Mayor Bloomberg: Tax Hikes on Rich ‘Drive Out the 1 Percent’

By Fred Lucas | November 5, 2012 | 12:41 PM EST

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York (AP Photo)

( – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called it “dumb” to raise taxes on the wealthy, and later pointed out they would leave New York, pointing to France as an example.

“You saw in France people moving out when they raised the tax rates,” Bloomberg said, according to the New York Post on Oct. 13. “Whether you like it or not, the wealthy are mobile.”

A few days prior to that – in a press conference before the Columbus Day parade in the city –Bloomberg was asked about candidates for mayor hoping to succeed Bloomberg who are pledging more taxes on the rich.

“It is about as dumb a policy as I can think of,” Bloomberg responded, according to Capital New York on Oct. 8.

“Well if you want to drive out the one percent of the people that pay roughly 50 percent of the taxes, or the 10 percent of the people that pay 70-odd percent of the taxes, that’s as good a strategy as I know,” Bloomberg continued.

“That's exactly the ways to do it, and then our revenue would go away, and we wouldn't be able to have cops to keep us safe, firefighters to rescue us, teachers to educate our kids,” he said.

However, New York magazine, pointed out the same day that in 2008, when then New York Gov. David Patterson expressed concerns about New York residents leaving because of the heavy tax burden, Bloomberg said it was not likely.

“I can only tell you, among my friends, I’ve never heard one person say I’m going to move out of the city because of the taxes. Not one. Not in all the years I've lived here,” Bloomberg said in 2008. “You know, they can complain, ‘Ugh, I got my tax bill, it's heavy.’ But my friends all want to live here.”