Mr. Cuomo has resisted the idea, and Ms. Arbetter asked him if there were ways to make the tax code more fair.
“There is no doubt—and I’ve talked about this–that fairness is what this is really all this is about,” Gov. Cuomo said, and the host quickly cut him off and suggested that keeping taxes high on upper income earners–she suggested even keeping the high rate for only those who earn $1 million or more–was a way to make taxes more fair.
“Yes, so it is a fairness argument,” Mr. Cuomo concurred. “People would say the poor get taxed too much. That is a fairness argument. People will say the middle class is really bearing the brunt– it’s a fairness argument. People will say income inequality–fairness argument. Brackets in the tax code– fairness argument. And they are all right Susan—it’s about the fairness.”
And Gov. Cuomo added that it wasn’t just the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators demanding fairness.
“It’s everyone. It’s homeowners. It’s college students. Everyone is feeling it and what they are saying is, ‘I want fairness and I want someone who is talking to me and who is helping me and I want fairness because I am suffering.’ Fairness–millionaires tax. Fairness—how are you helping the poor people? Housing subsidy programs–fairness. How about the homeless? Fairness. So that’s what it is really all about,” he said.
Still, Gov. Cuomo resisted even a surcharge on the absolute highest income earners, suggesting that it would drive business from the state.