Readers Write: Tom Suozzi’s magnificent obsession

The Island Now

There’s a lot of crazy in Washington, mostly coming from first-term Republicans, for whom reality doesn’t seem to exist. But to see it coming from a seasoned professional, you have to wonder where this country is headed.

Representative Tom Suozzi has proposed a one-shot wealth tax. According to an article in The Hill, “This would be a one-time surcharge of 2.5 percent on wealth between $50 million and $100 million and a 5 percent tax on wealth above $100 million. Wealthy people would be able to pay the tax over five years.”

A construct like this in the United States tax code is not only unprecedented, even the blind and the deaf know there is absolutely no way this gets through any Congress, no matter what its political make-up.

More telling still, is the cynical ruse behind the make-up of the people who wouldn’t be affected by this plan. Speaks volumes.

But it follows Nassau tradition. An endless stream of one-shot fixes and band-aids to keep the con going. It’s how we manage things here. Structural reform is out of the question, and besides, it’s too much like work.

Why would Rep. Suozzi suggest such an implausible idea? One reason: It’s meant to be a swap for repealing the SALT cap. And the SALT cap is a means to subsidize the Long Island kleptocracy. That is the cornerstone of our local politics, and it is being transplanted to Washington.

Repeal of the SALT cap has morphed into Tom Suozzi’s Magnificent Obsession. He can’t let go of it. He is singularly possessed by the idea of repealing it to the obstruction of all other issues. And this is in spite of the fact that the cap on the deduction hasn’t materially affected Long Island as a whole.

Home prices have not been affected, the empty threats of the wealthy leaving haven’t materialized (mass shootings have a way of focusing the mind) and the overall economy of Long Island apparently hasn’t been hurt either.

More telling still, the kleptocracy hasn’t been the least bit motivated to take any action of its own to offset the cost of the SALT cap. Sacrifice? On their part? You must be joking. They own you.

I have never seen Tom Suozzi with his hair on fire like this in his entire political career. Nothing else matters. And yet, few things have proven to be so inconsequential to Long Island’s future, despite all the shrill predictions.

But that’s Long Island. Its inept political class creates its own intractable problems and relies on everyone else to bail them out.

You can say this for our political leadership: tradition matters.

Donald Davret


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