Victory for Occupy Wall Street?

Governor Cuomo reached an agreement today with legislative leaders to raise taxes on New York State’s wealthiest residents as part of a deal to overhaul the tax rates.

The tentative agreement would also cut taxes for the middle class, by creating four new tax brackets and tax rates. The officials said the tax rate changes would generate $1.9 billion in annual revenue for the state.

“This would be lowest tax rate for middle class families in 58 years,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement. “This job-creating economic plan defies the political gridlock that has paralyzed Washington and shows that we can make government work for the people of this state once again.”

Will other states follow suit and implement a “millionaires tax”? Is this the result of Occupy Wall Street’s focus on income inequality?

Courtesy of the New York Times.

"At a time when voters are in a deeply populist mood and generally awakening to the stark reality of extreme income inequality, is the Republican Party really on the verge of nominating a man with an estimated $250 million to his name, who made his money as a private-equity titan, who ‘looks like the guy that fires you,’ and who likes to expound on the personhood of corporations?"

-Alec MacGillis, “Is This the Time for a Quarter-Billionaire?

Photo courtesy of money.cnn.com.

A recently released United Technologies/National Journal survey shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans support the Occupy Wall Street protesters and surtaxes on the rich.

Yet, there may be a political caveat.

"The cautionary note, for Democrats and liberals, is that respondents blame inaction from Washington on ‘fighting between Democrats and Republicans’ — as opposed to obstruction by Republicans. When you hear Democrats from more conservative areas say they worry Obama’s more aggressive, partisan style is alienating their constituents, that mentality is what they have in mind."

- Jonathan Cohn, “Bash Wall Street? Tax the Rich? Survey says…Yes

Read the rest of Jonathan Cohn’s blog post to find out what these numbers mean for Occupy Wall Street, the Obama administration, and plans for liberal populists, here.

Photo courtesy of National Journal.

President Obama’s new rhetoric is starting to convince even the pickiest of voters. 

And Independents, too, now favor Obama on jobs, by 44-31, a big shift from 37-42 in September. And not only do Democrats support Obama’s jobs plan and believe it will improve the jobs situation, but so too do independents, by margins of 47-38 and 52-44, respectively. Moderates, meanwhile, are even more enthusiastic—support figures among this group are 5-9 points higher than among Independents on all these questions. As for raising taxes on the rich: Bring it on! By 65-28, Independents favor raising taxes on households with over a million dollars in income.”

-Ruy Teixeira, “Obama’s New Populism Isn’t Alienating Moderates.”

Poll courtesy of CBS News.

Put it all together and it’s easy to generate revenue in excess of $1 trillion. That works out to about a half percentage point of gross domestic product. And if that doesn’t sound significant to you, think of it this way: That’s $1 trillion in cuts to government programs we wouldn’t have to make.

Jonathan Chait, “Yes, Taxing The Rich Will Make A Difference”