tomorrow. The protesters are calling for a massive event aimed at disrupting major parts of the city. One of the angry Zucotti evictees posted a video on YouTube in which a demonstrator tells a large crowd that “on the 17th, we’re going to burn New York City to the ground.” “The demonstrators have 1st Amendment rights to protest but they don’t have the right to take over and confiscate somebody else’s property. I wonder if the owner of Zuccotti Park is going to have to pay property taxes considering he hasn’t had the use of his park in a couple of months!” Sean fumed.
VIDEO: OWS YouTube Video (Warning Graphic Offensive Language)
Written by Sonia Lindell on November 7, 2011 – 6:44 am
According to an op-ed in the NY Daily News:
“Despite the drumbeat from Occupy Wall Street, despite lopsided opinion polls, despite intense pressure from fellow Democrats, Gov. Cuomo is standing firm against continuation of New York’s so-called millionaire’s tax. Good for him.
Prolonging what was supposed to be a temporary emergency surcharge on the wealthy is absolutely the wrong way to go.
The levy would further deplete a weak economy, cement New York’s reputation as the Vampire State and, worst of all, enable an election-year spending binge by state lawmakers. And the reality is — contrary to the caterwauling of special interests — Albany doesn’t really need the extra cash.”
To read more click here.
Hang tough, Andrew
By GEORGE J. MARLIN Last Updated: 4:14 AM, November 3, 2011
The radical leftist Working Families Party is pushing the old hippies and young narcissists of Occupy Wall Street to champion one of its pet issues — extension of New York’s so-called Millionaires Surcharge Tax.
By calling for renewal of the tax, now set to expire Dec. 31, the WFP has broken its solemn 2010 pledge to then-candidate Andrew Cuomo to support his New NY Agenda — which stated that, as governor, Cuomo would “veto any increase in personal or corporate income taxes or sales tax.”
Cuomo made it clear, in the 2010 campaign, that he was opposed to extending the millionaire’s tax beyond 2011. “I was against it at the time, and I still am. It’s a new tax. It was supposed to sunset. If it doesn’t sunset, it’s a tax,” he told The Wall Street Journal.
In fact, the “Millionaires Tax” — which actually kicks in at $200,000 for singles and $300,000 for married couples — hurts the very middle class that Silver and the WFP claim to champion.
In Long Island, where I live, many families with two working members making 300 grand a year have trouble living on what’s left after paying federal and state taxes and a laundry list of local taxes and assessments. (I pay 18 different local taxes.)
New York’s high cost of living leaves these families just scraping by. A report last year made headlines with news that a Dallas household living on $125,000 must earn $250,000 to live the same lifestyle in New York. Even very liberal Sen. Chuck Schumer noted recently, “$250,000 makes you very rich in Mississippi, but it doesn’t make you rich at all in New York.”
New York City residents are also hit hard by the Millionaires Tax. The combined state and city income tax is 12.62 percent, the highest burden in the nation — and the top 1 percent of the city pays 51 percent of total income tax. That is, just 40,000 households out of 4 million in the city are responsible for more than half the tax revenue. If only 5,000 of those families bolt to low-tax states, the city’s tax base would be wrecked.
Fortunately, Gov. Cuomo has stood up to the double-crossing WFP and its “soak the rich” ideology. Comparing his refusal to extend the surcharge to his father’s principled opposition to the death penalty in the 1980s, the governor said, “The fact that everybody wants it [the surcharge tax] doesn’t mean that much. I represent the people. Their opinion matters, but I’m not going to go back and forth with the political winds … You can’t just have as a governor a big poll-taking machine, right? And we take a poll and whatever the poll says, that’s what we do.”
Gov. Cuomo is right. Our state is structured as a representative democracy; it is not government by plebiscite. As the great 18th-century British statesman Edmund Burke once reminded his constituents, “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”
The governor exhibited a sound understanding of New York’s situation when he said on Oct. 17, “You are kidding yourself if you think you can be one of the highest-taxed states in the nation, have a reputation for being anti-business — and have a rosy economic future.”
If Cuomo is to succeed in stemming New York’s economic hemorrhaging and achieving his goal to make it the jobs capital of the country, he must answer John Kennedy’s “call to responsibility,” defined in “Profiles in Courage” as choosing the right side of an issue over the popular side. And being on the right side this time means scragging the surcharge tax.
George J. Marlin’s new book is “Narcissist Nation: Reflections of a Blue-State Conservative.”
- GASPARINO: Let’s Be Real: The Protesters Are A Bunch Of Marxist Kids Dreaming About A Socialist Revolution (Post Opinion)
The real ‘1 percent’
Last Updated: 12:37 AM, November 8, 2011 by Michael Tanner
So just who are those top 1 percent of Americans that we’re all supposed to hate?
