I recently speculated whether Detroit’s fiscal problems should be a warning sign for the crowd in Washington.
The answer, of course, is yes, though it’s not a perfect analogy. The federal government is in deep trouble because of unsustainable entitlement programs while Detroit got in trouble because of a combination of too much compensation for bureaucrats and too many taxpayers escaping the city.
A better analogy might be to compare Detroit to other local governments. Some large cities in California already have declared bankruptcy, for instance, and you can find the same pattern ofovercompensated bureaucrats and escaping taxpayers.
And the same thing may happen to New York City if the next Mayor is successful in pushing for more class-warfare tax policy. Here are some excerpts from an excellent New York Post column by Nicole Gelinas.
Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio…thinks New York can hike taxes on the rich and not suffer… De Blasio’s scheme is this: Hike income taxes by 13.8 percent on New Yorkers making above half a million dollars annually. …After five years, de Blasio would let this tax surcharge lapse, and — he says — find another way to pay.
But there’s a big problem with de Blasio’s plan. Rich people are not fatted calves meekly awaiting slaughter.