If only there were more billionaires.
“They are the ones that pay a lot of the taxes, and we take the tax revenues from those people to help people throughout the entire rest of the spectrum.”
Bloomberg, whose $32 billion net worth puts him 10th on the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people, has talked up the value of billionaires before.
His comments Friday came a day after a Census Bureau report showed the income gap is larger in New York than in any of the nation’s 30 biggest cities.
Bloomberg said the mammoth wealth gap is largely the result of so many wealthy people wanting to call New York home.
The report also showed that the poverty rate inched up in 2012, to 21.2% of New Yorkers.
Bloomberg acknowledged, “There are still people at the bottom struggling,” but added, “we’ve made a lot of progress (and) the problem in the income gap is not at that end.”
“The reason it’s so big is at that higher end we’ve been able to do something that none of these other cities can do. And that is attract a lot of the very wealthy.”
Aaron Showalter/New York Daily News
Bloomberg acknowledged that people at the bottom are still ‘struggling,’ but added, ‘we’ve made a lot of progress.’
Democrats who have been running for mayor as the anti-Bloomberg took issue with his comments.
The Democratic nominee, Bill de Blasio, who has decried New York as a “tale of two cities,” said, “The mayor needs to understand, beyond his social circle, are millions of New Yorkers struggling.”
And Controller John Liu said, “It would only be a godsend if the city’s wealthiest residents paid an equitable tax rate.”
The mayor’s spokesman, Marc LaVorgna, later issued a statement to point out that Bloomberg’s comments showed the mayor supports redistributing wealth, a position long held by liberals.
“The wealthy exist in America. Are we better off if they live here, or elsewhere? It’s better to have them here to help make this city a better place for those less fortunate by taking their money and spending it on improving public schools, keep communities safe and on our vast social-services network,” LaVorgna said.