Opinion | Mike Bloomberg: Fixing Inequality Is My Priority – The New York Times

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Mr. Bloomberg, a former mayor of New York City, is a Democratic candidate for president.

Credit…Mario Tama/Getty Images

“Every Democrat running for president agrees that income inequality is one of the great problems of our time. And we all agree that the wealthy should pay more in taxes.

But only one of us has actually raised taxes on the wealthy by persuading a Republican legislature to vote for them: Me.

When I was elected mayor of New York City, seven weeks after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, we faced a budget crisis and a recession. I had a choice: slash budgets and conduct mass layoffs, which would especially hurt the young, the elderly and low-income communities — or raise taxes.

So I took the politically difficult step of proposing tax increases, including one on those making more than $500,000 a year (about $700,000 in today’s dollars). I persuaded a Republican-led State Senate and a Democratic-led State Assembly to pass the bill, and a Republican governor to sign it. The extra revenue — roughly $400 million per year — allowed us to invest in our future and create jobs and opportunity in the neighborhoods where they were needed most.”

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