If you listen to President Obama, the protesters at Occupy Wall Street, and much of the media, it’s obvious. They’re either “trust-fund babies” who inherited their money, or greedy bankers and hedge-fund managers. Certainly, they haven’t worked especially hard for their money. While the recession has thrown millions of Americans out of work, they’ve been getting even richer. Worse, they don’t even pay their fair share in taxes: Millionaires and billionaires are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries.
Roughly 80 percent of millionaires in America are the first generation of their family to be rich. They didn’t inherit their wealth; they earned it. How? According to a recent survey of the top 1 percent of American earners, slightly less than 14 percent were involved in banking or finance.
Roughly a third were entrepreneurs or managers of nonfinancial businesses. Nearly 16 percent were doctors or other medical professionals.
Lawyers made up slightly more than 8 percent, and engineers, scientists and computer professionals another 6.6 percent.
Sports and entertainment figures — the folks flying in on their private jets to express solidarity with Occupy Wall Street — composed almost 2 percent.
By and large, the wealthy have worked hard for their money. NYU sociologist Dalton Conley says that “higher-income folks work more hours than lower-wage earners do.”
Because so much of their income is tied up in investments, the recession has hit the rich especially hard. Much attention has been paid recently to a Congressional Budget Office study that showed incomes for the top 1 percent rose far faster from 1980 until 2007 than for the rest of us. But the nonpartisan Tax Foundation has found that since 2007, there has been a 39 percent decline in the number of American millionaires.
Among the “super-rich,” the decline has been even sharper: The number of Americans earning more than $10 million a year has fallen by 55 percent. In fact, while in 2008 the top 1 percent earned 20 percent of all income here, that figure has declined to just 16 percent. Inequality in America is declining.
As for not paying their fair share, the top 1 percent pay 36.7 percent of all federal income taxes. Because, as noted above, they earn just 16 percent of all income, that certainly seems like more than a fair share.
Maybe Warren Buffett is paying a lower tax rate than his secretary, as he claims. But the comparison is misleading because Buffett’s income comes mostly from capital gains, which were already taxed at their origin through the corporate-income tax.
Moreover, the Buffetts of the world are clearly an exception. Overall, the rich pay an effective tax rate (after all deductions and exemptions) of roughly 24 percent. For all taxpayers as a group, the average effective tax rate is about 11 percent.
Beyond taxes, the rich also pay in terms of private charity. Households with more than $1 million in income donated more than $150 billion to charity last year, roughly half of all US charitable donations. Greedy? It hardly seems so.
And let us not forget the fact that the rich provide the investment capital that funds ventures, creates jobs and spurs innovation. The money that the rich save and invest is the money that companies use to start or expand businesses, buy machinery and other physical capital and hire workers.
It has become fashionable to ridicule the idea of the rich as “job creators,” but if the rich don’t create jobs, who will? How many workers have been hired recently by the poor?
No doubt dishonest or unscrupulous businessmen have gotten rich by taking advantage of others. And few of us are likely to lose much sleep over the plight of the rich.
But shouldn’t public policy be based on something more than class warfare, envy and stereotypes?
Michael Tanner is a Cato Institute senior fellow.
Written by Sonia Lindell on November 2, 2011 – 7:19 am
The following is a NY Post article by Kevin Fasick, Sally Goldenberg and Bob Fredericks:
“They want to change the economy, and now they have — by putting people out of work!
Heartbroken Shamil Cepeda was one of 21 employees of a once-thriving cafe and catering business who just got fired because the weeks-long Occupy Wall Street protest chased away too many customers.
“I support their freedom of speech but the whole thing is hypocritical if it makes people lose their jobs,” a tearful Cepeda, 23, told The Post yesterday.”
To read the entire article click here.
Milk Street Cafe Owner Sacks 21 Employees As Consequence Of Occupy Wall Street Demonstration
November 1, 2011 5:09 PM
Marc Epstein, owner of the Milk Street Cafe at 40 Wall Street, just let 21 employees go.
The reason? The barricades police have set up throughout Wall Street as a consequence of the ongoing demonstration.
In June, he opened the New York branch of the Boston shop, which has a 30 year history. Epstein says he leased the space on Wall Street because it was next to a pedestrian plaza – and his was the only restaurant along that plaza.
“The opening was perfect,” Epstein told CBSNewYork.com. “The food was delicious, the customers were happy, and the line was out the door.”
Customers kept coming back, Epstein said.
“Everything was going in the right direction. Sales continued to grow. We started to build our catering business. Costs were going down. I felt that by October or November we would break even.”
Then the Occupy Wall Street movement launched.
“I came one Monday morning and I found the exit by the 2 or 3 subway station closed. I saw all these barriers – barricades – all up and down my street,” Epstein said. “At first I thought nothing of it, but after a week… it’s been six or seven weeks now.”
“The end result of it is that it completely destroyed the pedestrian traffic on Wall Street. Completely destroyed it,” Epstein said. “It is a desolate, police-controlled area.”
The cafe has a capacity of 150 seats. At the height of lunch hour Tuesday, Epstein estimated the shop was half full. With those sorts of numbers, he’s had to let people go.
