Democrat presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg has advocated raising taxes on poor people in order to more effectively control their behavior to ensure they live longer.
“People say, ‘Oh, we don’t want to tax the poor,’” but raising taxes on them “should have a bigger impact on their behavior” – for their own good – former New York City Mayor Bloomberg told a Spring 2018 meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“The problem is in poor people that don’t have a lot of money,” Bloomberg explained, arguing in favor of a regressive tax:
“Some people say, well, taxes are regressive. But in this case, yes, they are. That's the good thing about them because the problem is in people that don't have a lot of money. And so, higher taxes should have a bigger impact on their behavior and how they deal with themselves.
“So, I listen to people saying 'oh we don't want to tax the poor.’ Well, we want the poor to live longer so that they can get an education and enjoy life. And that's why you do want to do exactly what a lot of people say you don't want to do.”
The choice, Bloomberg said, is between “life or a job. Or, taxes or life? Which do you want?” Eliminating the coal industry, for example, will make people unemployed – but, they’ll live longer, Bloomberg argued:
“The question is do you want to pander to those people? Or do you want to get them to live longer? There's just no question. If you raise taxes on full sugary drinks, for example, they will drink less and there's just no question that full sugar drinks are one of the major contributors to obesity and obesity is one of the major contributors to heart disease and cancer and a variety of other things.
“So, it's like saying, ‘I don't want to stop using coal because coal miners will go out of work, will lose their jobs.’ We have a lot of soldiers in the United States in the US Army, but we don't want to go start a war just to give them something to do and that's exactly what you're saying when you say 'well, let's keep coal killing people because we don't want coal miners to lose their jobs.' The truth of the matter is that there aren't very many coal miners left anyways and we can find other things for them to do.
“But, the comparison is: a life or a job? Or, taxes or life? Which do you want to do? Take your poison.”