Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is ridiculing New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's call for a small tax hike on the wealthy to help pay for early education and afterschool programs, saying it will not help improve the lives of the city's poor.
The new mayor has said his proposal to increase the rate on taxpayers making more than $500,000 to 4.41 percent to 3.88 percent would amount to "less than three bucks a day," or "about the cost of a small soy latte at your local Starbucks."
"De Blasio has done us all a favor by being so clear about the small, timid, and ultimately hopeless efforts to use big bureaucracies to solve the real problems of impoverished Americans," Gingrich chided in a piece he wrote for CNN.com, where the former Georgia GOP congressman and presidential candidate now co-hosts the "Crossfire" program.
According to Gingrich, the mayor's proposal lacks depth
, knowledge and a true understanding of combating the issue of poverty in America.
The timing of de Blasio's proposal was not lost on Gingrich, who noted that it was especially symbolic coming just a week before the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson's 1964 declaration of the "war on poverty."
"Fifty years after the war on poverty began, the boldest declaration our new champion of liberalism can muster is that his own expansion of the welfare bureaucracy will cost the New York elite no more than their daily dose of caffeine," Gingrich said. "Oh, how the price to ease their consciences has fallen in half a century. And yet the poor are still impoverished."
The poor and disadvantaged deserve more, he suggested, including an approach that focuses on training, incentives, and economic growth.
Though de Blasio campaigned on "boldness, radicalism, populism, and the 'new Progressive' commitment to fighting income inequality," he is now governing with "timidity, incoherence, and absurdity," according to Gingrich.
"Let's say no to 'small soy latte liberalism' and yes to profoundly rethinking the best way of helping our fellow citizens," he suggested.
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