“To continually attack high-income earners when 51% of our taxes are paid by 2% of New Yorkers—this blows my mind when I hear people say, ‘so what if they leave.’ No you leave! I want my high-income earners right here in this city!”

So said New York City Mayor Eric Adams last week in a rare moment of clarity.

Of course, they aren’t his high-income earners. They just happen to live where he lives. In case there’s any doubt, they belong to themselves, not to anyone else. John Locke’s concept of self-ownership is both powerful and useful.

These are the opening three paragraphs of David R. Henderson, “I Want High-Income Earners to Stay,” TaxBytes, IPI.org, December 21, 2022.

Final paragraph:

Fortunately, there’s a policy that would make the tax system less unfair and would also help retain high-income New Yorkers. Make the tax rate 3 percent on everyone. The rates currently range from 3.078 percent for people with income between 0 and $21,600 to 3.8765 percent for people with income above $90,000. (These tax rates are for married people filing jointly.) Cut that rate to 3 percent and everyone would get a bit of a break. The tax cut would be biggest on the highest-income people. That make sense because, as Adams pointed out, they now pay a disproportionate share of NYC taxes. Their share would still be too high, but the tax cut would be a modest move in the right direction.

Read the whole thing, which is short.