Our 2016 Tax Returns
For us, tax time is a moment of gratitude. No one enjoys paying taxes, but we are grateful to live in this country, in New York City, and do our part. We are grateful to have a home — even if we don’t live in it right now — and a steady source of income. And we are grateful to have the profound honor to serve the city we love.
Yet, tax time also confronts us with the cruel absurdity of what President Trump and his Republican enablers in Congress are doing. They want to slash sensible government investments in education, health care and other key areas that most Americans rely on and use that money to give a massive tax cut to the wealthy — the one segment of Americans who don’t need any help.
Let’s be clear: The wealthy have never been richer. Since the 1970s, the top one percent of earners has taken an ever greater share of the income this country produces. These days, income inequality is as bad as it’s been since right before the Great Depression of 1929. Remember how well that turned out?
To illustrate just how unfair our economy is, imagine the U.S. is populated by only 100 people. Today, 90 of them take home less than half our national income, while just one person pockets more than 20 percent! That isn’t just unfair, it’s unsustainable — and it didn’t happen by accident. This is a choice our leaders have made.
We can do better. Even small tax increases on the tiny minority of millionaires and billionaires would have massive benefits for everyone else. An analysis in the New York Times last year found that raising the taxes on just 115,000 high-wealth households — basically a tenth of one percent of total households — could fund free college tuition for every, single American student.
President Trump’s tax giveaway to the wealthiest among us makes zero sense, as does his decision to break decades of precedent and refuse to share his tax returns with the American people. We won’t bore you with the endless excuses our president has made. We’ll just say this: No one forces any of us to run for public office, but those in public office must be transparent about our finances.
Feel free to take a look at our combined Federal and State income tax returns for 2016. You may find them here.
Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City
Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City