“We eliminated 21 positions in the company,” Epstein said. “First time in 30 years I’ve laid anybody off.”
They’ve also cut back their hours at the New York location, closing now at 3 p.m. instead of 9 p.m.
More on Zuccotti Park here and look at whatthey want to build in Albany’s Academy Park. The Daily News is reporting that OWS protesters now have rules against stealing, sexual harassment and hurting others – including their feelings. The group also put a ban on fuel, weapons or drugs in the park. Consequences of the OWS protests:
Deranged homeless man goes on violent rampage in Zuccotti Park
By KEVIN FASICK
Last Updated: 11:13 AM, November 4, 2011
This is the new face of Zuccotti Park!
A deranged homeless man who has been squatting among the Occupy Wall Street protesters in lower Manhattan went on a violent, early-morning rampage yesterday, cursing incoherently and kicking down tents.
The only thing that could stop Jeremy Clinch from his Godzilla-like rampage was a left hook to the face delivered by a paranoid fellow protester who claimed to be an ex-Turkish diplomat — and charged that his assailant was carrying out a plot hatched by Mayor Bloomberg.
“I’ve been here from Day One! I haven’t got a tent!” the Cleveland-native Clinch shrieked as he furiously kicked down tents onto sleeping protesters at about 8 a.m.
“I’ve been here for three months, and I haven’t been able to sleep!” the out-of-his-head Clinch screamed.
It was just the type of increasingly violent incident that has downtown residents — already bombarded by megaphones, incessant drumming, graffiti and public urination — feeling on edge as the OWS takeover of Zuccotti Park enters its third month.
“You want to fight? You want to get f–ked up? Let’s get it on! Let’s get it on!” Clinch ranted.
The unhinged vagrant then put the boot to the wrong man — Recai “Rocky” Iskender, 48, of Cliffside Park, NJ, as he slept in his tent.
Iskender, who on his Facebook page calls himself a career diplomat for his native Turkey and says he lost 20 pounds on a six-day hunger strike in the protest, leaped from his tent and hurled a plastic water jug at Clinch.
The enraged Turk then lunged at his stunned assailant, nailing him with a punch that knocked him backward on the pavement.
Clinch — whom other protesters described as mentally ill and “off his meds” — dropped to the sidewalk as the hulking Iskender stood over him glowering.
OWS medical volunteer Eric Carter, 30, intervened, helping Clinch to his feet and leading him away as other protesters declined a cop’s offer of assistance.
In a bizarre rant after the dust settled, Iskender told The Post that Clinch “is a police agent.”
“He is a Bloomberg agent, disturbing and disrupting the protest,” said Iskender, who after the fight donned a message board that read, “USA-Turk Army Ended My Diplomatic Career 6 Times,” and also charged that “AC Tropicana Casino Robbed My $30K Pay For My Driving Job.”
Bloomberg, Iskender ranted, “does everything” and is controlling what happens at the park.
“This is Bloomberg,” he said, pointing at cops. “[The] Bloomberg police machine. [The] police state finds those guys to infiltrate, to disrupt it. That’s what Bloomberg wants.”
Carter, an EMT from Washington, DC, who has been at Zuccotti Park for six weeks, said fights between wackos are far from uncommon.
“It’s not the first time, it won’t be the last time it happens,” Carter said.
Chris Guerra, 27, an artist from Newark who runs the info booth on the west side of the park, said Clinch was a familiar face.
“He’s been here since the beginning. I think he’s bipolar. Sometimes he’s happy. Other times he’s angry. It was a crazy guy trying to wake everyone up. But he woke up the wrong bear this morning. He’s not all there,” he said.
Additional reporting by Frank Rosario, Bob Fredericks and Wilson Dizard
Why to ‘Not’ Join Occupy Buffalo
Letter to the editor:
Written by Sonia Lindell on October 17, 2011 – 6:50 am
The following is the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York’s response to a piece in the Huffington Post that states the Martin Act is the key to solving “Occupy Wall Street”:
“New York Assemblyman Rory Lancman and New York State Senator Daniel Squadron have been quoted in recent media reports advocating that several existing proposals currently in front of New York legislators could be used to achieve the goals of “Occupy Wall Street” protestors.
The most troubling of their proposals is also the most innocuous sounding one – the “Institutional Investor Recovery Act.” This piece of legislation, according to the two legislators would “unleash the power of the Martin Act” by giving private attorneys the same powers as the Attorney General to prosecute securities fraud.
The Martin Act is indisputably the strongest securities fraud statute in the nation and is unique to the State of New York. Under the Martin Act, the Attorney General is empowered to file lawsuits against any corporation or associated party for absolutely any act or omission which could be construed to “mislead” investors, no matter how insignificant. Moreover, the Attorney General is not required to prove that any investors actually relied on the allegedly misleading information or suffered damages.”
To read more click here.